The process of printing a 3D model is quite similar to inkjet printing technology that produces objects by making layers with equipment. Another popular name of this technology is a desktop fabrication.
Before a few decades ago, the designers had to struggle a lot for a real-life look to their designs and creativity. The struggle starts from making designs through CAD software and then arranging wood, plastics and cards to stick them together through a machine to provide real looks to an object.
This process took days or sometimes even weeks. The major disadvantage was that it was next to impossible to make improvements once the object got developed. Not only after the full process, if the task is completed above 50%, still can have had had no one corrected their mistakes.
The only solution was to recreate the model with new raw materials. That was a total waste of money and time and also effort. We were now coming to the answer that our world got in 1980—the solution of this annoying 3D printing technology, which was also named Rapid Prototyping.
Hence the technology has gained too much popularity, but still, many entrepreneurs are working with traditional methods. It is good to take advantage of this new and fantastic technology. It is also a cost-cutter if you have engaged in the development business.
Now coming to the point on which this article belongs to. Still, there are a lot of people who aren’t familiar with 3D printing technology but want to know more and more about it. If yes, then you are in the right place for starting a new inning of your business with 3D printers. Let’s start with what is a 3D printer.
Simple words to make easy understand!
For printing a 3D object, you will have to use any material which can be obtained as powder and a digital 3D model. One can draw the digital model through CAD software or can also scan 3D images to print. These digital files are saved in STL format in your desktops.
What is the history of this printing technology?
In the year 1981, the Japanese inventor Hideo Kodama invented a product that used UV lights for creating solid objects with hardened polymers. Charles Hull has invented SLA to create smaller examples of objects before developing the real model.
The objects developed through SLA get printed layer over layer, and the ultraviolet rays are used to harden the purposes. CAD controls this whole process. After some time, the more advanced application had launched which was named as SLS.
Through the SLS application, the developers had started manufacturing objects with powder polymer. The app uses a laser to fuse the powder and to create multiple layers to print the object.
Now the time has come for the most advanced application, which is FDM. Scott Crump has introduced FDM, which is also known as desktop 3D printers. It is the most common technology of today, which is used for printing 3D objects. The FDM 3D printer uses heat to convert thermoplastic into liquid form and then extrude it layer over layer to create a three-dimensional model.
These are the steps of the history of 3D printers. SLA, SLS, and FDM can show you how this technology has improved in the last thirty years. Now it becomes a vital tool for all the development businesses. One can make anything through this technology by merely creating the digital model in their computers.
Difference between primary rapid prototyping machine and 3D printing technology:
- The 3D printer is a small version of rapid prototyping.
- It costs less to print objects.
- 3D printers are ideal for small offices.
- It can print only small objects.
- It is designed to print low volumes of real objects.
- The dimensions of a 3D printer are less than RP machines.
- The printing technology is easy to learn and maintain.
- The production is less accurate than RP machines.
- One can own a 3D printer by spending less than $1000.
Rapid Prototyping machines:
- RP is a conventional method to produce real objects.
- It costs more than 3D printers to create digital models.
- Most of the big scale developing organizations are using RP machines.
- It takes a higher time to produce objects.
- It is very tough to learn and maintain RP machines.
- One can get accurate production.
What types of objects can you print with a 3D printer?
There is a famous mantra to answer this question that is “whatever you can draw, you can print.” Many of the hospital industries are using 3D printers to create real-life looking objects of human body parts. These objects will help medical students in their studies.
Apart from this, it is also trendy in automotive industries. The designers are using 3D printers to create a small object of their upcoming models of cars. The architectures are also taking advantage of this beautiful technology. It becomes easier for them to show their clients what they are going to construct.
You will be surprised that the world has also got a chocolate 3D printer. It means that the mantra is right. One can print whatever they can draw. But still, if you have to print any complicated object, then you will have to purchase a professional 3D printer, which is more expensive than the regular one.
Which material do you have to use to print 3D objects with a 3D printer?
As a beginner, which software is useful to design 3D models?
If you have just entered the world of 3D printing technology, then you can choose any of the below-listed software’s free.
Google sketch up :
Google sketch up is the most accessible software to create 3D designs. Through it, you will have to use simple tools to draw the image, which can be seen on Google earth.
It can also be considered as a browser. One can draw 3D designs directly from their browser quickly by downloading 3Dtin.
It is one of the free open sources to create 3D designs. The most popular and trendy technology used to developed Dutch animation Not a Number Technologies (NaN). It can be used for various other similar purposes.
The companies are opting for 3D-technology a lot.
For creating 3D CAD solid objects in Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Mac OS X, you can download OpenSCAD free.
It is the most advanced and faster software to create 3D designs. The almost new software offers three essential tools to create useful objects. One can download the STL file after drawing the image and send data to the 3D printer for printing.
Bottom lines :
I hope now you have understood what is a 3D printer If you are a beginner, then you can start your journey by downloading Rhino, Blender or Sketch up software. It will take a few weeks to understand how to draw the 3D designs. But it is good to clear out that it will take a few months to become an expert.