In this brief introduction to 3D printing technology I will be covering the following: a definition, available technologies, a history, its applications and an explanation of what a 3D printer is.
– 3D printing
3D printing otherwise recognized as desktop fabrication or additive manufacturing, it’s the process of prototyping whereby a tangible object is produced out of a 3D drawing. This digital 3D-representation or model is created in .STL format then queued to the 3D printer. This 3D printer then prints a design to form the real object.
– 3D print technology
There are several capable technologies that can print in 3D, what differentiates these technologies is how they produce the different layers to create objects, the most commonly used 3D printing technologies are selective laser sintering or (SLS), stereo lithography (SLA) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) these technologies use softening or melting of material to build the layers
Obvious main concerns are the 3D printers cost, the prototype cost, the speed at which it is printed and color and choice of materials and its costs.
– 3D printing’s short history
September 2011 – Austrian University develops a lighter, smaller and cheaper printer
August 2011 – The first 3D aircraft was printed by Engineers in Southampton.
– Printing applications
It is a huge advancement in the medical science models of parts of the patient’s anatomy that will be operated on can be produced.
3D printing makes it achievable to create a part in hours. It permits designers to create on computer to the exact part in hours.
These days almost everything is built using the aid of 3D printers.
Some exceptional World’s first examples are:
– 3D-Printed Car
– Chocolate printer
– 3D printed swimsuit
– 3D printer what is it?
It is unlike conventional printers, with 3D printers the objects are printed in three dimensions. The 3D model’s construction materializes layer upon layer. Consequently this process is referred to as rapid prototyping, or as 3D printing.
The major drawback for individual home users is the high cost of these 3D printers. Another downside is the time it takes to print 3D models, the professional software is also high in cost.
Then again there are basic 3D printers available for hobbyists that are far cheaper, the materials used are also not as pricy. The home use 3D printers are not as precise as commercial printers.
– What can one create using a 3D printer?
People in the know often say “If you are able to draw it, you are able to make it” this is undoubtedly the future of all product design and prototyping this technology is only going to improve as there are corporations investing millions into research.
Just think of the possibilities. The time saved in the process conceptualizing to prototyping will certainly save business milions in the cost of product development. Hopefully theses saving will filter down to the end user you and I but we will have to wait and see. The future is here and 3D printing is going to stay.