The market is already familiar with 2D printing or regular printing method on paper or on desire materials. With the technology advancement, paper printing become real that is tangible and practical by 3D printing.
Normally when print on 2D or print on paper, the output is in forms of pictures or characters on the paper, however, with 3D printing, the turnout is a piece of material that is actual with width, depth, and height according to the input specifications. 3D printing is a new era of printing that create innovation in production.
Definition of 3D Printer
3D printer is a leading edge in printing that bring ideas or draft to life. The production is realistic, factual, and functional. For example, a person designs a football and 3D printer actually print out a football that is circular with the exact measurement as in design.
Most of 3D printer’s principles are common where it print each layer at horizon like XY axis or Cross Section. Then, the printer moves its base to print the next layer. One after another into 3D model.
Typically, the resolution of 3D printing is measured in micron such as 100 Micron (0.1mm) per product; represents each layer at approximately 0.1 mm in height. If the model is 10 mm tall, the printer needs to print 100 layers in total. If the printer speed is at 50 Micron (0.05 mm), it would take more time in printing. However, the numbers that tell the thickness of each layer does not indicate quality of the piece of production.
Types of 3D Printers according to process of print and materials
1. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or FFF is widely used in present. Its mechanic is to melt plastics into liquid and sprays out with nozzle, similarly to a glue gun. The FDM draws plastic lines in horizontal layers until complete.
The FDM is suitable for all types of production where the output can be scrub, refine or punctured for further use. Raw materials could be PLA, ABS, PET, Nylon, semi Wood and Plastic and Bronze for example.
2. Stereo Lithography (SLA) and Digital Light Processing (DLP)
The SLA 3D printer irradiates at a tray that contains Photo Resin / Photopolymer. Once the photo resin hits the light, it hardens in specific area and forms a 3D model.Differences of the SLA and the DLP are the source of light and speed of production. The SLA uses laser beam and the printer lasers at Photo Resin and draws laser continuously.
The DLP uses a projector beam at Photo Resin which the projector is able to beam the whole tray. It takes less time to produce as each drawing lines are not required.
This type of 3D printer is used in small innovation that desires high definition and quality results, therefore, it is suitable for jewelry manufacturing, small parts formation, and figure models.
3. Powder 3D Printer
Powder 3D Printer uses Gypsum powder or plastic powder as a component of production. The printer prints on Gypsum powder and adds colours. While printing, the printer sprays blinder to form a desire shape.
The advantage of Powder 3D Printer is true colours. It is suitable for real piece of art or a production that need vivid colours.
4. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) algorithm is quite similar to SLA but the difference is method of harden the Photo Resin which is laser. SLS beams out laser directly on materials such as brass powder. It melts the powder until it comes together and overlaps each layer.
Types of 3D Printer according to the market
It can be divided into 4 types where printer, software, and material differ.
1. Rapid Prototype
3D printing is mostly used to create a quick prototype according to the concept or print to test its function. The printing may not be practical and uses for physical examination before genuine printing.
For example, in car manufacturing, Ford firstly used 3D printing in 2013 to manufacture over 150,000 prototypes.
2. Molds and Tooling
3D Printing uses jigs and fixtures to produce metal and plastic which is a delicate task and requires an expert. It is able to reduce cost of printing and able to change types of product often. Therefore, it can produce many different categories of products by using Sand Mold and Lost Wax printing methods.
Sand Mold – is used as a core centre inside and cast liquid metal and form into a shape. According to a report from ExOne, the leading in Sand Mold 3D Printing, this type of printer can save time up to 70% and is accurate in deliver quality product in both dimensions and complexions.
Lost Wax – It is to create a product from Lost Wax with 3D printer and wraps with finishing material before putting into a furnace. When the Lost Wax is melted and poured over, there is a whole inside a mole that can replace with melted metal and create a piece of product. This method is well known in dentistry industry, jewellery, and in producing valuable items at limited order.
3. Direct Digital Manufacturing or DDM
A feature of this type of 3D printing is ability to produce complex parts into one piece such as to put together a necklace seamlessly and a model vessel in a bottle. Furthermore, Airbus used this technology to produce composite airplane parts from metal and does not require a connection of each parts altogether.
Direct Digital Manufacturing does not require a mold; suitable for a single output or at limited order such as in James Bond’s Skyfall movie, the Aston Martin DB5 was produced at 1:3 by Voxeljet VX4000 3D Printer where 18 automobile parts were produced and mimic true colours. This way, the movie studio saves a huge cost – instead of buying the actual car.
4. Personal Fabrication
To make it easy to understand, 3D printing for this market is for individual that would need to create own invention. It is used at home and for light tasks.
3D Printer not only print a desire product, but it is a true innovation that disrupt the manufacturing industry. It may require higher cost but able to deliver with speed. Sizes of the print, colours and durability of materials can be determined at desire.
Should there be any inquiry for 3D printing or more information, please feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to assist you.
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