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How 3D Printing Is Green

3D printing is a very cool form of manufacturing technology, but it is also a very green form of manufacturing. Read more to find out how.

3D printing is a very neat form of manufacturing technology in my opinion. It allows for the creation of some seriously intricate pieces that can’t be done through traditional manufacturing, it is very efficient in many situations, and has no ceiling on where it can go. There are some crazy applications such as printing parts to firearms, food, houses, organs, and other entirely custom designs. There is simply no limit as to where this technology could go in my opinion. One factor about this technology that I want to discuss is the efficiency, as well as the “green” capabilities of this technology. 3D Printing is much more friendly for the environment than other forms of manufacturing like mold manufacturing, or traditional (and newer) machining applications. There are simply so many possibilities for this technology, not to mention the great factors for it.


Before I even get into that, let me discuss what 3D printing actually is, and how the process works. First off, 3D printing is the layer by layer assembly of pretty much whatever you want. A printer, or machine used for 3D printing will actually lay down materials at a layer at a time. These layers could be a fraction of the diameter of a human hair, or they could be a foot in length. There are so many options when it comes into manufacturing pieces. There are so many materials to choose from, there are well over 100 in fact. There are so many machines to choose from! There are printers which are as small as your desktop printer, but there are printers which are larger than your king sized bed. Some of these printers will be creating small pieces for dental applications, hearing aids, jewelry applications, and small pieces. Some of these printers are prototyping large pieces used in cars, houses, and various large pieces. There are tons of variety in what can be produced.


How does 3D printing actually work? Well, like I said the printer will lay down material one layer at a time. However, these machines run off of a CAM system, or a computer aided manufacturing system. This means that 3D printing is done through an automated process. A designer of some kind will have to create a 3D model from his or her computer, and he or she will have to send the model to the printer. When everything is assembled on the printer, the design will be plugged I, and the operator will pretty much hit “go” and the print will start.


This technology is very significant, as it is very green for the environment. The amount of material used is typically the amount of material used. Due to the layer by layer process, material is added, not removed and wasted. Also, 3D printing helps to reduce outsourced work, as it can simply be plugged into the machine in the US, instead of outsourced to India, China, or Taiwan. The transportation of moving product from a facility in China to the USA is much harsher than the production of a custom part from a local printer.  

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If you enjoyed this article, you might want to learn about 3D Model Printing, or possibly you'd like to join a 3D Printing Community.

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