3D printing is being established and it is becoming the accepted mode of technology. By using the 3D objects, businesses can promote their goods. New clients will be added to your business as you will be able to create a prototype at the earliest. Instead of using 2D drawings, you can go for 3D simulations and real prints so that you can make the most of your time and effort. 3D printing came to the limelight with Charles Hull who is also the founder of 3D Systems. The company was established in 1984. In fact, he had taken patents on 60 topics that belong to optics and prototyping.
Traditional Vs. 3D technology
Additive manufacturing is nothing but the creation of objects through layering process. Hundreds of thousands of layers will be glued together and heated to produce a 3D object. It is possible to use products that are developed through additive manufacturing at any stage in the production line. The research on 3D object creation went further because of the need to find a quick solution (to print a 3D spare part or a prototype).
The traditional methods of manufacturing are referred as subtractive manufacturing. While machining thin layers are removed in order to get the required shape. The machining is accomplished in various ways like cutting, grinding, broaching, milling and drilling. Thin layers are produced in the additive manufacturing process and they are clubbed at specified temperatures to generate a solid shape. Various techniques were developed to produce layers. The coordination between printer and computer is achieved through the software so that various kinds of 3D objects are produced.
First 3D printer
Thin layers were produced by using stereolithography which were converted into a 3D object later. In fact Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) was also developed parallel to the stereolithography technology. This was done by Scott Crump in 1988. He is the founder of Stratasys. ‘3 Dimensional Printing Techniques’ were patented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993. Z Corporation had taken a license from MIT to produce 3D printers. Thus in 1996, the world witnessed its first brand of 3D printers which was the combined efforts of Z corporation, Stratasys and 3D Systems.
Extensive research was carried out to enhance 3D printing capabilities in terms of resolution. Highly sophisticated software came into existence by the year, 2005. Spectrum Z510 is the world’s first high resolution color 3D printer. Reprap, an open source 3D printing project was initiated in England in 2006. The printer was able to manufacture various kinds of plastic parts. Darwin was the first version of Reprap which was released in 2008. Subsequent to Darwin, Mendel was released which was more efficient than Darwin. Square frame was used in Darwin, whereas triangular core structure was used by Mendel.
Several new printers were released after Mendel. Huxley and Prusa are some noteworthy models which were developed along-with many mini-systems. Self replication capability was achieved with the development of extruded technology. 3D printing capability was further enhanced with the ability to generate additional copies of objects.