Most of the demand for 3D printing right now comes from the business world. Acumen Research and Consulting thinks that by 2026, the global market for 3D printing technology will be worth $41 billion.
Almost every industry makes use of it, from automobiles to buildings to dental work to jewelry. Printing three-dimensional is possible with a wide variety of different methods. Stereolithography, selective laser sintering, and fused deposition modeling are only some of the most frequent types of 3d printing. However, the printing technology you use can affect the quality of the things you print.
Today, both experts and beginners often use this technology. Each year, cutting-edge 3D printers bring new improvements to the table, proving once again that 3D printing is an evolving technology.
An Overview of 3D Printing and Its History
Hideo Kodama created the first production equipment for 3D printing. Inventor of two additive processes for creating 3D models.
- Hideo Kodama’s early work in laser-cured resin fast prototyping was accomplished in 1981, expanding on Ralf Baker’s 1920s patent for manufacturing ornamental products.
- Over the following three decades, culminating in 1984’s launch of stereolithography, his idea was refined and improved upon in several ways.
- In the middle of the 1980s, Charles W. Hull developed the first 3D printer, a stereolithography machine.
- In 3D printing history, stereolithography has been a costly commercial technology, with machines costing five or even six figures, but in recent years, desktop professional stereolithography printers costing a few thousand dollars have emerged.
- During the 1990s and 2000s, more high-priced 3D printing systems emerged; however, as their patents expired in 2009, their cost fell, making the technology accessible to a wider audience.
Hull established 3D Systems in 1986 and now provides consumers with access to 3D printers that use a wide range of technology. Beyond prototypes, 3D printers have played an important role in every sector. Finished products are printed using a variety of 3D printers. In healthcare, 3 printers are used to repair COVID-19 ventilators.
Process and Technology Used
3D printing is a way to make solid objects. Also called “additive manufacturing,” with three dimensions.
Additive processes are used to make things that are 3D printed. In an additive process, an object is made by adding layers of material on top of each other until the object is finished. You can think of each of these layers as a thin slice through the object.
Subtractive manufacturing is the opposite of it. With subtractive manufacturing, a machine like a milling machine is used to cut away parts of a piece of metal or plastic. You can make complicated shapes with less 3D printing material than with traditional methods.
Three primary methods for creating three-dimensional prints are:
1- Sintering: It is a process for making high-resolution 3D printing designs in which the material is heated. But not to the point of melting. Direct metal laser sintering employs metal powder, while selective laser sintering makes use of thermoplastic powders.
2- Melting: Three-dimensional printing techniques that involve melting materials together at high temperatures include powder bed fusion, electron beam melting, and direct energy deposition.
3- Stereolithography: This technology makes use of photopolymerization. By carefully selecting the wavelength of light to interact with the material, this technique may cure and solidify a cross-section of the item in very thin layers.
Pros and Cons of 3D Printing
Compared to traditional ways of making things, this method has a lot of benefits. But it’s important to weigh the benefits and downsides of 3D printing services before deciding to utilize the method. Some of the pros and cons are:
|Tangible Design||Lack of raw materials|
|Product Testing||Copyrights issues|
|High-Quality Designs||A decline in manufacturing employment|
|Adaptable Structure||Price increases with increased output|
|On-Demand Printing||Prerequisites for Post-Processing|
|Quickly Designed and Manufactured||Inseparable Parts|
As 3D printing technology improves, it will likely change almost every major industry and the way we live, work, and play in the future. This technology allows for the creation of custom parts and prototypes at a fraction of the cost compared to other manufacturing methods. The possibilities are endless, and now even homeowners can create their own furniture.