You don't need to be an engineering expert to understand how 3D printers work. With a digital model and the material of your choice, you can create a physical prototype of nearly any object or design.
What Is 3D Printing?
3D printers turn digital models into reality. This developing technology is capable of creating complex shapes and custom designs for a surprisingly low cost.
3D printed objects are used as tools, parts, and prototypes in many different fields. Mechanics use 3D printers to create new parts and tools. Hospitals and dentists use 3D printers to make custom hearing aids, dental implants, and prosthetics. Jewelers use 3D printed prototypes to finalize the design of an expensive ring or necklace.
Unlike other forms of production, 3D printing has an extremely low startup cost. No molds or form factors are used, so you can order an individual prototype or an entire print for a similar price per item.
How Does 3D Printing Work?
3D printers create objects in layers. This process is known as additive manufacturing. Just as a cake decorator makes a flower out of icing, the 3D printer pipes material into the shape of an object. Each new layer adds structure, height, and complexity.
A digital model is used to render the exact object to be created. Nex, the 3D printing software slices that object into small layers that are easy to recreate. Finally, the 3d printer mechanically creates these layers out of a chosen material. Some printers fuse beads of polymer or metal; others inject layers of resin into the desired shape.
You need a CAD (computer-aided drafting) model of that object that you wish to print. This model should consider the limitations of the material and the process that will be used to create it.
3D printed objects are typically made from either plastic, resin, or metal. Plastic printing is used for functional objects and prototypes. Resin printing is used to create smooth sculptures with fine details. 3D metal printing is used for machine parts, tools, and extremely durable objects.
There are multiple printing processes that create products with different structures and textures. Most processes can only print with certain materials. Don't be afraid to ask the manufacturer to recommend a material and process for your design.
How To 3D Print Your Object
The final step is to upload your design to a 3D printing service. You will be given a quote based on the size and complexity of your item, the material and process chosen, and the number of items that need to be created.
Your 3D printed parts may need additional work to become a complete product. This can include sanding and buffing, removing support structures, adding a coating, and creating an object out of multiple pieces. Ask your printing service or design agency about their post-processing capabilities.
3D Hubs offers CNC machining services in the making of all kinds of parts. From medical prostheses to aerospace units to automobile engine parts, they provide CNC machining services, assuring the quality of the products while executing responsive customer assistance and fostering great user experience.
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