What is 3d printing?
3D printing has become one of the most used reliable manufacturing techniques over the years. It is used more to make prototypes, the end products, proof of concept. Nowadays, many renowned companies are implementing 3D printing at different stages to rethink their business strategy.
Besides, many printing companies are providing 3D printing services to fulfill the needs. Print Britannia is one of them and has been doing a good job for a long time.
But what is 3D printing? Do you know all about it? Well, today, we are here to discuss all the relevant information on 3D printing to enrich your knowledge. You will come to know every single detail about 3D printing by reading this article. So, please don’t skip any point and keep reading!
What is 3D printing?
People often ask – what is 3D printing? Well, 3D printing is a manufacturing technique. It is the process or action of creating a physical object via a three-dimensional digital model.
It is also known as additive manufacturing. 3D printing is the opposite of the traditional process of making objects. The engineer and product designers first upload a digital CAD file to a 3D printer. Then it prints a totally solid 3D object.
How does 3D printing work?
The working processes of 3D printing are a bit complicated. It’s tough to explain shortly. We’ve divided the process into six categories to explain it in brief.
First, you have to create a blueprint of the object you want to print. The blueprint slash will be a 3D digital file. Computer-Aided Design(CAD) is mainly used to create digital models.
After finishing the CAD design, it’s time to send it to the printer in an appropriate file format. The most popular 3D printer file format is STL.
Now what you have to do is slicing. Slicing is the process of translating 3D files into instruction.
So now, as long as there is no software error, the machine will follow the instructions. And you’ll get your file printed.
Now it’s time to remove the finished parts. In this step, only the parts that are completed without any errors will be removed.
The final step is post-processing of the 3D printer parts. Sanding, painting, and polishing are post-processing steps.
What is 3D printing used for?
3D printing is mostly used for making one-off parts efficiently and creating highly complex geometries. Nowadays, 3D printing is used for various purposes. From them, some crucial use is discussed below-
Emission reductions and fuel efficiency are now driving the need for lightweight parts through 3D printing. These are mostly done in aerospace and automotive applications.
3D printing has been used for so long to create prototypes for visual aids, presentation models, assembly mockups, etc.
Functionally enhanced products
A lot of constraints imposed by the traditional manufacturing process are removed by 3D printing.
Tooling, Jigs, Features
Tooling and machine features that are composite by 3D printing are always cheaper. Moreover, they are quicker to produce.
Metal casting patterns
When 3D printing is combined with metal casting, they bridge the gap between the proven manufactured approach and generative designed parts.
Types of 3D printing
There are several types of 3D printing. But a set of standards is developed by The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). This classifies 3D printing or additive manufacturing into 7 categories. These are-
1. Vat Photopolymerisation
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
- Stereolithography (SLA)
- Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP)
2. Binder Jetting
3. Material Extrusion
- Glued Filament Fabrication (FFF)
- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
4. Powder Bed Fusion
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
- Multi Jet Fusion (MJF)
- Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
5. Directed Energy Deposition
6. Material Jetting
7. Sheet Lamination
What materials can be 3D printed?
3D printing is flexible enough to determine the texture, strength, and shape of products. That’s why several materials can be 3D printed. Such as,
- Resins (paintable resin, Transparent resin)
- Metal (Gold, Nickel, Bronze, Stainless steel, Titanium Aluminium)
- Carbon fiber
- Graphite and Graphene
How much does a 3D printer cost?
The Hobbyist and Entry Level printers mostly cost $200 to $500. But Some of them can be as expensive as $1500. The cost of Enthusiast 3D printers and Professional 3D printers starts from $15,00 to $6000. But it completely depends on the printer’s capability.
What is the best 3D printing software?
There is a lot of 3D printing software available to use. Among them, here we are mentioning top printing software. They are – Fusion 360, Onshape, Solid Edge, Tinkercad, Simplify3D, Ultimaker, Cura, Meshmixer, Geographic, Freeform, Slic3r, Blender, etc.
Where can I get professional 3D printing services?
Several companies offer 3D printing services, such as Midlands 3D, Champion 3D, 3D London, 3D people Uk, etc.
For more elegant and professional 3D printing, Proto Labs, Materialise NV, FARO Technologies are highly recommended.
How does it cost to get professional 3D printing services?
When people ask about the cost of 3D printing, the answer has always been ” it depends.” Well, it depends on the company, quality, software, and others. But on average, 3D printing can cost from $3 up to thousands.
Five important 3D printing considerations
What technology will meet your needs? How can you find them out? Well, there are five key criteria to determine this.
- Cosmetic appearance
- Mechanical requirements
- Material selection
What are the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing?
We know nothing is perfect. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing for your convenience.
- 3D printing has Freedom of design
- It is used rapidly for prototyping
- It has Advanced time-to-market turnaround
facilities of Print on demand
- One customized part at the same time
- lightweight parts and strength
- 3D has Limited materials
- 3D printing has too much reliance on plastic
- Its Post-processing step is time-wasting
- It has a risk of copyright infringement
- Build size is Restricted
- The process is a bit slow
- Manufacturing Jobs are reducing for 3D printing
So, what is 3D printing? We hope this article helped you much to know all about it. Without a doubt, 3D printing is getting more exciting day by day, and businesses are adopting 3D printing. People started accepting it more than traditional manufacturing. So you also should be up to date with the 3D printing technology to keep going with the trend.