The Creation Meets Revolution ; Greetings everyone. Let’s say you can make your dream designs come true or create different shapes of products with a simple machine by setting simple digital files. In today’s world, it is possible with 3D printers. Some of you might think that 3D printers can only create nothing but fragile toys. Or maybe it doesn’t have any industrial value. But it is not what you think.
The Creation Meets Revolution
History of 3D Printing:
The first iteration of 3D printing also known as additive manufacturing can be traced back to the early 1980s in Japan. Hideo Kodama was aiming to find a way to develop a prototyping system. He developed a layer–by–layer approach for manufacturing. using a photosensitive resin that was polymerized by UV light. Although he didn’t get a patent, he was considered to be the first inventor.
A few years later, some french inventors were trying to create the rapid prototyping machine. They tried to create a system that converts liquid monomers to solids by using a laser. They couldn’t get a patent like Hideo Kodama. Charles Hull invented the 3D printer in 1984. “3D systems ” was established in 1986. It was the first 3D printer company. It gave rise to a new industry.
Types of 3D Printers and Their Filaments
There are various types of 3D printers that depend on some parameters such as the using areas, printing materials, etc. There are some examples of 3D printers such as Stereolithography (SLA), Digital Light Processing (DLP), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), etc.
Stereolithography (SLA) is a fast prototyping process. It is fast to prototype. Therefore, it is the most effective way to obtain accuracy and precision. By using this process, there can be produced objects from 3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design). A 3D computer-aided design (CAD) is needed to print objects. The model is further divided into hundreds, potentially thousands of layers. This information is fed to the 3D printer. To print layer-by-layer, there is a need to use a material called filaments in general. Some of the common filament types are EPLA (Engineering PLA), ABS, PETG, PP, Carbon fiber, Nylon, Flex, HIPS, and PVA. For instance, EPLA (Engineering PLA) filament. EPLA filament is the commonly used type in 3D printing. Because it is the easiest filament material for working on less required workflow.
Another example is ABS. ABS filament has good resistance properties such as heat and wear resistance. Also, it has a good elasticity property. 3D printers have crucial roles in many industries. One of the many reasons for that is, you don’t have to change your machines’ pieces of equipment if there is a need to manufacture products with different geometries and shapes. Naturally, this saves time and money instead of creating many production lines. One of the immense advances made by using 3D printing technology is in medical applications.
It is possible to create bone implants, hearing aids, dentures, prosthetics, and even bioprinting and organs. The patient’s cells are taken and used to print tissue or organ. The most important feature of this application is, most of the products are custom made. As I mentioned before, the manufacturer doesn’t need to spend that many resources, time, and money to create custom-made products. Which is not possible in almost any type of production method that we know of.
Another application is in the construction industry. 3D-printed houses can be built much faster, cheaper, and more accurately. Cement and other materials that are used in 3D printed houses are much more environmentally friendly. There is no need for skilled builders and construction workers because the actual work is done by printers and CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) models. Of course, you can’t respond to demand without making a great amount of 3D construction machines.
An entire house can be built in a day. It paves the way for making shelters for people who have lost their homes in natural disasters such as an earthquake. This application has the potential to change the lives of millions of people. Building bridges and constructions other than houses are also possible. Another application is in the automotive, aeronautics, and shipbuilding industries. While it is possible to produce whole vehicles with 3D printers, it is not practical. This application is mainly used in producing parts of the already existing vehicles.
3D Printing In-Vehicle Industry:
For example, classic vehicle manufacturers are no longer producing replacement parts. 3D printers are used in producing these parts. Surprisingly, 3D printers are used in clothing, fashion, shoes, jewelry industries, and even the food industry as well.
This shows the potential of 3D printing technology. Relativity Space Startup Company raised 650 million dollars and working on creating 3D-printed rockets. Currently, in the testing phase, the first rocket is planned to launch into space in early 2022.
The purpose of this writing is to illuminate you about the world of 3D printing and make you realize its delightful benefits. Hope that every person will have their 3D printers and make their dream designs come true.
If you haven’t read my previous writing about types of engineering design software, you can easily read it from this link.
Have a lovely day 😊