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What is 3D printing?

3D printing is the process of making objects (usually plastic, but sometimes metal or composite material) from a digital model. Most 3D printers add material to the thing one very thin layer at a time, which is why 3D printers are classified as “additive manufacturing.”

How does 3D printing impact the economy? 3D printing may be a component of the maker movement, which has benefits to communities, education, entrepreneurship, and traditional enterprises. It helps foster the creation of latest products and new companies and teaches skills transferable into a good sort of technical and professional jobs.

How expensive is 3D printing compared to traditional manufacturing processes? That depends. it is less costly and takes far less time to make prototypes, jigs, tools, and fixtures using 3D printing. But once the setup and tooling costs are purchased, traditional manufacturing techniques like injection moulding can produce objects in volume more quickly and at a lower cost.

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How does 3D printing affect the availability chain? 3D printing is right for short-run manufacturing and little production jobs. It also allows spare parts to be “stored within the cloud,” so physical inventory isn’t required until there’s a requirement for an object. By delivering 3D objects across the world in digital form and printing locally, the value and time of shipping are often completely eliminated.

Can 3D printing transform the manufacturing industry? The manufacturing industry is undergoing a huge transformation of which 3D printing is one element. Other factors include an enormous increase in data volume and processing, improved analytics, improved human factors, and therefore the automation of varied production processes.





The analogy of printing isn’t perfect. Computer printers generally operate a row at a time. 3D printers work far more like plotters, moving a print head along both the X and Y axis to draw a pattern. within the case of a 3D printer, the pattern is typically drawn with plastic, not ink. What makes the 3D printer three-dimensional is that when a pattern is drawn, the print head moves up (or the print surface moves down), and another pattern is drawn on top of the primary.


How does 3D Printing Work?


There are 3 main steps in 3D printing.

The first step is that the preparation just before printing, once you design a 3D file of the thing you would like to print. This 3D file is often created using CAD software, with a 3D scanner or just downloaded from a web marketplace. Once you’ve got checked that your 3D file is prepared to be printed, you’ll proceed to the second step.

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The second step is the actual printing. First, you would like to settle on which material will best achieve the precise properties required for your object. the variability of materials utilized in 3D printing is extremely broad. It includes plastics, ceramics, resins, metals, sand, textiles, biomaterials, glass, food and even lunar dust! Most of those materials also leave many finishing options that enable you to realize the precise design result you had in mind, and a few others, like glass for instance, are still being developed as 3D printing material and aren’t easily accessible yet.

The third step is the finishing process. This step requires specific skills and materials. When the thing is first printed, often it can’t be directly used or delivered until it’s been sanded, lacquered or painted to finish it as intended.

The material chosen for the project will determine which printing methods are best suited. Among these, the foremost commonly used techniques for every group of materials are described next.

If you would like to use Plastic or Alumide

3d printing technology

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology:


is at the very entry of the market because it mainly employed by individuals. it’s probably the foremost popular printing method thanks to the number of printers available on the market. FDM is a reasonable 3D printing compared to other 3D printing technologies. This process works by the material being melted and extruded through a nozzle to 3D print a cross-section of an object each layer at a time. The bed lowers for every new layer and this process repeats until the thing is completed. Layer thickness determines the standard of the 3D print. Some FDM 3D printers have two or more print heads to print in multiple colours and use support for overhanging areas of a posh 3D print.

SLS Technology: Laser sintering may be a 3D printing technique consisting of the fabrication of an object by melting successive layers of powder together so as to make an object. the method most notably facilitates within the creation of complex and interlocking forms. it’s available for Plastic and Alumide.

