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The Machines Within 3D Printing

3D printing has the power to do some crazy stuff, but one of the key aspects are the machines - or 3D printers themselves. Read this article to learn about the printers used within this technology.

3D printing has the power to truly change the way that we think about manufacturing technologies. The capability of this technology has the power to sincerely change how things are prototyped, produced, and began. When considering how manufacturing currently works, and how it is starting to become impacted through 3D printing, you may be surprised. Before I even jump into that, let us discuss what 3D printing consists of. What’s the big deal? What does it even do?


3D printing is also referred to as additive manufacturing. The thought process behind this technology is that layers of material are “added”, hence the “add-itive” manufacturing. There are various machines that actually produce the parts, and these are called 3D printers. There are over 100 printers available now for purchase if you’re interested. There is also a feasible variety of consumer level printers as well. I’ll also go into more depth on these printers in a moment, but let’s discuss how 3D printing actually works.


Initially, a 3D model will have to be designed on the computer. An artist, designer, engineer, or whatever will have to create a 3D model which will be used by the printer. Keep in mind, 3D printing uses a CAM system, or a computer aided manufacturing system. This means that a computer will literally tell an ink head where to go when creating layers of material. When the design reaches the printer, it will be taken into account for the actual manufacturing process. The computer will start to lay down layers of material in specification to the actual model. When it comes down to actually laying down layers of material, there are various different ways to go about using 3D printing. Like I mentioned earlier, there are quite a few printers .Some of these machines are great for creating very small detailed pieces. Some of these machines are great for working exclusively with metal materials. Others are well rounded and offer various plastic such as ABS. These machines will use various methods to lay down layers of material. Some processes involve laying down layers of powder, and binding them through glue-like materials. Others involve extruding material through an extruder. When thinking about an extruder, think of a hot glue gun that is fully automated through a CAM system. Melt-able material will be forced through a hot glue gun like head, and the melted material will be laid down. Other options are very complex, such as SLA, also known as stereolithography. This process involves using ultraviolet light to cure resins of material. These liquid resins will solidify when exposed to certain exposures of light, yielding a final part.


The options for 3D printing are simply crazy in my opinion. There are options which involve creating metal pieces that are incredibly intricate. Some models can be produced in full color, using sandstone like materials. There are also other materials that help. UltimatelyFeature Articles, using 3D printing can give the option to create virtually anything – with some size limits & levels of resolution – out of a large variety of materials.

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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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