3D Printing is a process of making a three-dimensional physical object or assembly, of virtually any shape(s), from a digital 3D model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.3D printing is very distinct from traditional machining techniques where features are created by subtractive processes such as milling, grinding, cutting & drilling.
- Two other important differentiations between 3D printing and traditional machining are: Printing directly from a 3D model with no other programming involved
- Printing working assemblies in one print operation
- Printing internal (and external) features that simply cannot be machined due to no tool access
Because of these differences, 3D printing becomes a very powerful prototyping tool where a sample or prototype can be created much faster and much cheaper than other manufacturing methods. Depending on the material used and the requirements of the finished product, some final products can simply be 3D printed.
Although 3D printing has been in existence for decades, it has started to really trend over the last couple of years and has been picking up speed quickly as of late. The technology for many types of 3D printers is similar to that of a standard inkjet printer with the addition of a “Z” axis for the third dimension and print heads that handle materials other than ink such as ABS or other plastics.
Advanced 3D printers for materials such as titanium, aluminum, copper, etc. involve more advanced technologies as they incorporate additional systems such as extremely high accuracy lasers with which the fusing in place of metal particulate is accomplished after being laid down by the print heads.
Deft Devise works with some of the best and most advanced 3D printing manufactures in the world. We are also in the process of bringing advanced 3D printing in house. While we use 3D printing ourselves to build prototypes and prove designs, we can also provide 3D printing as a stand-alone service.
1. ^ “3D Printer Technology – Animation of layering”. Create It Real. Retrieved 2012-01-31.