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3D Printing: All We Need To Know

What Is 3D Printing?

3D printing was invented in 1986 by a man named Chuck Hul. In 3D printing a digital image is taken in 3D form and then that digital file is turned into a physical object. While Hull went on to launch one of the world’s largest 3D printer manufacturers, 3D Systems, his invention concentrated solely on a fabrication process called Stereolithography (SLA). ‘3D printing’ can also be referred to as ‘additive manufacturing,’. 3D printers, work a bit like inkjet printers and build up 3D models layer by layer at up to 10 times the speed and a fifth the cost.

Need of 3D printing

Before the advent of softwares such as CAD, Auto-CAD, laser etc if you're in the business of developing new products and you need to show them off to clients or customers, nothing beats having a prototype: a model you can touch, hold, and feel. Only trouble is, models take ages to make by hand and the cost of making the model is very high. 
With the arrival of better technology, an idea called rapid prototyping (RP) grew up during the 1980s as a solution to this problem: it means developing models and prototypes by more automated methods, usually in hours or days. 3D printing is a logical extension of this idea.

Working of 3D printer

A 3D printer is like an inkjet printer operated from a computer. It builds up a 3D model one layer at a time, from the bottom upward, by repeatedly printing over the same area in a method known as fused depositional modeling (FDM). Working entirely automatically, the printer creates a model over a period of hours by turning a 3D CAD drawing into lots of two-dimensional, cross-sectional layers—effectively separate 2D prints that sit one on top of another, but without the paper in between. Instead of using ink, which would never build up to much volume, the printer deposits layers of molten plastic or powder and fuses them together (and to the existing structure) with adhesive or ultraviolet light.

Ink used in 3D printer

Models can't be made with liquid ink or solid power it can only be done with plastic. 3D printer works by ejecting molten plastic through a tiny nozzle. 3D printers use thermoplastics (plastics that melt when you heat them and turn solid when you cool them back down), and typically one called ABS(acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). It's perfect for 3D printing because it's a solid at room temperatures and melts at a little over 100°C (220°F), which is cool enough to melt inside the printer. Another useful property of ABS is that it's a whiteish-yellow color in its raw form, but pigments (the color chemicals in paint) can be added to make it virtually any color at all. 

You don't necessarily need to print in 3D with plastic, you can print objects using any molten material that hardens and sets reasonably quickly. 3D printers are also used for candies, choclates etc.

  • Application of 3D printer
  • Medicine
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Visualization
  • Personalized products

Here is a video showing how a object or model is created by 3D printer.

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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