The modern world is filled with all the new developments in the field of additive printing.
Despite the fact that in many countries, 3D printing is already part of everyday life, in some of them, three-dimensional technology is still a wonder.
Of course, industrial giants and world-famous companies have already begun to introduce three-dimensional printing in various fields in different countries of the world. The potential of industrial 3D printers is very high, but the requirements are enormous for them.
3D printing has opened up completely new possibilities for the physical visualization of the designer’s imagination. It allows materializing extremely complex projects that can not be implemented even on the most cunning lathe and milling machines.
This fact passes the red line through the development of new concepts and 3D printing products that appear every day.
Nevertheless, of course, you have to somehow hide from the eyes the random discrepancies between the project and the actually received object.
What you designed is not always what you got in the end. There are a lot of factors that influence the thermomechanical process of 3D printing, which, if they are not taken into account at the design stage, can lead to a change in the model.
The 3D model, which will be printed later on a 3D printer, is different from a 3D model developed for casting or milling. This is due to the technical features of the 3D-printer, from which you must either squeeze the maximum benefit or adjust to the disadvantages of such printing.
It is known that a prerequisite for 3D printing is the presence of a 3D model, according to which the printer will grow a three-dimensional object. But even having modeled the subject, you should not assume with absolute certainty that the job is done, and soon the printer will give you the finished product.
The fact is that not all models are suitable for 3D printing. There are certain requirements for the size, thickness, and design of the models – and these requirements vary depending on the material and printer used. In addition to these individual characteristics, there are general requirements that distinguish models for printing from other 3D models.
What are 3D modeling and 3D models?
3D technologies have already become so firmly established in our life that it is difficult to imagine everyday life without some of their methods.
While 3D printing is just beginning to take root in the world, 3D modeling is actively used both in design and in the manufacturing industry. Digital 3D models are useful in the development of computer games, movies, in 3D visualization, and in preparation for the process of 3D printing.
3D modeling is much more effective than traditional drawings and two-dimensional images of designed products because it allows evaluating in detail the characteristics of the object at the initial stages of work.
We have repeatedly written about what a 3D model is, it is a three-dimensional digital image of a real or fictional object. Such models are designed on the basis of drawings, photographs, and sketches, as well as elementary “from the head.” High-quality 3D models can undergo further texturing and 3D visualization.
And they can go to a 3D printer and become part of real life. It all depends on the purpose of the digital object.
To create 3D models, certain information is required: a drawing, image, sample or real object. Or a very clear idea of the appearance of the future model.
Also to facilitate the process, 3D modeling can occur based on the result of a 3D scan. This approach is applied when it is necessary to model complex objects or real people.
There are two types of representation of surfaces in 3D models: polygonal and voxel. The second is rarely used, especially in 3D printing, because it is not allowed for a uniform surface.
The main scope of the application of voxel graphics is medical devices (computer tomographs and MRI scanners). Polygonal representation is very popular and is used in almost all programs.
This is a universal representation by which 3D models are created for any purpose. Now almost every simulation application allows you to also manipulate the color, lighting, and texture of a 3D model. After all the settings are rendered, or visualization, through which the appearance of the model can be assessed visually.
Advantages of 3D printing:
The first 3D printer was introduced to the world three decades ago, back in 1984. The author of this miracle of technology was ChuckHull, who is the founder of one of the world’s largest 3D Systems companies, a leader in the field of creating 3D printers.
Since those years, technology has undergone a radical change, which has led to an increase in the capabilities of the devices. Today, 3D printers print any objects from the required material.
The size of the created object is limited only by the working surface of the printer itself. Details of large projects must be connected using a special superglue.
– Recreating an exact copy of the desired object.
– fast print speed (1.2 cm/s)
– economical consumption of materials
– ability to create the required number of identical objects
– long and convenient storage of used materials
– a wide range of materials used
– autonomous process of creating a volume object.
Areas of expertise where 3D printing is needed
3D printing is substantially entering our lives, turning from a narrowly focused and expensive service into an indispensable assistant for professionals in various fields of activity. The availability of 3D printing allows bold experiments in architecture, construction, small-scale production, medicine, education, jewelry, printing, advertising, creation of souvenirs and many more.
3D printing is widely used in the manufacture of architectural layouts of buildings, structures, entire neighborhoods, cottage settlements with all the infrastructure: roads, trees, street lighting. The figure shows the layouts of buildings created using three-dimensional printing. For printing three-dimensional architectural layouts, a cheap gypsum composite is used, which provides low cost of ready-made models. Today about 390 thousand shades of CMYK palette are available for 3D printing, which allows realizing any color fantasy of the architect.
