What is a 3D Printer ?
In this revolutionary work, 3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a virtual model. The process is similar just like the ordinary printers with whom we all were familiar, but instead of traditional ink, 3D printer squeezes out a variety of different hot filaments and print layer by layer till virtual model is formed in the form of a physical model.
The process of this layer by layer is known as additive manufacturing and is mostly and widely used to print solid objects such as toys, and models with the help of a plastic. In today scenario, 3D printers utilize different types of filaments, starting from chocolate and cementing to regenerating tissue. Additive manufacturing is not just a concept, but 3D printing serves as a faster and more precise alternative to the methods of the older generation such as forging and sculpting. And this process is also less expensive.
How does 3D Printing Work?
There are three steps which work in 3D printing.
The first level in the preparation just before printing is when you design a 3D file of the object which you want to print. This 3D file can be created with the help of software such as CAD software, or via a 3D scanner or can also be downloaded merely from an online market. Once you do that and your 3D file is ready to be printed, then you can proceed with the second step.
Now, the second level is the primary and actual level of the entire process of printing. First of all, you have to decide that which material will best achieve the specific properties which are required for your object model. The material which is used in 3D printing is extensive and broad as it includes resins, metals, sand, ceramics, plastics, textiles, food, glass, biomaterials and even the lunar dust. Most of these materials also allow for plenty of finishing options which enables you to achieve the precise design result you, and some other like glass as an example is still being developed as 3D printing material and are not even easily accessible yet.
Now, the third level is the finishing level. This step mainly requires materials and specific skills. When the object model is first printed, often it cannot be directly used to delivered until it has been lacquered, sanded or painted to complete an entire process.
The materials chosen for the printing of object model will determine which printing methods are most suitable.
The Pros of 3D Printing
It is very critical to understand that 3D is rapidly developing latest innovative technology which comes with a different set of benefits. Here are some of the pros and cons of it:
1.Create complex designs
With the help of a 3D printing, we can create complex shapes and parts and also in the craft world, which cannot be produced by conventional manufacturing methods.
2.Customize every item
3D printers allow for easy customization, with only need to change the design digitally with no additional tooling or any other expensive manufacturing process which is required to produce the final product.
3.Speed and ease of prototyping, faster and less risky route to market
As, there is any expensive tolling required to create an object model, so, it is mainly a cost-effective method for businesses or designers who are looking to do market testing or want to run small production. Thus, 3D printing offers a very less risky route for those people who are looking into manufacturing a product.
Some of the cons of 3D printing
Higher cost for large production runs
Despite all the benefits of manufacturing with the help of additive methods, 3D printing is not yet in competition with conventional manufacturing process when it comes to a large production runs.
Fewer material choices, colors, finishes
Despite being there are more than five hundred 3D printing materials available today- most of which are metals and plastics only- as the choices are still limited as compared to conventional colors, materials, and finishes. Moreover, this field is rapidly catching up, and the 3D printing palette is overgrowing every year which includes wood, ceramics, and even the chocolate.