3D REVOLUTION | The What if? of 3D Printing

3D Printing Possibilities
What is,  How to and What if? on 3D Printing.

3D Printing in the medical world has opened the way for further advances in the treatment of patients requiring a transplant or corrective surgery. Exploration has excelled to the point where actual organs are being made today.

Fashion has embraced the technology too, with intricate garments and accessories. However, the technology has long been used in the creative industries such as; architecture, graphic design, and other creative disciplines.

Architecture-3dprint-tec - 3D Printing Possibilities
Courtesy of Sculpteo

So, what is 3d printing and how does it all work?

Known generally as Additive Manufacturing; Stereolithography or  3-D Layering being other terms used for describing the process. 3d printing, in some form, has actually been around for a while.

The technology behind the process of generating a physical solid object from a digital file has been widely used in product design and architectural industries in the past. The technology has moved up a notch and in doing so has made itself potentially desirable to the general household.

As with regular printing, once all the configurations are set and the 3D printer is connected, it’s just a matter of selecting print and waiting for you model to complete, as it starts building, layer by layer, a physical copy of your digital file.

images by sculpteo 3d+printer-1k copy - 3D Printing Possibilities

Can anyone use a 3D printer and what the future may look like career wise?

As use of the technology is explored live, and awareness of its capabilities become even more widely known, 3d printers will start finding its way into the homes of individuals with the inclination to get creative and either start a business or simply fancy having a handy printer about for outputting spare door keys, tools, product parts, door handles, you name it…

None-the-less, not everyone will readily have, or even desire, direct access to a 3D printer, especially after learning that there are a number companies that provide 3D printing services. This creates a situation where we have a number of layers of different types of potential users. Here is a simple example;

The entrepreneur

this could be a jewellery designer, who designs and does her own 3D modelling and printing. Maximizing her control and earning potential, especially as all her production is done in-house.

3D Artist

this could be a 3D expert that specializes in 3D Art or product design. He sells his 3D work as digital files or physical objects to the public or other artist or creative services. He also occasionally works alongside a jewelry designer, where he works hand drawn sketches into 3D digital files.

Consumer

this is the person who simply buys a 3D printed product…he or she may or may not have any interest whatsoever in the manufacturing process. However, if it came to it, this person would order a hard to find a missing part for, say, a rare antique clock.  And have it especially

How do I create my own 3d models?

To create your own 3D model you will need 3D Modelling Software installed on your computer, although I note there are a few online solutions. Suitable 3D Modelling Software for printing objects, however,  will also need to allow you to save your model in the necessary format, which includes;  STL, OBJ, X3D, Collada orVRML97/2.

3D Printers work in a number of different ways. Combining individual cross sectional layers as a method of building a 3D object. One method involves drawing a design using light sensitive chemicals that turn solid when introduced to light, whilst a laser produces the drawing by moving across a thin layer of liquid. This is known as Stereolithography.

Another method involves heating and extruding a filament of material, to create a 3D object.

Now, Selective Laser Sintering is a similar process to Stereo-lithography, however, rather than a UV Light, a laser and a powder base vat of liquid, which could even be chocolate, is used. This method has an advantage over Stereo-lithography, being that a variety of materials, from metals, plastics, and ceramics can be used.

Fused Deposition Modeling uses heat whilst extruding a filament of plastic. This process enables the production of strong durable parts.

With Powder Bed Printing, although the results may vary in terms of texture and capability of the process applied, all these processes can be used for printing food.

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Related Links:

Medical Regenerative Treatment & 3D Printing

An interview with designer Marcelo Coelho

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3D Printing Possibilities
3D Printing Possibilities

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