Okay, so there has been a big hype about 3D printing this year in particular, but what is it and how does it actually work? I have done my research on this topic area and this article shares what I have discovered about the process of 3D printing, what it is used for and how it actually works.
3D printing, also widely known as additive manufacturing is the term given to making 3D objects from digital files. The whole concept is achieved by layering materials on top of each other by using additive processes. 3D printing is usually done by using a materials printer, in the last 10 years sales for these printers has increased dramatically, especially in the last couple of years proving the popularity of the concept. In simple terms the process of 3D printing works like this:
1. CAD (computer aided design) is used to create a 3D model design
2. IT software then cuts/slices this CAD model into many thin layers
3. Lasers found within the 3D printer then paints a layer of material about 1mm thick which is then hardened
4. The process of printing each material layer, allowing them to harden and then building them on top of each other basically continues until the model is complete. As each layer is extremely thin the process can take hours or even days.
The printers work similarly to inkjet printers but obviously use different materials to create the 3D models, materials such as molten plastic, waxes, powders and other materials. The process is very clever and 3D printers are now becoming more and more popular with manufacturers, engineers, designers and many other industries due to the development in recent years of different technologies that greatly aids 3D printing. There are many different methods used in 3D printing however they all use the same process of building objects layer by layer which is why 3D printing is in professional terms referred to as additive manufacturing.
As the concept is becoming more well known and popular it is not just businesses that can benefit from 3D printing technology, individuals can use it in creating models owing to their hobbies or to test out a new idea allowing for a small model to be produced quickly without the need to wait for design agencies to produce.
If you would like anymore information on 3D printing and how it can turn your ideas into reality take a look at iClick 3D Printing.