3D printing is a concept that brought in futuristic changes to the automation, and manufacturing industry pushing its development by several years ahead. 3D printing and 3D printing software together provide the user with services to create, design, and print it as an object no matter how intricate or difficult it is to make. However, such technology requires skills that create a flawless mapping of the three-dimensional object which then delivers the required output.
In this article, we will discuss in detail the 3D printing technology, the process involved, materials used for printing, along with their various techniques, hence compiling it to understand this technology on a whole. We will also check out why this 3D printing industry is important and what its value is.
3D printing involves 3D printers, which are advanced printers, which use computer-aided design (CAD) to create 3D objects with different materials that change along with the type of technique involved. This technology involves layer-by-layer, from the ground to the top of the object, for the construction of any three-dimensional object based on the design made using the 3D printing software. The functioning of the printers is similar to the 2D printers however, the construction is different.
The printers used for 3D printing are very flexible in terms of the object’s shape, size, and material. They can print using materials that are malleable such as plastics, rubber, plastic powder, metals, etc along with innovative food materials, which when has the desired characteristics, the printers can even print snacks or any other food! The field of 3d printing is so vast with thousands of applications that are already in use whereas the rest are still being explored. The printers can even print with carbon fibres, metallic powders to produce highly stable products of industrial grade.
Now that we have a clear idea of the working of the 3D printing technology, it is important to explore the futuristic opportunities to understand its importance as well as the possible applications. The most important question is why exactly the future needs 3D printing technology?
COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden rise in the demand for personal protective kits or PPE kits, medical types of equipment, etc. The world turned to advanced technology to overcome this shortage as meeting this gap is essential to save the lives of sick patients. The 3D printing technology is like a boon for the healthcare industries who opted for the supply of safety kits, medical protective gear, ventilator parts, etc. This technology helped as any institute or industry equipped with 3D printers such as schools, large companies, etc came together to contribute. So, this is a real-life example of the importance and scope of 3D printing in bringing in advancement even during the crisis. There are a lot more applications that have led to the establishment of huge 3D printing companies that specialize in this field, such as 3D Systems Corp, Proto Labs Inc., FARO Technologies Inc., etc. The 3D printing stocks as well as their value are rising as it is currently one of the best ways to bridge the gap between effective manufacturing and demand.
As mentioned earlier, 3D printers are very flexible, to produce intricate, highly detailed objects or parts with various materials. The end results are very accurate as it prints the exact CAD design, at a faster rate when compared to other manufacturing technologies. All these reasons prove that 3D printing technology acts as a promising tool for the future of industrial or even home-based manufacturing. Maybe in the future, one need not depend on industries or companies for the spare parts like bolts, light fixtures, kits, etc instead they can just print it.
As of today, this technology allows fast, rapid prototyping which almost every manufacturing company around the world is deploying. This allows them to explore, and test the results of their products at a faster rate as the time for the production of prototypes is very little. It saves lots of time and millions of rupees invested for research, and development (R&D) as this technology is almost ten times faster, and costs half their money than the traditional prototyping processes.
Before getting into printing an object, one has to design the object using 3D modeling or the 3D printing software to get accurate results. The printer will exactly print the input, hence a flaw or gap in the design will result in the final object also. Usually, the parts that are intricate and hard to produce by traditional manufacturing methods are printed using these printers, hence knowing the 3D modeling software, and their ability to produce precise objects is necessary.
The 3D printing software is used in the space industry, for making rocket parts, and in the dental industry to make a customized tooth that fits the individual exactly. Such precision is possible as the model is created by slicing the 3D design into various layers that when stacked together by the printer, forms the whole object. It is also the reason behind 3D printing technology being popular across various fields of work, art, etc as it is a true game-changer that changes the perspective of manufacturing a product.
A recent example of using 3D printing at home was witnessed as the individual tried making a rocket engine by designing the spare’s design using metal 3D printing. This experimental try with a special metal-impregnated 3D printer filament couldn’t withstand the rocket exhaust however it shows the possibilities of using the technology at home.
In this article, we have discussed in detail the applications, value, and innovations using 3D printing technology. Hope this was useful in understanding the current as well as the future status of the 3D printing industry, and to explore even better, try searching for 3d printing near me for a hands-on experience.