Engineers from the University of Southern California created a 3D printing system for working with large objects. The system works on the principle of a construction crane, which builds walls of concrete layers. Such a 3D printer can build a two-story house in just 20 hours. The workers will only have to install windows, doors and carry out the interior decoration of the room. Dutch architects offered to print a unique house in the shape of a Mobius strip using a construction 3D printer.
Today, 3D printers are quite successfully used in construction, the results look impressive. Buildings made in layers of special cement mixture are being printed.
The working solution for printing has a certain formula, which can not be broken. After all, the solution should set well and harden, so that the next layer was applied on a strong base. It is also important that the layers are securely seized among themselves.
3D printing technologies in construction make it possible to quickly erect buildings, as well as give them the most original forms. A striking example is the work of A.
Rudenko, who printed a small castle, as well as a spectacular hotel additional building in the Philippines. The Chinese have already erected a building of five floors, printed on a 3D printer. The house was going up in parts. Initially, only panels that were mounted in place were printed.
Perhaps in the future, any car can be printed in somebody’s garage, having, of course, the appropriate equipment. Now a more realistic perspective is the printing of spare parts for cars. Some amateur printers have already started manufacturing parts from ABS plastic. Thus, a broken handle or plastic trim can be made with the help of three-dimensional printing for mere pennies.
However, this is not all. MarkForged has developed a 3D printer that prints products with the support of carbon fibers. Now, some printed parts already adorn the Formula 1 race cars. Another company Local Motors in the USA has released a car, the body of which was created using three-dimensional printing.
Japanese addicted to Toyota, who are also working on their own type of printed car, are also addicted to this technology.
Small Volume Manufacturing
Professional 3D printers are gradually gaining their positions in the field of small volume production. Most often, this printing technology is used for the manufacture of exclusive products, such as art objects, character figures for participants of online role-playing games, prototypes and conceptual models of future consumer products or their structural details. Such models are used both for experimental purposes and for the presentation of new products.
The use of 3D printers for functional testing is one of the modern methods of innovative developments. In most cases, it is required to test a new assembly mechanism, but it is too long, costly and difficult to make separate components in one copy. 3D printers come to the rescue with varying degrees of model detailing.
The use of 3D printers in medicine can save human lives. Such printers can recreate an exact copy of the human skeleton for practicing techniques that guarantee a successful operation. Increasingly, 3D printers are used in prosthetics and dentistry, as three-dimensional printing allows you to get prostheses and crowns much faster than the classical production technology.
Medical three-dimensional models can be made from a variety of materials, including living organic cells. The choice of this or that material for medical prototyping depends on the goals and objectives of the doctors and problems related to the health of the patient.
Most recently, it seemed to us that the printed engine is something from the realm of fantasy. However, today, additive technologies are used in many areas of activity, including aircraft manufacturing. At first, the printed parts were not credible, it seemed to many people that they were not strong, they would simply fall apart under loads. But, as the practice has shown, printed parts have the same strength as cast metal from the factory.
In addition, three-dimensional printing allows reproducing even a very complex structure with a single monolith, thereby avoiding the weak zones that can occur when welding different parts of the product. Today, companies such as Airbus and SpaceX are already successfully using aircraft with engines partially printed on a 3D printer.
Three-dimensional printers are by far the most sought after in the industry, using plastic for printing. Such printers are most often used not so much for the manufacture of finished products, as for prototyping. On a 3D printer, you can print any high-precision prototypes of various products.
Prototyping is used in various industries, including industrial design. Prototypes allow you to visualize various original ideas. They also help to identify the shortcomings of the future product, try on the details that are needed when assembling the finished model.
Prototyping is also advantageous because it does not require special equipment, and the design of the product can be changed at the digital format stage. Ie, prototypes allow you to save time and money that you need to carry out practical work in the development of a product.
Strangely enough, three-dimensional technologies are used today in the manufacture of weapons. The easiest plastic gun can be created on a desktop printer just at home. The usual nail will serve as a firearm’s head. Of course, the design of the gun is far from perfect, they can seriously hurt the shooter himself faster than wounding the attacker. And it all started with the fact that the American K.
Wilson organized the Liberator project, which advocated the free sale of firearms. Nowadays, with the appropriate equipment, you can set up printing weapons anywhere. As it turned out, to fight digital files containing a three-dimensional model of a gun is unrealistic.
This is impossible to innumerate all the areas in which 3D printing is used, however, these are just some interesting examples, and education, manufacture of clothes, footwear production, jewelry, package design, toys, and souvenirs are also worth mentioning because they just can’t do without 3D printing.