3d printing

What is 3d Printing? How Do 3d Printers Work?

Have you ever used an ergonomically created 3d technology for your business or personal use?

If not yet, you must be wondering why it is getting tremendous popularity in the industry and how does it work to produce such exceptional results in no time. Well, the fact is the 3d printing process is extremely flexible and 10 times faster & better than traditional printing technologies which makes them a unique and promising tool for your future.

Let’s uncover some more amazing aspects of this technology by understanding its basic concept and its operational process.

What is 3d printing process?

3D printing is also called additive manufacturing. This is basically an advanced process that creates three-dimensional objects in a pure solid form through a simple digital file.

Now the reason we call the process additive manufacturing is, we need to apply multiple additive processes to create wonderful 3d objects. In that advanced additive process, the object is basically created by laying down different layers of material up above another until that object is built successfully. You can see each of these layers as a thinly sliced cross-section of your object.

For many people, it is hard to believe that 3D printing is actually an opposite part of subtractive manufacturing that involves a cutting of a piece of metal to create the desired object while using the help of multi-tasking milling machines used specifically for this process.

3D helps you produce some extremely complicated shapes by using less material as compared to old and outdated designing technologies.

How does 3d printing work?

3d printing always starts first with a 3d model. You can manage to create it by yourself while following the basic steps, or download it from the library, as per convenience.

3d software:

There is plenty of software and tools available in the market that make the process fast and easy. You can choose anything from open source to an industrial-grade tool.

I always recommend beginners to jumpstart the process with Tinkercad, which is free software and usually works in every browser. You are not required to download it to your desktop. Tinkercad provides some easy beginner tutorials as well as a great built-in feature that simply exports the model as a printable file.

Now after getting your own printable file, you can prepare this for your 3d printer which is called slicing.

Slicing:

Slicing is the next step to your 3d modeling. It means you need to slice up your 3d model into several or even thousands of layers. The process is managed through slicing software.

When you slice up your file, it is ready for 3d printing process. You can feed your file to the printer using USB or Wi-Fi. After that, your 3d sliced file is now ready to be printed according to each layer.

The 3d printing method:

When slicing your 3d file is all completed, now it’s time for 3d printer to complete its job and manage all the next steps.

You must be amazed to know that your 3d printer often completes its job just like a traditional inkjet printer. It follows similar processes in the 3D printing process. Its nozzle efficiently moves back-and-forth by adding a plastic-like polymer to each layer. It waits for the layers to get dry, and then add the next level the same way.

By repeating the process, it adds thousands of two-dimensional prints over one another so it can make a successful three-dimensional object. Now there are lots of amazing materials that your printer can utilize to rebuild an object so it can perform the best according to its abilities.

Here I am giving you some examples to elaborate on the concept and clear your confusion.

  • ABS material: This is basically a plastic material that is much easy to shape but quite difficult to break. Yes, the same material used for LEGO creations.
  • Carbon fiber: This material is used to build certain objects that must be strong, but also much lightweight.
  • Conductive Filaments: These are the printable materials that have still not passed their experimental stage and basically useful for printing advanced electric circuits that do not require wires or anything. This is even much beneficial for wearable technology.
  • Flexible Filaments: Flexible filaments are responsible to create multiple amazing prints that are also bendable but durable and tough. You can use these materials to print anything like wristwatches, phone covers, wallets, and others.
  • Metal Filament: All the tiny metal filaments are usually created from finely ground metals as well as a polymer glue. They are available in different materials such as steel, copper, brass, and bronze so they can deliver an actual look and feel of any metallic object.
  • Wood Filament: These materials consist of finely-ground wood powder which has mixtures of polymer glue. Now, these materials are used to print multiple wooden-like objects. They appear to be a lighter or darker wood depends solely on the temperature of your printer.

So, when you are buying a 3d printer for your home, make sure you have a complete understanding of all the processes and methods so you can easily manage every step by yourself without using professional help.

Final thoughts:

Your 3d project could start from anywhere. From creating a simple box, ball, or a wooden mirror which just takes few hours in turning your dream into reality and then ranges from very detailed and bigger projects that take months even years, like a big home.

There are also various types of 3D printing available which depend on the size and other elements of the project. Each type of printer may vary slightly according to the requirements of the printable objects.

FDM, SLA, and DLP are some of the common names in 3d printing that offers convenience, quickness, and accuracy in your prints. So, after reviewing the whole process, if you think this is the best solution for your printing needs, then consider this technology today and add more value to your projects.

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