Charles Hull developed 3D printing in the 1980s. Since then, 3D printing technology has developed into something you can use at home.
Even if you understand how a traditional printer works, you might not understand how 3D printing works. So, how does 3D printing work?
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how 3D printing technology works. Before you know it, you won’t be able to stop making awesome things with this great technology!
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing technology is like 2D printing. Instead of layer materials on a flat surface, it’s building materials on top of each other. 3D printers can use biological materials, plastics, and composites to create objects. Plastic is one of the most common materials for at-home users.
The objects a 3D printer makes can range in solidity, size, shape, and color. If you can imagine it, a 3D printer can make it!
How Does 3D Printing Work?
The 3D printing process beings with creating a 3D object in a computer program (CAD). After creating the object, users convert the 3D model into an STL format that the printer can read.
Users choose the material for the object. Before you begin printing, make sure the material in the printer is full. Different objects take more material than others and having your printer full from the start can prevent complications.
Depending on the object, your printer can take hours to days to finish it. When it finishes printing, let it cool before you remove the object. Material handled when it’s still warm can warp.
Some objects need cleaning after printing. Then, your 3D object is ready to go!
The Benefits of 3D Printing
3D printing technology is perfect for creating prototypes. The prototypes can be ready faster than something handcrafted and companies can try more variations between products. Quick prototypes also lead to quick testing and product rollouts.
3D printing services are getting more accurate every year. New technology has led to 3D printing parts that would be inaccessible otherwise.
3D printing provides fast ways to repair broken machinery. During the Covid-19 pandemic, ventilators were in short supply. Hospitals would use 3D printing to fix broken ventilators and provide staff with protective gear.
3D printing combined with electrospinning to create 3D-printed organs. A common problem in the medical field is not having enough organs available for people. This technology is still developing, but it can result in more accessible organ transplants.
For home users, 3D printers can create action figures, models, helmets, and anything you can find or make a 3D software file for.
Types of 3D Printing Services and Programs
Before you pick out a 3D printer, it’s important to pick great 3D software to work in. When you choose GoEngineer for SOLIDWORKS, you can get a large discount on the perfect 3D printing software. Having great modeling software is the start of a great 3D printed project.
3D printing services are locations that house a variety of 3D printers that you can pay to use. This gives you more options for printing without needing to buy a variety of printers on your own. You can bring in the file you want printed and in-house teams can help you make everything work.
Stereolithography is the oldest 3D printing technology and one of the most useful. Its primary use is to create high-quality prototypes and models that need a lot of detail.
Selective Laser Sintering uses a high-power laser to turn powder into a solid structure. This type does not need support structures. It can create objects made of nylon and other fibrous materials.
Fused Deposition Modeling is the type of printer you would have in your home. It uses plastic material in a heated nozzle to create an object layer by layer. This type of printer can struggle with detailed pieces but allows users to access 3D printing at home.
Add a 3D Printer to Your Home Today!
So, how does 3D printing work? By creating a 3D object on a computer, loading material, and waiting for it to print. With this understanding of the benefits of 3D printing, you’re excited to give it a try! 3D printing services are a perfect way for you to try out 3D printing before purchasing a printer for your home.
If you want to learn more about the latest tech trends, check out the rest of our blog!