What is 3D printing? How does the 3d printing process work?

3D printing is the process of creating a 3D object with the help of special equipment called a 3D printer. Printing is carried out by the method of layer-by-layer application of material, which can be plastic, photopolymers and even metal when using various technologies. For today there are some basic technologies of the 3D-printing which allow to receive objects of various complexity and quality.

Details created with the help of three-dimensional printing, today are widely used in medicine, engineering, architecture, design and many other areas of human activity.

What is prototyping

Prototyping is a layer-by-layer production of a physical object on the basis of an exact mathematical model, which is presented for work in CAD format. Volumetric prototyping excludes many production processes, which are usually used to create products, such as forging, stamping, drilling, bending. Modern technologies allow to receive at prototyping high-precision products which details, including internal and mobile, are located according to the co-ordinates in the space set by mathematical model. For the manufacture of the object or parts use 3d printing. Prototyping is carried out with the help of 3D-printers of different design, which can be used for printing different technologies.

What is 3D scanning

3D-Printing-IconsThree-dimensional scanning, or 3D-scanning, is the process by which a special high-tech scanner analyzes a 3D object in order to obtain the most accurate data to create its 3D-model. Three-dimensional scanning allows you to facilitate the work of the 3D-designer several times, as it does not require accurate manual measurements of the elements of the object and the construction of its model in a special program.

Which 3D-printing technologies

FDM printing technology is used to create models of engineering thermoplastics, which is ideal for creating complex objects, as well as small parts and fasteners. The advantage of this technology 3d printers in excellent precision manufacturing, which implies a minimum post-processing of products. The first Ukrainian 3D printer uses exactly FDM printing technology.

Technology PolyJet is a special kind of the 3D-printing at which there is no наплавление, and a sputtering of layers of a material which is liquid photopolymer. Layers of this material are fixed by ultraviolet radiation. The layer of such polymer has a thickness of 16 microns and therefore the technology is one of the most accurate. PolyJet makes it possible to print not only materials of different colors, but also different hardness. Usually this method of printing is used for accurate modeling and creation of particularly realistic models.

Advanced 3D printing technology – laser sintering, or SLS, uses a particularly strong thermoplastic material in the form of a powder that is melted by a carbon dioxide laser for printing. In this way, strong and flexible parts are produced that are resistant to tearing. Laser sintering ensures high product temperature resistance, resistance to aggressive media and low weight. There is also a laser sintering of metal – an expensive, energy-intensive technology in which a special metal powder is used as a raw material. Thus, strong parts and tools for different purposes are produced.

What is the strength of the printed product

The strength of any product printed on a 3D printer depends on the material used in its manufacture and printing technology. The most durable products are obtained in the process of laser sintering of metal from special raw materials in the form of fine metal powder. Such parts can be used in mechanical engineering, construction and many other spheres of activity.

Technology LS and SLS, also representing laser sintering, but already with use of thermoplastic powders, gives the chance to receive elements proof to rupture and compression which also can have certain firmness to heating and aggressive environments.

Which areas of 3D printing applications

The technology of the three-dimensional press has the greatest value for medicine as by means of 3d print it is possible quickly and qualitatively to create various elements for prosthetics. 3D printing is also used in the aerospace industry, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, architecture, design and even in art – the ability to translate into plastic their creative ideas are very valuable for many artists and sculptors.