3D printing

Nidhi Singh
3D printer
A 3D printer
picture credit: youtube.com

What is 3D printing?

The procedure by which one can design a three dimensional object. Utilizing a digital representation of the same, is known as 3D printing.

It is also known as additive manufacturing. As here consecutive sheet of materials are added one after another. In order to create a physical object. However, you can even see the sheets of the final object. It is just like a finely segmented horizontal cross-section.

Therefore, it is worthwhile. As it is helpful in creating complex designs. By utilizing lesser materials. In comparison to the traditional manufacturing.

How 3D printing works?

how 3D printing works?
Working of a 3D printing

Let’s discuss the working explicitly.

1)Firstly, design a digital 3D image of the object. That is, the blueprint of the physical object. You can construct this 3D image using CAD software. That is computer-aided design software (CAD). It is a 3D software. Which is employed to make a 3D image.

making of a 3D image using CAD for 3D printing
Making of a 3D image using CAD
picture credit: lifewire.com

Therefore, this is how you could make a 3D image utilizing a 3D software.

Note: You can also download a 3D image from a 3D repository. And you can create it yourself. Utilizing an app, a 3D scanner, or a 3D modeling software.

2)Secondly, transmit the CAD file to the 3D printer. After that, the building process of the 3D model starts inside the 3D printer. Where, the 3D printer’s software cut this model into a fine 2-dimensional layers. And then its changed into a series of instructions in machine language. Then, the printer executes these instructions.

Let’s have a view on the interior parts of a 3D printer.

labeled 3D printer
Interior parts of a 3D printer

3)At last, the 3D printer adds the consecutive layers of the material one after another. And finally, constructs the final object from a sequence of cross-section. The most usual material used here is plastic. You can also use metals.

3D printer printing 3D object
3D printer printing a 3D object
picture credit: aisat.ac.in

Note:

  • The printing typically completes in about 4 to 18 hours. Which basically, depends upon the size of the object. And the category of printer used.
  • The models prepared by this process are not ready to use. They require some further physical efforts for attaining appropriate level of finishing.

Let’s watch a 2 minutes video for understanding the clear concept.

Benefits

You must know the significance of 3D printing nowadays. As it is a quick expanding technology. So, let’s discuss its benefits over the traditional manufacturing.

The Benefits of 3D printing are as follows:

  • Easy manufacturing of complex shapes: It is easy to manufacture a complex shape in 3D printing. In comparison to other manufacturing methods. The additive manufacturing here is helpful in constructing complex geometries at lower price. As lesser materials are used here.
geometrically complex shapes
Geometrically complex shapes
picture credit: 3ders.org
metal casting in 3D printing
Metal casting in 3D printing
picture credit: 3dprototypesandmodels.com.au
  • Cheap start-up cost: The 3D printing does not needs any startup costs. As here, the cost of the made object is based on the quantity of material used. And the time taken by the printer to print the object. For example, in metal casting each and every part needs exclusive mold. Because of which the cost is high here. So, thousands of similar parts are manufactured simultaneously in traditional manufacturing methods. But in 3D printing you do not need any technical tooling. So, the start-up cost is too low.

There are many such benefits of 3D printing. Which we will learn in details in the upcoming articles. Where we will also see the limitations of 3D printing.

Applications

The applications of 3D printing are as follows:

applications of 3D printing
Applications of 3D prnting
picture credit: autodesk.com
  • Aerospace,
  • Automotive,
  • Robotics,
  • Tooling,
  • Healthcare,
  • Design,
  • Cinema,
  • Education etc.

We will discuss all the applications in detail in the upcoming articles.

So, this was a small overview of the topic. Where you learned about its working, benefits, and applications.

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