In our world today, technology is advancing by the day, and it is helping us come up with quicker, better and more efficient ways of doing our work. One of those advancements that people now use nowadays is 3D printing. 3D printing also referred to as additive manufacturing is a process that uses a digital design to produce a physical object. There are many 3D printing materials and technologies that you can print with, but all use the same principle. They add material layer by layer to turn a digital model into a solid three-dimensional physical object. In this article, we shall discuss all you’d want to know about 3D printing starting with the fundamentals before providing more professional knowledge that will be essential once you start.
Every 3D print starts with a blueprint which is in the form of a digital 3D design file for a physical object. Trying to print a physical item without first creating the design file is like attempting to print on paper with no text file. The second step sending the design file to the printer after slicing it into thin layers. The printing process will vary depending on the technology used beginning with desktop printers which melt the plastic material after they lay it on a print platform to the industrial machines which utilize a laser to melt the metal at high temperatures selectively. The time it takes to print depends on the printed objects and their size, and it may take hours.
The materials available also differ according to the type of printer used. These materials include metals, plastics, rubber, sandstones, and alloys. There is an increasing amount of supplies that enter the market each year.
Although most people regard 3D printing as a futuristic idea, it has been in use for more than thirty ears. The first 3D process was known as stereolithography and was invented in 1983. But, 3D printing has gotten a lot of hype today because of the expiry of patents last year that restricted its use to primarily industrial uses. 3D printer revenues have been increasing ever since, and as the additive manufacturing patents continue to expire, we expect more improvements in the coming years. Today, there are approximately 300,000 consumer 3D printers in use throughout the world.
It is vital to know that 3D printing is an engineering that is developing quickly. With this, it comes with its advantages over the traditional manufacturing processes. With 3D printing, we can now create complicated designs which are effortlessly customizable to match any jobs. There’s no need for tools and molds which results in some decrease in the fixed charges. 3D printing has also made it faster and easier to prototype and it’s a less dangerous route and to the market.
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