An Overview of 3D Printing

An Overview of 3D Printing

3D Printing is self-explanatory with its simple name. However, a lot goes into the process when creating a real-world object with these types of printers and the processes. 3D printing can turn a digital three-dimensional model into a real life, solid product. There are four types of 3D Printers in use today, and each have their own printing technique and materials they use.

1) The first type of printer use a molten-liquid substance. The liquid creates layers which form the designated product. This type could be done by using two different types of liquid printers, known as Vat photopolymerization or Material Jetting.
2) Binder Jetting, “solidifies a photocurable resin” while printing.
3) Powder Bed Fusion, simply uses powder. It takes the small, tiny little microscopic granules and packs them together.
4) The fourth 3D printer uses paper, plastic, or metal. It cuts thin sheets out and layers them on top of each other in the process. This process is called Sheet Lamination.

These state of the art printers and processes can make truly amazing artwork and prototypes. Some of the top printers include Formlabs Form 2, Lulzbot Mini 3D, MakerBot Replicator, XYZ Printing Nobel 1.0, FlashForge Finder, plus more you that you can buy on Amazon or other recognizable websites. If you click here, you will see these printers and their weight, price, and different features that they have.

3D Printing began in the 1980’s. Dr. Kodama, from Japan, started this technique for making three-dimensional products come to life. However, Dr. Kodama was unable to meet the deadlines for patenting his new product. The patent then went to Charles Hull, who invented a machine in 1987. Hull co-founded 3D Systems Operations, a large organization still around today.

There are different websites that offer 3D printing for many uses. On Shapeway’s site, you can upload your own personal design and have it 3D printed. Whether it be silver, sandstone, porcelain, or plastic, Shapeway can do the job of bringing your computer model to life. You can also shop around on the website and purchase pre-made 3D-printed objects which include jewelry, accessories, games, art, and more. Some other websites that offer 3D printing for customers include My Mini Factory, That Cool Wire, and Xometry.

Here is a list of a few companies that use 3D Printing in their everyday jobs: General Electric, Boeing, Ford, Nike, Hasbro, American Pearl, DIY Rockets

This process is used by many different companies and industries for rapid prototyping, organs, prosthetics, vehicles, products, architecture, consumer electronics, manufacturing and more. Creating a solid, real life object from a computer or laptop with this tool is efficient and will be a game-changer in the years to come. What products will the world’s artists, designers, and engineers create next?

About the author

Sarah Bals is a 2011 John Carroll University graduate. Sarah has extensive experience in social media marketing and event planning. Sarah was named one of Ashtabula County's Top 5 under 45 for 2015, as well as one of the top 3 candidates for the Ashtabula County Growth Partnership, Community Vitality Award.

There is 1 comment so far

  • 2 years ago · Reply

    Techology never siezes to amaze me. Fasinating read.

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