One way to make the production process better is by creating smaller manufacturing machines that are easier to handle.
3D (3-Dimensional) Printing is a type of additive manufacturing that brings your digital designs to life. Notice the word “additive”?
This is a bit different from the regular manufacturing process because it brings 2D pieces of an object together until the whole 3D shape is formed.
3D Printing is one of the numerous upgrades to technology done by man in a bid to make life easier. This superb technology was first designed by Chuck Hall after extensive research on the 3D printing process.
Just as the human body has different parts, 3D printing also has several types with a focus on three major classifications of it.
- Stereolithography: In this type of 3D printing, the process of photopolymerization is used. Do you recall when your teacher told you that the end product of proteinous food is Amino Acids? Well, this is one of the examples of monomers that come together to form polymers. This is done with the help of substances that increase the rate of a chemical reaction (catalyst) to produce a photochemical reaction. An adequate light source is also used to produce the right proportion of the object.
- Melting: This type of 3D printing begins by melting the materials that will be used with the aid of power bed fusion. Lasers and electric beams are used to print objects layer by layer.
- Sintering: The technology used in sintering enables materials to be heated without melting them to produce high-quality items. Selective laser sintering and direct metal laser sintering are types of sintering that use thermoplastic powder and metal powder respectively to finish the process of 3D printing.
Benefits of 3D Printing
The pros of 3D printing are quite numerous when compared to the traditional manufacturing process. Some of these are listed below.
- Saves Time: Imagine going to a manufacturing company when you want to produce a unique toy that you designed for your child. 3D printing saves you this stress if you have the cash to purchase a 3D printer while improving your DIY skills.
- Minimises Cost: Using 3D printers saves costs in the manufacturing process because of their efficiency. This is because the right proportion of materials is utilized.
- Reduced Production of Waste: The ability of 3D printers to use the right quantity of materials reduces waste in production.
- Uniformity: One major challenge of the traditional production process is uniformity which reduces the chances of producing items that look exactly the same. 3D printing overcomes this drawback because it uses the additive process in manufacturing.
- Sustainable: The increase in climate change has made scientist canvas for ways to improve the manufacturing process which 3D printing does. Similarly, its low waste production makes it environmentally friendly and suitable for use.
Applications Of 3D Printing
- 3D printing is used in the aerospace industry to produce rockets and the interior parts of aircraft.
- 3D printing is used by scientists and engineers to produce prototypes of designs.
- 3D printing is used in manufacturing industries due to the numerous advantages it has over the traditional production method.
- It is used in the medical field to perfect the production of prosthetics which aids patients that have lost parts of their body.
- The construction industry uses 3D printing to make structures like sidewalks, pedestrian bridges and other structures.
- 3D printing is used in the automobile industry to produce some parts of vehicles.
- 3D printing eases the production of artefacts that can be displayed in museums and art galleries.
- 3D printing aids in the production of customized jewellery items.
The future of 3D printing is bright with possible entry into various industries and a takeover of the conventional manufacturing method due to its numerous benefits. As a child grows into adulthood, we can’t wait to see how the growth of 3D printing unfolds in the nearest future.