3D printing has accelerated innovation in numerous industries, including dentistry, eyewear, prosthetics, furniture design, archaeology, paleontology, and forensic sciences. In fact, we’re just getting started in realizing how 3D printing can improve our lives and work drastically.
A variety of techniques are available when it comes to 3D printing
Additive manufacturing is characterized by the introduction or bonding of additional materials to create a part. Objects that can be 3D printed are geometrically complex, making them ideal for a variety of manufacturing applications. Parts can be printed using a variety of technologies with machines ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars.
An additive manufacturing process uses 3D printing to create objects. A part is manufactured using additive manufacturing when an additional material is added, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing where a material is subtracted. By using CAD (computer-aided design) files, 3D printers make three-dimensional objects. Many materials and technologies are available for 3D printing, making it easy to design parts for virtually any industry.
What Are the Benefits of 3D Printing in Manufacturing?
Despite the fact that 3D printing is often linked to toys and simple items, it is actually capable of producing components capable of enduring the most rugged conditions. A wide range of industries, including energy, automotive, and defense, use 3D printed parts in manufacturing. Its transformative effects are being felt in numerous industries and processes, from functional prototypes to tools, fixtures, and end-use parts.
You might be surprised to learn 3D printers have existed since the 1980s, when many people assumed they were a new technology. 3D Printing was primarily used for industrial applications up until 2009, and printers were prohibitively expensive for most companies. The costs of 3D printing have fallen significantly since 3D printers began to be used widely for manufacturing purposes. Several factors are responsible for the growth in the 3D printing industry, such as the increased use of 3D printing in manufacturing, which was considered impossible before the technology gained traction.
3D printing uses a variety of techniques
What are the most common 3D printing technologies? Several 3D printing techniques are available. Parts are built in discrete slices called layers in all 3D printing technologies.
Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF, also known as Fused Deposition Modeling)
Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR)
FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
The most common and most affordable type of printing is fused filament fabrication. FFF involves heating thermoplastic near its melting point and extruding it out of a nozzle that generates a cross section image of the layering for each part. Layers are added one after another in this manner.
Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR)
FFF parts can be reinforced with continuous fibers using continuous fiber reinforcement. Two kinds of extrusion systems are used in CFR-capable machines — one for conventional FFF filament and another for big strands of continuous fiber. As opposed to FFF infill, these fibers are laid in layers. This technology produces significantly stronger parts (up to 10 times stronger than the equivalent aluminum parts) and can replace standard FFF materials such as ABS and PLA.
The most widely used technology for 3D printing today is fused filament fabrication. The carbon fiber reinforced materials provide the same benefits of FFF as they eliminate key parts weaknesses. A CFR part is strong enough to replace machined aluminum in key manufacturing operations, as opposed to FFF components which are usually limited by the strength of weak polymers.
In the end, It’s all about
By integrating several printers into its manufacturing process, many companies find that they can significantly reduce the amount of time spent fabricating parts in-house. Using a 3D printer to produce low-volume, custom parts can be a faster and cheaper option. As a result, businesses can spend time and energy focusing on revenue-generating parts, rather than low-volume parts that may not generate revenue. The use of a 3D printer enables rapid production of designs without wasting resources on parts that may not meet quality standards. Therefore, 3D printers are ideal for printing low-volume, custom-designed prototypes, tools, and fixtures that can be complex and difficult to machine, but are essential to a successful production process.