Selasa, 28 Agustus 2012

How Far Has 3D Printing Come?

3D printing is a very fascinating technology in my opinion. This technology has been working to change the way that we manufacture things. Products and pieces all across the spectrum are coming about, including buildings, jewelry, parts to weapons, prototypes, and even organs. The variety of 3D printed pieces is pretty extensive.

3D printing gives users the chance to create pretty much anything. The variety is very extensive. Essentially, 3D printing is the layer by layer creation of virtually any object out of one over 100 materials. There are materials for a large variety of purposes. Some materials are flexible and offer rubber-like attributes. Other materials are great for high detail and casting, making it a good choice for jewelry. Quite a few mechanical materials exist out there, for instance - titanium. Titanium is used as the outer shell for jets going into space. Inconel is also a good material, known for withstanding high heats. This material is commonly found inside of jet engines. Common materials like stainless steel or aluminum are very evident. Translucent and clear materials are available, giving artists the ability to make seemingly see through prints. Other materials exist in the world of 3D printing as well. If there is a required purpose, a material is probably available.

In addition to the variety of materials available, there are multiple processes available to create prints out of these various materials. Typically, 3D printing has only been able to create models one material at a time. However, engineers have been getting pretty crafty. We aren't in 1979 anymore. Visionaries like Objet have introduced multi jet printers, which can use up to 7 materials at once. Layer by layer processes in powder bases manufacturing processes give designers the ability to create virtually anything. When a product or piece can literally "float" in a bed of powder, there are virtually no design limitations. Of course the product can only be the size of the printer's build envelope, but outside of that there aren't many limitations. Other machines come into play which use support material to help products to "float" on the build envelope, giving designers even more power to use 3D printing. Giving freedom to designers will change what can be created, period.

Machining methods can't do much to hold up against 3D printing. Sometimes it is much more practical to create a product through machining methods, but when it comes down to the freedom that designers have when creating products - 3D printing simply blows that form of manufacturing out of the water. There are certain limitations that come into play with machining, which 3D printing doesn't have to face. The same statement stands for the manufacturing technology known as mold manufacturing. This form of manufacturing can't hold up to the design capabilities of 3D printing either, as there are some serious limitations. When a designer has to constantly worry about intricate centers, hollow spaces, and grooves & curves, there is a pretty strong issue to face. Unless however, that designer is working with 3D printing.

If you enjoyed this article, you might what else is new with 3D Printing, or possibly you'd like to join a 3D Printing Community,

1 komentar:

  1. I enjoy what you’ve got right here, adore what you’re stating and the way you say it.This is a very interesting article.
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