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3D Printers: A Starter’s Guide

by: Joseph | 18 September 2019

A 3D printer is a machine that allows the creation of a physical object from a 3-dimensional digital model created in software. Laying down many thin layers of material in succession is the process of doing this. This method is additive manufacturing or 3D Printing. It is unlike the conventional machining, casting, and forging processes. The first thing is removing the material from a stock item or pouring into a mold. Then shaping it using dies, presses, and hammers.

One of its key advantages is the ability to produce very complex shapes or geometries. Also, a prerequisite for producing any 3D printed part is a digital 3D model or a CAD file.

The most commonly used 3D-printing process is a material extrusion technique called fused deposition modeling. FDM is a 3D printing process that uses a continuous filament of a thermoplastic material. The filament is fed from a large coil through a moving, heated printer extruder head and set it down on the growing work.

3D Printing covers a variety of processes. The materials are joined and solidified under computer control to create a 3-dimensional object. After that, the materials are added together, typically layer by layer. In the 1990s, many believed that 3d printing technology was suitable only for the production of functional or aesthetic prototypes. The right term for it was rapid prototyping. As of 2019, repeatability and material range has increased. It came to the point that some 3D-printing processes happened to be viable as an industrial production technology.

 

Why Is 3D Printing Revolutionary?

3D printing is one of the most promising pieces of technology that we have today. A part of it is due to its capabilities in rendering a 3D model made in software into reality. Most companies are now looking into the tech to save money.

Currently, there are more branches of the economy that is using 3D Printing. This went from universities and large corporations using it experimentally to becoming readily available and ordered online. More people can try it out. They can make their works using 3D printing.

Photo by James Horton on Horton Marketing Solutions

 

Applications Of 3D Printers

With the rise of 3D printing came people who wish to use it in various fields of science and industry. Currently, its application is in creating models of hearts and organs for medical practice and training aids. Moreover, it is also used to create prototypes of various other techs to ascertain its viability and usability in the future. These examples are just a drop in the ocean on what 3D printing can currently do. There are still researches and discoveries of its applications until today.

Another field which is aware of the potential of 3D printing is the automotive industry. The technology allows for rapid prototyping of not only elements of the body but also individual components. The future of 3D printing in manufacturing cars is looking brighter and brighter. Experts predict that it will be possible to easily print spare parts, personalize your car, and increase the speed of production.

Photo by rndvexma on gCreate

 

A New Way For Industry To Progress

For the uninitiated, 3D printing might seem childish and toy-like. After all, what can you print in a 3D printer? A small trinket or a figurine of a video game character, right? 3D printing is a powerful technology. Besides, it is already providing significant savings to companies. Its future is even more promising.

We have made new strides. However, the question that’s often asked is, “Why 3D printing? Where can the technology be used for?” Start by showing examples of minor and simple 3D printed items. Moreover, it can be cheaper as well. However, 3D printing is very useful when you know how to utilize it. It will be useful, too, if you know what you want to achieve. The technology has a wide range of prospects. More and more universities are establishing departments focused on 3D printing. Moreover, many companies value skills related to 3D printing. Hence, experts in the field of 3D printing are in high demand.

As stated above, scientists and industry veterans are still researching about 3D Printing. Moreover, they want to know its uses other than what we stated in this article. Most companies now use them to create spare parts for machines as well as solutions which facilitate work. Now it is an indispensable part of R&D and design departments. It is for the reason that it can create things easily. If it’s introduced to any major or minor sector in the world, it’s almost guaranteed to accelerate work time and cut down costs.

Photo by Annie Rosenthal on SocialGood

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