Our Guide to Understanding 3D Printing
Nowadays, printing materials are necessary, whether they’re for manufacturing, medical, industrial, or socio-cultural applications (such as art, jewellery, 3D selfies, speciality materials). 3D printing has been all the rage these days, no matter the industries you’re in.
3D printing was first introduced back in the 80s. However, it has grown rapidly for the past three decades. It was in 2005 when 3D printing became aggressive and paved the way to what it is today — able to be used for various applications. In fact, printing objects has never been easier and more affordable than it is today.
In the following section, we’ll learn more about how 3D printing works, what its types are, and what features or benefits it offers.
How 3D printing works
Let’s get into the basics of 3D printing. Below is the difference in the functions of the past and of today:
- Past: 3D printers were mostly used for making prototypes for testing and correcting design flaws in the past. Today they still serve that function but are used to manufacture products on a large scale.
- Today: The printing technology now makes use of a CAD (computer-aided design) file, an image generated along the x-,y-, and z-axis. This file serves as the digital blueprint with components printed in multiple layers. These components are then combined to form a final object or prototype.
Common types of 3D printers
3D printing is revolutionising multiple industries because of endless customisation. It is known for its speed, accuracy, and precision. It can be sorted into the following common types of 3D printers:
- FDM: A Fused Deposition Modeling printer is ideal for printing personal home projects rather than for industrial use. With this printer type, the thermoplastic material is fed into the printer’s nozzle. As a result, the material is turned into a molten state and used to print thin layers of the object based on an uploaded CAD file.
- SLA: A Stereolithography printer utilizes liquid resin, photopolymer, and UV light for printing. This creates quality prototypes that have high-resolution and accuracy.
- SLS: A Selective Laser Sintering printer is said to be the most expensive because of its efficiency and quality as a printing solution. It uses printing materials like silicate and metal, which are then melted using a laser and fused to form the object. The printed outputs are produced durably with the finest details.
3D printing features and benefits
3D printing is an excellent printing solution with valuable features and benefits that one cannot simply ignore. They are the following:
- Speed: 3D printers produce a prototype that can be ready in a matter of hours. Even sign corrections can be made quickly. In the past, conventional means of manufacturing would take several days or even weeks to produce a finished prototype.
- One-step manufacturing process: The entire manufacturing process of 3D printing is automated, which can be performed in a few hours with a single step. In the past, traditional production was complex and time-consuming.
- Modern-day applications: Today, 3-D printing can be used for various modern applications. It is used in manufacturing, medical, industrial, or socio-cultural entities.
3D printing is used for various applications in different industries. Consider the types of 3D printing best suited for you or your business, and rely on its speed, manufacturing process, and many modern-day applications. 3D printing has come a long way, from a crude form of printing to a robust printing solution that it is today.
If you’re looking for a 3D printing service, get in touch with us today to see how we can help today!