3D printing is a manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital model file. The technology works by adding layer upon layer of material to build up a complete object.
Introduction to 3D printing
The 3D printing process was devised in the 1980s and was originally known as ‘rapid prototyping. It enabled companies to develop prototypes quickly and more accurately than with other methods. You can also get custom 3D products via https://vizframe.com/3d-library.
After over 30 years of innovation, its uses are far more diverse today. Manufacturers, engineers, designers, educators, medics, and hobbyists alike use the technology for a huge range of applications.
What can you 3D print?
Any technology exists to solve a problem or make our lives better – and 3D printing is no different. Before diving into all the technical details, let’s look at what 3D printing is used for.
True to its origins as ‘rapid prototyping, 3D printing is still widely used for this purpose. With 3D printing, designers and engineers can print their digital designs and review them within hours.
Most plastic products are created by injection molding – a process where molten plastic is injected into a metal mold, where it sets in the desired shape. While this process can take as little as a few seconds and is easy to repeat, it takes much longer to make the initial mold and only becomes cost-effective once you’ve made a lot of parts.
As 3D printers have become more reliable and capable of printing with a wider range of materials – from strong glass or metal composites to flexible rubber-like materials – short-run manufacturing of small batches has become a realistic option.