N/APosted on - 06/03/2015
I need to prepare a document on 3D printing technology. Can someone please elaborate on what is 3D printing technology? I have absolutely no idea on this, so I need to know the basics like what type of machines print 3D objects and what materials do they use to print it. How is the look and feel of the same? Is this technology very costly to be afforded? How much space does a 3D printer requires?
Is 3D printing technology useful for common people
The process of producing or creating a three dimensional solid matter from a digital file is referred to as 3D Printing. The additive process is used in making a 3D print in that an object is created by laying down successive layers of materials till the entire desired from is made. One may ask how does the 3D printing operates? With a three dimensional modelling programme such as AutoCard, 3D Max, Maya, etc. one can design virtual image of an object for production. The 3D scanner can also be used in making digital copies of the current object. The 3D scanner uses distinctive technological process to create a 3D model. With Microsoft and Google company for example making their hardware to support and perform 3D scanning in recent times, indicates that in some few times in the future, smartphones and devices will have 3D scanners incorporated in them hence the making of 3D prints will be as easy as taking shots of pictures. During the preparation of a file for 3D print, the three dimensional modelling software divides the final figure or object modelled into hundreds (at least) or thousands (maximum) of horizontal layers. The object is then formed in layers on layers as the cut up files are uploaded in a 3D printer. Each cut up portions of the image is interpreted as the object is formed with barely any trace of layers resulting in the formation of the 3D piece. However, not all 3D printers use the same technology in performing or achieving a 3D print. Although all the processes used are additive, they differ primarily in how layers are formed or build in the creation of the final object. The Selective Laser Sintering which is abbreviated as SLS and Fused Deposition Modelling abbreviated as FDM are the very popular technologies employing this means of printing. An alternative method of printing worth considering is the use of a UV laser to cure a photo-reactive resin with a layer at a time. This technology is popularly known as Stereolithography (SLA). According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Group, there are seven groupings of additive manufacturing processes and these are:
Powder Bed Fusion
Directed Energy Deposition
You can read more about these processes listed above. Buying a 3D printer for use ranges from USD40.99 to USD 22,000. However, it all depends on the purpose (personal or commercial use).