An innovative method of production
3D printing, also called Rapid Manufacturing or Additive Manufacturing, is a production technique which converts digital data into real objects. Layer by layer, the product is shaped by the device called 3D printer. From a flower pot to medical parts, with this production technique, you can create whatever you want, and the possibilities are almost endless. What is more, very complex shapes can be achieved thanks to 3D printing. Does it sound too good to be true? This method of production has been around for over 25 years and is applied in many areas. More and more artists and designers use 3D printing to create unusual objects. Moreover, 3D printing is booming in the medical and scientific fields.
Why is it so popular?
3D printing is gaining popularity as it becomes more and more accessible to people. This technology has become cheaper, and the quality of the machines has also been improved over the years. Thanks to the diverse software and services, 3D printing is presently within reach of “ordinary consumers”. With the emergence of the “home 3D printer”, the process of making is no longer available to professional manufacturers only but is one step closer to the consumer.
3D printing is not a technology that works in one and the same way. There are different methods of printing a 3D object. However, the principle always remains identical. It is all about superimposing layers of material according to the XYZ coordinates transmitted from 3D file to a 3D printer. Professional designers and architects use special design software such as Rhinoceros, AutoCAD or SolidWorks to plan the final product.
How does a 3D printer work?
There are two different ways of 3D printing, and each of them requires a different type of printer. One method applies a plastic thread (filament) that is printed layer by layer. As soon as a digital object is sent to the printer, the device glues together heated plastic. With different colours of plastic, a 3D print can look just like you want.
Another method of 3D printing uses special powder to create an object. The printer applies the main powder to glue the model. Then open spaces are filled with filler powder so that the object won’t collapse immediately.
3D printer capabilities
3D printing offers opportunities for both consumers and companies. As a consumer, you can design a small 3D object yourself and then print it. In this way, you can create surprising gifts for your beloved ones or decorate your home. However, buying a 3D printer as a company is relatively easier to bear because it’s a significant investment. More and more businesses are discovering 3D printing as a handy tool for making prototypes of their products. It’s no longer necessary to spend days making models - with the help of a 3D printer; you can make a detailed model of your drawing in a short time. 3D printing is also suitable for creating unique promotional gifts.