How does 3D printer work?
3D printing is not new, but it’s now becoming more accessible to everyday consumers. This innovative technology can fulfil very specific needs of clients because of responsiveness and adaptability it offers. With a 3D printer, you can create personalized objects. That’s why this device is essential for the professional world.
3D printing allows you to make all the objects you want in 3 dimensions. To do it, it’s necessary to have the 3D model of the desired object (written in STL file for example) so that the printer knows what to print. Once the file containing the model is sent to your 3D printer, the second step is to insert the filament into the printers head (called an extruder). This filament is heated and used as a material to create a series of horizontal layers. A 3D printing is, therefore, a sequence of hundreds of (very) thin layers of material.
What can you print with a 3D printer?
The possibilities of 3D printing are amazing and almost endless. No form is impossible, and this production technique opens the way of creation that would be difficult to achieve with traditional production methods. Nowadays, 3D printing is used in art, food, automotive, aeronautic, film, education, fashion, and many more sectors! So, what can you print with a 3D printer? The answer is everything. The only two limits are the size of the printer and the imagination of its user. 3D prints can range from microscopic objects (nano 3D) to enormous, several meters ones (one day it will be possible to print entire house). By using basic materials such as sand or stone, in future people will be able to explore new universes and create habitats in space by using what is available on asteroids or elsewhere. Nowadays, scientists use 3D models to repair coral reefs and other elements of the ecosystem. What is more, different pieces of furniture such as a headboard or a coffee table can now be made according to the owners’ favourite theme.
What can you make with a “home” 3D printer?
Having such a device provides you with a possibility to create small plastic objects, hardly larger than 10 cm. However, if you choose a professional machine, you can create larger items using various materials (ceramic, cement, resins, metals). Of course, professional 3D printers are also more durable.
Thanks to robotics and automation, our world is becoming a highly interactive and self-controlling environment. Numerous factories are now entirely monitored and operated from a distance. With 3D printers, it is now possible to design and manufacture a small series of personalized robots adapted to the fields in which mass production is not economically profitable. 3D machines are also able to build complex parts of specific products.
Different printing materials
3D printers can use various materials in different colours to create objects (PLA, ABS, HIPS, Nylon, wood, copper, epoxy and many more). Some 3D printers require the use of a proprietary filament, but most machines are compatible with various filaments, making it possible to choose cheaper products. The majority of 3D printers use filament with a diameter of 1.75mm, however, some of them melt filament with a diameter of 2.85mm. It is recommended to keep the filament in room temperature, protected from light (you can store it in a box) and avoid humidity.