3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the building of a three dimensional object out of a CAD drawing or a digital 3D image. The word “3D” can refer to various processes by which material is added, joined orsolidified under computer numerical control (CNC) control, typically through solidification of material (using solvents, adhesives, hardeners, etc) using a die casting process. Computer numerical control (CNC) technology allows for designs to be produced in various shapes and sizes, often with changeable details or features. Some popular CNC machines are AutoCAD, Tektronix Digiision G desktop and Intellicad. Most industrial consumer grade equipment is based on CNC technology.
For instance, using computer numerical control to determine how an item such as a pen will fit into a given space can be used for additive manufacturing. A manufacturing technician designing components of a new item may use this methodology to determine the placement of holes for screws, nuts, bolts or other hardware. The exact placement of these components will depend on the requirements of the customer, which is often determined by the design.
In addition to the traditional CNC machinery, there are more modern methods such as Solid State Drives (SSD). This technique is used in place of traditional plating, using electrically charged particles which deposit onto a substrate in place of material. This is a much less expensive and faster method of material placement, compared to solidifying the material using traditional methods. Solid State Drives use electronic impulses to rapidly deposit material, without any solidifying agents. In some cases, the speed of the SSD can be increased to permit more material to be deposited at a time.
In additive manufacture, computer numerical control (CNC) is applied to design patterns in solid or liquid materials. This is done by manipulating digital images to build up a solid or semi-solid product, using specialized software. In the past, additive printing was limited to only very specific uses such as printing metal parts using a metal feeder nozzle. However, the rapid advance of digital printing has revolutionized the production process. Now any material can be produced using this technology. It is possible to create high quality plastic parts, metal products, glass beads, fiberglass, and even synthetic textiles using additive technologies.
Some printers work by using a resin bed which holds a melted object while it is being printed. Plates are then fed through this bed onto the object. The resin is thermo-regulated so that it doesn’t burn or dry out. The printer also controls the flow of the material through the feeders. This allows for fast printing and greater detail.
Another benefit of using this technique is that it can be used with different types of material. This includes plastics and metals. It also has a shorter delivery time than other methods such as roll forming. For example, using annealed baking can reduce the time from design creation to final product by 40%. In addition, using this method allows for a higher speed printing and reduced waste.
Also, because additive technologies hold solid materials together, the objects created can have a smooth finish and are stronger than ordinary manufactured products. This is because the solid materials are well held together. It is also important to keep additive materials clean and free from contaminates because they will prevent the final product from coming out the way that was intended. This prevents damage to the customer and to the business.
As additive technology advances, it can be expected to become an integral part of many manufacturing processes. As new products and jobs are created it can help make the process more efficient. It can also increase the quality of the end product. Therefore, it can have a significant impact on the economy. However, before implementing any new method of digital printing it is important to do some research and learn about the pros and cons. Doing so can help make the decision whether to use an additive or digital print material more productive and beneficial to the business and to the end user.