If you would like to match these two technologies so as to seek out the simplest fitted to you, have a glance to our showdown FDM vs. SLS.
If you would like to use Resin or Wax
The technology you’ll need is that the photopolymerisation, a way that involves the solidification of photo-sensitive resin by means of a UV light. it’s employed by different 3D printing processes such as:


Stereolithography (SLA):


uses a vat of curable photopolymer resin. The build plate descends in small increments and therefore the liquid polymer is exposed to light where the UV laser draws a cross-section layer by layer. the method is repeated until a model has been created. the thing is 3D printed by pulling the thing out of the resin (bottom-up), which creates space for the uncured resin at rock bottom of the container and may then form a subsequent layer of the thing. Another method is to 3D print the thing by pulling it down into the tank with a subsequent layer being cured on the highest.


Digital Light Processing (DLP)


a projector is employed to cure photopolymer resin. this is often very almost like the SLA method except that rather than employing a UV laser to cure the photopolymer resin, a safelight (light bulb) is employed. Objects are created similarly to SLA with the thing being either pulled out of the resin, which creates space for the uncured resin at rock bottom of the container thus forming a subsequent layer of the thing, or down into the tank with a subsequent layer being cured at the highest.
Sculpteo uses DLP technology for Silver and Brass 3D printing. We 3D print a wax model first then, we use a lost-wax casting technique: a mould is formed around the wax before it’s melted and crammed with silver, creating your object.

Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) works by projecting an endless sequence of UV images, generated by a digital light projector, through an oxygen-permeable, UV-transparent window below a liquid resin bath. The dead zone created above the window maintains a liquid interface below the part. Above the dead zone, the curing part is drawn out of the resin bath.

MultiJet printers :


almost like Stereolithography, the high-quality PolyJet and MultiJet 3D printing processes use a UV light to crosslink a photopolymer. However, instead of scanning a laser to cure layers, a printer jet sprays tiny droplets of the photopolymer (similar to ink in an inkjet printer) within the shape of the primary layer. The UV lamp attached to the printer head crosslinks the polymer and locks the form of the layer in situ. The build platform then descends by one layer thickness, and more material is deposited directly onto the previous layer.

If you would like to use Metal
DLP combined with the lost-wax casting technique allows objects to be printed in 3D. Sculpteo uses DLP technology for Silver and Brass 3D prints. First, we 3D print a wax model. Then, we use a lost-wax casting technique: a mould is formed around the wax before it’s melted and crammed with silver, thus creating your object.


Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)


uses a laser as an influence source so as to sinter metal powder by aiming a laser and tracing a cross-section of the thing layer by layer. Direct Metal Laser SIntering is analogous to the selective laser sintering process.

Electron Beam Melting (EBM) uses a beam because of the power source rather than a laser to 3D print metal. A beam melts metal powder layer by layer within a high vacuum and may achieve full melting of the metal powder. This method can produce high-density metal parts thus retaining the material’s properties.

If you would like to use Multicolor, Binder Jetting is popular since you’ll create detailed 3D prints with colour. an automatic roller is employed to spread a layer of powder onto the build platform. Excess powder is pushed to the edges and ensures that the bed is crammed with a layer of packed powder. On a quick axis, the print heads apply a liquid binder and colour simultaneously to make a cross-section of the thing on the powder.

Selective Deposition Lamination may be a 3D printing using paper. This process is analogous to laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) rapid prototyping method. the method involves layers of adhesive-coated paper (or plastic or metal laminates) that are successively glued alongside a heated roller and move shape with a laser cutter layer by layer. A roller with the fabric moves each new sheet of fabric over the last and repeats the method until the thing is completed.


Triple-jetting technology (PolyJet)


utilized in Stratasys Objet500 Connex3, is the most advanced method of PolyJet 3D printing. This technology performs precise printing with three materials and thus makes three-colour mixing possible. to understand more about this technology, you’ll ask PolyJet & Multijet

The list of 3D printing technologies and processes continues to grow as 3D printing is usually changing. The 3D printing industry continues to innovate its hardware also because the materials and processes to make objects or parts. counting on many factors like budget, design or function, choosing the acceptable 3D printing also because the right material is vital. 3D printing can create many various 3D printed objects that were previously only fabricated through mass manufacturing methods.