How 3D Printers Make 3D Objects ?
The 3D printing technology refers to the process of making three-dimensional object using a machine such as 3D printer or 3Doodler. The 3D printing techniques is also known as Additive Manufacturing. It all started in 1980s when researchers and engineers are figuring out ways to make rapid prototyping more efficient.
Now, there are mainly three different techniques used in 3D printing technology:
- Extrusion: in this process, the plastic filament is melted and extracted on the building platform of the 3D system to make 3D object step by step using layer formed on the platform.
- Resin: in this process, a liquid photosensitive resin is cut by a laser or a light projector to create the 3D object directly in resin tank. The most common technology in this process is Stereo lithography.
- Powder: in this process, a powdered material is melted or sintered by a light source (mostly by laser) and then it is joined together to form the 3D object. The most common technology designed using this technique is Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
Whether the technique used in 3D system is Extrusion or Resin it goes through same procedure of making a 3D object. In the process of making a 3D object, the 3D printer takes the basic steps to its design. The whole procedure is defined below in eight numbers of stops.
- The Creation of 3D model
The first step in making of a 3D solid object is to create a 3D model in computer using any computer-aided design package. You can get many 3d printing ideas from the sample available across the internet. There is various 3D modeling software available in the market. You can either buy one or use open source software. According to the convenience and need of user he/she can choose a particular software e.g. for beginner the AutoCAD is best paid software and Google SketchUp is best freeware. Other than that some software also provides information on the behavior of object in different condition which will be helpful for professional users in case of various types of testing.
- Conversion to printer file format
The next step of the creation of 3D object is to convert the CAD format design into printer operating system file format. Most of the printer uses STL (Standard Tessellation Language) file format because it is the oldest file format. The STL file format was first developed in 1987 for 3D systems although some newer system uses ObjDF or ZPR file format. Depending upon the type of printer the conversion of file format occurs.
- Sending and copying the model into 3D system
The next step in the building of 3D object is to copy the 3D design in the computer and sending it to 3D printer for creation of solid object. Some printer also uses SD card or USB cable for printing. In that case, the role of computer operating 3D printer eliminates and the 3D system stores the design of 3D object.
- Preparing the 3D printer
In this step, the user set up 3D printer and prepares it for printing by doing processes like adding or refilling raw material. Every printer has different procedure so, read its instruction manual before getting started.
- Printing of object
The next of building 3D printed object is the making of design. The whole process is automatic and the user just has to wait for it to complete. It might be the longest process in the whole procedure sometimes it even takes days to complete. Depending upon the printer and design created this process takes sometimes minutes and sometimes the entire day. So, after the design has been created be sure to check for errors and irregularities.
- Removal and checking
In this process, safely remove the printed object from 3D system to prevent the breakage of its parts and check for any error. Don’t forget to caution restrain before removing the 3D object.
- Post processing and Finishing
The last step in the creation of 3D object is to remove extra powder or supports from the design. In this process, the user also provides finishing to the object sometimes by heating or cooling processes. However, some material may require time to take its shape so, don’t forget to check for solidity property of material.
3D printing is transforming the manufacturing into a portable and simple process. So, that anyone can use the new additive manufacturing techniques to make 3D objects. The application of 3D printers are limitless you can use them in any service sector to create objects. From medical to food industry it can be used in any sector for manufacturing purposes. Other than that it is faster and cost-effective. Furthermore, it’s your chance to learn about the process of making 3D object from 3D printer whether, you are a beginner or a professional in 3D printing technology the above given steps will surely help you to experience the process of 3D printing technology more enjoyable than ever. Have fun Creating!!!!!!!!!