3D printers are an excellent example of advanced technology. They are quite affordable to hit the mainstream. You cannot compare a 3D printer from your old school printers. Like their name, a 3D printer prints 3-dimensional things and are very exciting to use. Especially if you are a hobbyist, you will love to play with a 3D printer. They are a little bit in resemblance with the photo printers; however, the difference is that instead of creating dull 2D objects, 3D printers create objects in 3-dimensions.
3D printers are trending, and you can easily purchase one from the nearest retailer like staples, best buy, or home depot. You can also order one online via Amazon.com or other sites. 3D printers are very common in use at schools, offices, design studios, and many other places. Investing is a 3D printer is an option as it is worth the quality you receive in return.
Introduction to 3D printing
We will educate you with all you need to know about a 3D printer, including when was the first 3D printer made? The first 3D printer was built in the mid-1980s by Charles W. Hull with the help of a technique known as stereolithography.. The stereolithography technique is an expensive technique used for commercial purposes. Also, it was Stratasys who introduced the first 3D printer in the markets back in 1990s. A variety of materials help to create a 3D printer, such as plastic or metal. It does not matter whether the file is built on a computer-aided design or computer-aided manufacturing; 3D printers can turn digital files into 3 Dimensional data.
Now, you must be keen to know what exactly 3D printing is? In 3D printing, a 3-dimensional object is created by laying down the material layer by layer. A 3D printer is not a traditional printer but still can be considered printing. The original Webster definition is in no relation with 3D printing, but technically we can say that 3D printing has outgrown from traditional printing itself. As compared to a conventional printer, a 3D printer prints so thin that the height is not noticeable. 3-dimensional printers extend the height of the object by applying multiple layers. However, it is fair to extend the relevant definition of printers to add the workings of 3 Dimensional printers as well.
How is 3D printing done?
3D printers are almost as same to use as traditional printers. These include using a variety of technologies. The following are the various methods in which 3D printing is done.
One of the most common techniques used is Fused Deposition Modeling or Fused Filament Fabrication and Stereolithography. In Fused Deposition Modeling, a filament is melted that composes of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polylactic acid, or some other thermoplastic. It is then deposited in layers with the help of a heated extrusion nozzle. On the other hand, in stereolithography, a UV laser is beamed in a vat of ultraviolet-sensitive photopolymer to trace the object developed on its surface. As the beam touches the polymer, it solidifies and prints the object according to the instructions given in the file it is using to work.
Another method in 3D printing is Digital light projector. It uses a digital light processing projector and exposes liquid polymer to the light. Each layer then solidifies the polymer until the object is created, and the rest of the liquid polymer drains off.
Selective laser sintering (SLS) and Electron beam melting (EBM) are the other two methods. SLS uses a potent laser to fuse particles of plastic, metal, or glass. In this method, the rest of the material is recycled at the end. In EBM, the metal powder is melted layer by layer using an electron beam. The content that is often used with EBM is titanium to manufacture parts of aircraft as well as medical implants.
What is the purpose to use 3D printers?
Many people use 3D printers in different professions like artists, designers, archeologists, physicians, and medical technicians, and the list goes on. Designers create product models and prototypes with the help of 3D printers. There is an increase in the making of final products using 3D printers. Many other items like shoe designs, tools, tripods, furniture, toys, novelty items, and wax castings for making jewelry can be created with the help of 3D printers.
3D printers are also very productive in use for artists and architectures. Architectures can use it in their projects to fabricate models, and artists can make sculptures by using 3D printers. Also, 3D printers are proved to be a great source of help for paleontologists and their students as well. They can use it to create replica models of dinosaurs and other fossils.
Another exciting way to use a 3D printer is in food preparation. An open-source 3d printer was created at Cornell University and the French culinary institute is utilizing it in order to create artistic delicacies. Also, a 3D food printer known as Cornucopia has been developed by MIT, which is still in the testing procedure by a small number of restaurants. However, only a handful of food 3D printers is yet available.
Benefits of using a 3D printer
A 3-dimensional printer comes with various benefits.
- With 3D printers, professionals can quickly turn their concepts into 3-dimensional models, which are also known as rapid prototypes.
- It improves inventory management and saves warehouse space as the objects are manufactured on demands and need not to be produced in bulk.
- It is a great help especially to the people in backward areas who can use 3D printers to fabricate objects. Such facilities are not easily accessible to them.
- 3D printers make work easy and quick by letting the users print even complex 3D object like for example electronic devices in their own place.
- Practically, we can say that 3D printing saves time, material, and money. Its main aim is to change the nature of manufacturing.