What is 3D printing? (Lesson 1)
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
Three-Dimensional printing, also known as additive manufacturing is the process where instead of using traditional methods such as subtractive manufacturing, CNC milling, or mold pouring, a machine would add layer by layer guided by computers until the entire product is finished, comprised of dozens of layers. Manufacturing products this way saves time, saves waste, and saves resources, but most importantly, saves money.
How does 3D printing work?
It all starts with making a virtual design of the object you want to create. This virtual design is made in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using a 3D modeling program (for the creation of a totally new object)
Processes and technologies
Not all 3D printers use the same technology. There are several ways to print and all those available are additive, differing mainly in the way layers are build to create the final object.
Some methods use melting or softening material to produce the layers. Selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) are the most common technologies using this way of printing. Another method of printing is when we talk about curing a photo-reactive resin with a UV laser or another similar power source one layer at a time. The most common technology using this method is called stereolithography (SLA).
We can classify the Additive Manufacturing processes into 7 categories according to Standard Terminology for Additive Manufacturing Technologies. These seven processes are:
1. Material Extrusion (FDM)
2. Binder Jetting
3. Directed Energy Deposition
4. Material Jetting
5. Powder Bed Fusion
6. Sheet Lamination
7. Vat Photopolymerisation
1. Material Extrusion
The most commonly used technology in this process is Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
Fused deposition modelling (FDM)
a method of rapid prototyping:
1 – nozzle ejecting molten material (plastic),
2 – deposited material (modelled part),
3 – controlled movable table
The FDM technology works using a plastic filament or metal wire which is unwound from a coil and supplying material to an extrusion nozzle which can turn the flow on and off. The nozzle is heated to melt the material and can be moved in both horizontal and vertical directions by a numerically controlled mechanism, directly controlled by a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software package. The object is produced by extruding melted material to form layers as the material hardens immediately after extrusion from the nozzle. This technology is most widely used with two plastic filament material types: ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PLA (Polylactic acid) but many other materials are available ranging in properties from wood filed, conductive, flexible etc.
Examples & applications of 3D printing
Applications include rapid prototyping, architectural scale models & maquettes, healthcare (3d printed prosthetics and printing with human tissue) and entertainment (e.g. film props).
Other examples of 3D printing would include reconstructing fossils in paleontology, replicating ancient artifacts in archaeology, reconstructing bones and body parts in forensic pathology and reconstructing heavily damaged evidence acquired from crime scene investigations.
3D printing industry
The worldwide 3D printing industry is expected to grow from $3.07B in revenue in 2013 to $12.8B by 2018, and exceed $21B in worldwide revenue by 2020. As it evolves, 3D printing technology is destined to transform almost every major industry and change the way we live, work, and play in the future.
The outlook for medical use of 3D printing is evolving at an extremely rapid pace as specialists are beginning to utilize 3D printing in more advanced ways. Patients around the world are experiencing improved quality of care through 3D printed implants and prosthetics never before seen.
Personal 3D printing or domestic 3D printing is mainly for hobbyists and enthusiasts and really started growing in 2011.
Not everybody can afford or is willing to buy their own 3D printer. Does this mean you cannot enjoy the possibilities of 3D printing? No, not to worry. There are 3D printing service contact 3D Arts Inc. www.3DArts.ca
It is predicted by some additive manufacturing advocates that this technological development will change the nature of commerce, because end users will be able to do much of their own manufacturing rather than engaging in trade to buy products from other people and corporations.
3D printers capable of outputting in colour and multiple materials already exist and will continue to improve to a point where functional products will be able to be output. With effects on energy use, waste reduction, customization, product availability, medicine, art, construction and sciences, 3D printing will change the manufacturing world as we know it.
If you’re interested in more future predictions regarding 3D printing, check out with 3D Arts Inc. www.3DArts.ca
and it is prediction by 3DArts Inc. that soon every home will have 3d printer in the kitchen