What is 3D Printing?
3D printing is also known as the additive manufacturing (AM) that contains numerous process of creating a three dimensional objects that are solid from a digital file.
In 3D printing, an industrial robot is used, the so called 3D printer. 3D printing also refers to the process that consecutively bond the materials into a powder bed with the inkjet printer heads. In terms of 3D printing, the successive layers of the materials are being formed under the control of the computer to make an object.
The construction of a 3D printed objects is accomplished by means of the additive processes. In the process of the “additive process” the object is being generated by putting down the sequential layers of the materials until the whole object is formed.
How Does 3D Printing Works?
In the process of creating the 3D object, there are lots of methods that a single material undergoes, and each method have its own purpose, drawbacks and the advantages.
The major difference is that in the way the layers are being deposited in order to create the parts of the objects and so does the materials that are going to use in the whole process.
It all starts with the building of the virtual scheme of the object that wants to be created. This virtual scheme or the design is being made and operated through the use of the computer aided design, or popularly known as the CAD, file using a program for 3D modelling or with the use of the 3D scanner. Through the use of this, a 3D digital copy of the object is created. Here’s how the 3D printing works:
- The Vat Photopolymerisation– every 3D printer has a container that is specially jam-packed with the photopolymer resin which is formerly toughened with the source of UV light. SLA (stereolithography) is the most frequently used technology in the whole process. It works the vat of liquid ultraviolet remediable photopolymer resin and the ultraviolet laser for it to be able to build the layers of the objects one at a time. Each layer, laser beams traces the cross-section of part that has pattern on the superficial of the liquid resin. The exposure to the ultraviolet light from the laser solidifies and cures the pattern that is traced on the resin and links it to the layer underneath.
- Material Jetting– under this process, the material is smeared by droplets over and done with a minor diameter nozzle, this is parallel the ways how the printer, inkjet paper, works, but in this process it is smeared one at a time to create platform making the 3D piece and then tough by the UV light.
- Binder Jetting– here two materials are being used, the liquid binder and the powder base material. Here, in the build chamber, the powder is extent into equal layers and the binder is smeared through the jet nozzles that glues the particles in the silhouette of the programmed 3D object. The objects that are finished are glued together.
- Material Extrusion– Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), the most common used technology. This works using the plastic filament or a metal wire. The nozzle is being heated to melt all the materials and moved in vertical and horizontal directions by the numerical mechanism controlled.
- Powder Bed Fusion– selective laser sintering (SLS), this uses a high powered laser to fused all the particles of the ceramic, metal, plastic and even glass powders into a physique that has the desired three dimensional figure. The process has a scanning cross-section and each cross-section the powder bed is being pull down by one layer and another layer is being applied.
- Sheet Lamination– this involves all the materials in sheet which is tend to bound together with the external force. The said sheets can be paper, metal or some form of polymer.
- Directed Energy Deposition– this is mostly used in high technology metal industry and also in a rapid manufacturing of applications.
Different 3D Printing Technologies
- Stereolithography– this is a 3D printing technique that can be used to contrivance all the projects that encompass 3D printing of the objects.
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)– this is very similar to stereolithography, this is applicable also to cellphones and movie projectors.
- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)– an individual can print not only the functional prototypes but also the concepts models and all the final-end-use products.
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)– this method uses the laser as the power source in able to form all the 3D objects.
- Selective Laser Melting (SLM)– this method is also commonly used by many, this uses 3D CAD data’s as the source and forms the 3D object through the high-power laser beam that melts and fuses the metallic powder together.
- Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)– this kind 3d printing method and technology is a powder bed fusion method similar to the SLM.
- Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)– this is more rapid system of prototyping compared to others.
Examples and Applications of 3D Printing
Application of 3D printing includes the rapid prototyping, maquettes and also architectural scale models, the healthcare and also the entertainment. Here are some of the examples of the 3D printing:
- Reconstructing of the fossils in the field of paleontology.
- Replicating the ancient artifacts in the field of archeology.
- Reconstructing of the body parts and the bones in forensic pathology.
- Rebuilding of the profoundly damage proof that can be used in the crime scene investigations.
Applications of 3D Printing
In today’s generation, 3D printing is very important especially to those architectures and engineers who needs prototype in presenting the future plans of the future buildings.
With its capacity to print 3D objects, it is capable of outputting multiple and color materials that already exists. 3D printing will definitely change the world of manufacturing as everyone knows it.
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