What Can 3D Printing Do?

December 22, 2017 by  Filed under: Computer 
 

3D printing has the power to change the way in which we manufacture things as a whole. It can do some pretty cool stuff, read more to find out how.

3D printing has definitely been blowing up in the last fewyears. In my opinion, I believe 3D printing is on its exponential curve forexpansion and development. Right now, it’s going straight up. There is aconsistent demand for do it yourself enthusiasts and “makers” in the world, andthere are quite a few people ready to fill in that demand. As it is becomingmuch easier to manufacture at an individual level, we will see the rise of inventors,new ideas, and a new expansion in product development. Before we even jump intothat, let me answer this question for you. What is 3D printing?

 

This technology is a form of manufacturing that allows forthe creation of pretty much anything out of a variety of materials and sizes.Typically, a 3D printer can’t produce parts much bigger than a large RC planeor a motorcycle helmet. However, there has been a rise in the potential andpossibility of prints. There have actually been printers which can manufacturebuildings out of concrete! Printing entire buildings! There is definitely avariety of sizes. 3D printing is essentially the layer by layer creation ofwhatever you need. A printer head, ultraviolet light, laser, or whatever willactually lay down layers of material down, one layer at a time. These layerswill continue to stack until a final piece is made. These layers will typicallybe less than .3mm in width, but each print typically consists of dozens if nothundreds of layers. These printers can give designers a ton of freedom in whatthey can make, as the designers don’t have to worry about as many design rules.The layer by layer process of 3D printing can create pretty much anything thatcan be designed on the computer, because there isn’t material removal, butmaterial is laid down. Intricate centers are available through this technology.Hollow spaces are very popular. Aside from that, there are also a ton of grovesand curves available for use within models. There are a ton of options!

 

3D printers can create products in various sizes, with verylittle limitations as to what can be designed, but I want to cover some of thematerials offered throughout this technology known as 3D printing. In fact,there are over 100 materials to choose from! That means that there is amaterial for pretty much any material that you would ever need. There arevarious mechanical materials for use. Some are flame retardants such asprimepart. Titanium is a material which is actually used on the outside ofjets. Inconel is a material which can withstand extreme heat, and is used injet engines. Basic metals such as stainless steel and aluminum are alsoavailable. Full color materials are available in sandstone like composites.Various plastics are available in various colors. There are even rubber likematerials, offered by objet. Other materials exist in the world of 3D printingsuch as wax casts. These materials typically offer very high detail and burnout easily.

 

In a nutshell, 3D printing is here to stay. It is constantlyimproving, and it will change the way that we look at manufacturing within thenext few years. 

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