What is 3D Printing Technology?
3D Printing Technology is making 3D models in the form of thin layers of plastic, metal, and other materials. It’s not a new process and has been around since the 1980s. However, 3D printing has increased in popularity over the last few years due to rapid advances and growing accessibility from the internet. 3D printing is one of the most significant technological advancements, with businesses, movie studios, and celebrities taking advantage of this technology.
Trends in 3D Printing Technology
Wood-Filled 3D Printing
Traditional 3D printing involves a process where a material is heated, and then the resulting molten plastic is used to build an object layer by layer. Wood-filled 3D printing replaces the plastic with wood powder and uses the same layering technique. The resulting object is made from over 30 thousand layers of wood powder and has to be cured under high temperatures to be strong enough to hold any weight.
Fused Deposition Modeling
The most recent trend in 3D printing technology is fused deposition modeling or FDM. FDM was created to address shortcomings of traditional 3D printing methods that led to uneven and sometimes ineffective results. Individuals could print an object with out-of-proportion or warped proportions and uneven surfaces and surfaces that fracture, which led to a ton of wasted plastic and ink.
Digital Light Processing (DLP)
This additive manufacturing method uses a digital projector to project a 3D image onto a special vat that contains a photopolymer resin. The resin is cured by exposure to ultraviolet light, which hardens and creates an object in the shape of a 3D image. This method is primarily used for industrial purposes such as prototyping.
Selective Laser Sintering
Like FDM, selective laser sintering is a method of building objects directly in powdered materials. However, there are no heated printing beds, and the powder is melted at lower temperatures to produce objects with better precision.
Uses of 3D Printing
Implants have been 3D printed for various medical purposes, such as dental implants. These implants use printer-made titanium plates that include a titanium crown or other replacement pieces in place of missing teeth.
A popular idea connected with 3D printing is the creation of custom-made jewelry that is printed out of thin plastic filament. Rather than using traditional equipment to cut and shape precious metals, these pieces are created by computer files.
While these products have been available for a while, prosthetic limbs have only recently been made possible by 3D printing technology. These 3D-printed prosthetics allow people to regain the use of a limb they may have lost in an accident or injury.
The Future of 3D Printing
3D printing will evolve and change as technology advances and becomes more affordable and accessible. With the prevailing 3D printing technology available, various companies, such as Konica Minolta AU, offer services based on 3D printing, where they print items for people on request. Some of these include 3D models, jewelry, figurines, action figures, and more.