Bringing a different dimension to materialistic items wouldn’t have seemed like a realistic dream two decades back, but things are indeed changing with the shift in technological innovations. As the world is progressing into an age of digital marvels, the 3D technology scope is also broadening. The generation of an object in 3D form doesn’t follow a pattern of creating magic on the IMAX screens. Additive processes are involved in the creation of a 3D printed object.
Successive layers of any material are laid down in this process to add more flair and life into the final product. For anyone who is less aware of the process involved, a thin slice of an object’s cross-section would be the size of a single layer being molded. Traditional manufacturing methods use more material than 3D printing, which is one of the main reasons people prefer this new technique. Let us look at more details of the 3D printing technology.
How Does the Process Work?
To work on a 3D object, you will need to start with a model that you create for yourself or download from one of the available repositories. A haptic device, a 3D scanner, code, or app would be the ideal option when creating a model by yourself. If you are planning to buy software for the process, you must look into the products’ features. Open-source software can be a good option since it is free, but if you would like to explore more facets of a 3D printer, buying an industrial-grade software mighty be the better idea. Although it will cost you thousands a year for the license, the results are worth every penny you invest.
After creating a 3D model with software, you need to slice the object, meaning you have to prepare a file for the printer. In this process, you have to divide a model into multiple horizontal layers using the slicing software. You can feed the raw files into the printer if it has a built-in slicer. Once the file is sliced, feed it into the printer; do it using an SD, USB, or the internet. The sliced 3D model you created can now be printed on the machine by adding a new layer after the completion of a single thin layer.
Growth of the 3D Printing Technology
The industry has grown exponentially in the past few years by covering major sectors like aviation, construction, consumer products, healthcare, aerospace, food, and education. 3D printers are now being used to manufacture eyewear, furniture, functional end-use parts, footwear, architectural and construction tools, prosthetics, dental products, and movie props. It can also reconstruct fossils, replicate artifacts, and resurface evidence as support for the forensic department.
With the industry’s growth came a new wave of innovations with multiple types of processes and technologies. Binder jetting, vat photopolymerization, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, and directed energy deposition are the major processes involved in the new type of 3D printing.