In the last few years, we’ve heard a lot concerning 3D printing and the numerous applications of this new technology. How does 3D printing function? How does it differ from other processes for manufacturing? What else could the technology be utilize to do?
Manufacturing With Subtractive Vs Additive Numerous
Making objects is usually subtractive processes beginning with the block of material aluminum for instance, which is then machine (i.e. remove the material) until you have the size and shape you want.
However, 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, performs the process reverse. Instead of taking material away from the surface, this printer dispenses it. The process gradually disperses the material using an nozzle control by a computer, one layer at a time, gradually building into a completely produce product.
The material being use can include or (usually ABS) or a metallic. The process generally built using a computer-generated model of the object or machine component that is being consider, and may create a variety of complex designs (see the video below).
An Expanding Numerous Market
The technology create in the mid-1980s, by Chuck Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems However, 3D printing as a name 3D printing was first employ a few years later. The process initially was use to create small-scale parts production and also to make prototypes. However, the process has grown to bigger components and the process is now becoming more commonplace.
The marketplace of 3D printers is value at US$1.7 billion and is expect to see increase to US$3.7 billion by the year 2015. The cost of individual printers may vary depending on the size of the printer and printing quality you’re after. For example The MakerBot Replicator 2 (see video below) costs around $2200 an astronomical cost for mass retail. The less expensive system, The Cube, made by 3D Systems, is selling for $1,299.
Numerous Industries Have Many Uses
3D printing can use for a variety of purposes and is utilized in various industries.
Medicine And Health
3D printing is a promising technology that has the potential to completely transform areas like health healthcare. In recent times it has been utilized to create medical components, including hearing braces and aids. This method can also employ to recreate body parts, such as hips, ear canals, and even organs precisely proportion to the individual. This could potentially end the need for organ donor organs and give doctors access to the ability to order human tissue.
In the first of its kind, in February 2012, surgeons implanted a complete titanium jaw made of 3D printing in an old woman. Dr. Anthony Atala gave a great TED presentation last year on how 3D printing could be utilized to create human kidneys (see the video below).
A Dutch architect firm created KamerMaker, a 3D printer designed by Dutch architects KamerMaker a 3D printer that can print objects that are large enough to build an entire room (see the video below). The KamerMaker can print objects that are as big as 2m by 2m by 3.4m sufficient for industrial structures.
The potential applications of 3D printing in architecture are endless. architects can use 3D printing to create and print designs at the site of construction as need. The technology can also be utilized to print structures that could be used to create temporary shelters.
In disaster-prone areas portable 3D printers can provide faster setup and more suitable shelter as modifications and design made on site. In his film The Man Who Prints Houses Italian engineer Enrico Dini tells the tale of his efforts to create the largest 3D printer on the planet (the D-shape).
High-End Manufacturing Numerous
Numerous aerospace companies have demonstrated an interest at 3D printing. The month of September, 2012 saw Airbus declare that it would be working with South African-base company Aerosud to develop a huge 3D printer, which will make use of titanium powder to create aircraft parts.
In the end, Airbus like to develop the 3D printer large enough to build planes from. The ground and a hangar-size printer with a size of 80m in x 80m.
In September Ferra Engineering land a A$200 million contract with Lockheed Martin. To make titanium components that will part of the F-35 joint strike fighter by using 3D printing. This is a first in the world and a huge boost in the Australian manufacturing industry.
Made In Space is a US company testing 3D printing with zero gravity. This process may enable astronauts to print items that are required while in space, thus saving precious weight during launch.
Studying 3D Printing
NASA has been studying 3D printing for a while in the past. And has been looking at the possibility of using this technology for long missions. Where astronauts could design their own equipment for the journey.
This year, Swinburne University developed a 3D printer as big as an area of just a few square feet. Which allows for large components to be print. The 3D printer can print objects made of a variety of different materials, including cobalt, steel and the chromium.
3D printing can also cut down on the amount of time and cost required for manufacturing. The rate of material scrap is almost remove and the parts are create in one piece. That eliminates the requirement for a lot of tools and cutting. Rapid prototyping at this speed could allow for more effective development experimentation and testing.