1. 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY
OBEJILI BRUNO EBUKA
A SEMINAR REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
FACULTY OF APPLIED NATURAL SCIENCES
ENUGU STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,
IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (BSc)
DEGREE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
I wish to thank my seminar supervisor Mr Mbah David for his effort and guidance in the approval
and writing of this seminar report, and also the lecturers in computer science department who give
their best for us to be better. I will not forget to thank my parents the sole sponsors of my
A method of manufacturing known as ‘Additive manufacturing’, due to the fact that instead of
removing material to create a part, the process adds material in successive patterns to create the
desired shape. Main areas of use include i. Prototyping ii. Specialised parts – aerospace, military,
biomedical engineering, dental iii. Hobbies and home use iv. Future applications– medical (body
parts), buildings and cars .3D Printing uses software that slices the 3D model into layers (0.01mm
thick or less in most cases). Each layer is then traced onto the build plate by the printer, once the
pattern is completed, the build plate is lowered and the next is added on top of the previous one.
Typical manufacturing techniques are known as ‘Subtractive Manufacturing’ because the process is
one of removing material from a preformed block. Processes such as Milling and Cutting are
subtractive manufacturing techniques. This type of process creates a lot of waste since; the material
that is cut off generally cannot be used for anything else and is simply sent out as scrap. 3D
Printing eliminates such waste since the material is placed in the location that it is needed only, the
rest will be left out as empty space. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing (3DP)
creates physical products from a digital design file by joining or forming input substrate materials
using a layer- upon-layer printing approach. There are seven major printing technologies today.
Each has a different way of processing input materials into a final product. Combined with
advanced scanning, 3DP technologies allow physical products to be converted into digital design
files and vice versa. Going forward, 3DP has the power to transform the digital-physical interface
for product design, development, and manufacturing.
1.6 Table of Content
cover page …………………………………………………………………….. i
acknowledgement …………………………………………………………………. iI
abstract …………………………………………………………………………. iii
1.0. INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………. 1
1.1 background……………………………………………………………… 3
1.2 objectives of the seminar……………………………………… 4
1.3 significance of the seminar……………………………………………. 5
1.4 scope of the seminar ………………………………………………… 6
1.5 constraints and limitations…………………………………………… 7
1.6 table of content ………………………………………. 8
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW………………………………………………..……………… 9
3.0 DISCUSSION…………………………………………………………………….. 10
3.1 3d printing technology…………………………………………………… 10
3.2 Modelling…………………………………………………………………. 11
3.3 printing……………………………………………………………… 11
3.4 types of 3d printing technology……………………………………….. 13
3.5 current and future applications of 3d printing………………………. 17
3.6 designing for 3d printing………………………………………….. 20
4.0 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………….. 21
5.0 REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………….. 22
Digital fabrication will allow individuals to design and produce tangible objects on demand,
wherever and whenever they need them. The revolution is not additive versus subtractive
manufacturing, it is the ability to turn data into things and things into data. Layer by layer
production allows for much greater flexibility and creativity in the design process. No longer do
designers have to design for manufacture, but instead they can create a part that is lighter and
stronger by means of better design. Parts can be completely re-designed so that they are stronger in
the areas that they need to be and lighter overall.
3D Printing significantly speeds up the design and prototyping process. There is no problem with
creating one part at a time, and changing the design each time it is produced. Parts can be created
within hours. Bringing the design cycle down to a matter of days or weeks compared to months.
Also, since the price of 3D printers has decreased over the years, some 3D printers are now within
financial reach of the ordinary consumer or small company.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to create a three-
dimensional object in which layers of material are formed under computer control to create an
object. Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced using digital model data
from a 3D model or another electronic data source such as an Additive Manufacturing File (AMF)
file. The term “3D printing” originally referred to a process that deposits a binder material onto a
powder bed with inkjet printer heads layer by layer. More recently, the term is being used in
popular vernacular to encompass a wider variety of additive manufacturing techniques. United
States and global technical standards use the official term additive manufacturing for this broader
sense. ISO/ASTM52900-15 defines seven categories of AM processes within its meaning: binder
jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet
lamination and vat photopolymerization.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE SEMINAR
We live in an age that is witness to what many are calling the Third Industrial Revolution. 3D
printing, more professionally called additive manufacturing, moves us away from the era of mass
production line, and will bring us to a new reality of customizable, one-off production. This study
focuses on areas additive manufacturing differs from traditional subtractive manufacturing, 3D
printing areas of application.
i. 3D printing is used in biomedical engineering to create body parts and parts of organs.
iii. To use 3D printing to create functional parts that can be used for testing in Aerospace and
iv. In Construction and Architecture, architects and city planners have been using 3D printers
to create a model of the layout or shape of a building for many years.
v. 3D printing is used in product prototyping to create parts that will look and feel exactly like
the finished product
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SEMINAR
Additive manufacturing using 3D printers has in recent years seen wide acceptance by
manufacturers for different products ranging from printing of spare parts, Human organs, use in
space, fashion accessories, home appliances etc. This is due to the profound advantages of 3D
printing over the traditional method of printing known as subtractive manufacturing.
3D printing is significant to manufacturing in various ways they include:
i. Mass customization: The ability to create custom-built designs opens doors to unlimited
ii. New capabilities: Complex products can be mass produced without high fixed-cost capital
investments and at a lower variable cost than traditional methods.
iii. Lead time and speed: Shorter design, process, and production cycles get products to
iv. Supply chain simplification: Production is closer to the point of demand with much less
v. Waste reduction: With unused powder being reused for successive printing, much less
material is wasted.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE SEMINAR
This seminar material covers current and future applications of 3d printing technology in
different areas of human endeavour. NASA engineers are 3-D printing parts, which are
structurally stronger and more reliable than conventionally crafted parts, for its space launch
system. The Mars Rover comprises some 70 3-D-printed custom parts.
Medicine is perhaps one of the most exciting areas of application. Beyond the use of
3-D printing in producing prosthetics and hearing aids, it is being deployed to treat
challenging medical conditions, and to advance medical research, including in the area of
regenerative medicine. The breakthroughs in this area are rapid and awe-inspiring.
NASA has already tested a 3D printer on the International Space Station, and recently
announced its requirement for a high resolution 3D printer to produce spacecraft parts
during deep space missions. The US Army has also experimented with a truck-mounted 3D
printer capable of outputting spare tank and other vehicle components in the battlefield.
As noted above, 3D printers may also be used to make future buildings. To this end, a team
at Loughborough University is working on a 3D concrete printing project that could allow
large building components to be 3D printed on-site to any design, and with improved
Another possible future application is in the use of 3D printers to create replacement organs
for the human body. This is known as bio printing, and is an area of rapid development.
1.5 CONSTRAINTS AND LIMITATIONS
Hardware could be five to seven years away from achieving the technical and cost requirements
needed to go beyond the current 3D printing prototyping role into supporting production across
broad, multi-material categories. Existing hardware architectures do not support 3D printing of all
materials and this is a major constraint. In both education and design capability, 3D design thinking
is preventing mass adoption by companies and consumers.
The limitations of 3D printing in general include expensive hardware and expensive materials. This
leads to expensive parts, thus making it hard if you were to compete with mass production. It also
requires a CAD designer to create what the customer has in mind, and can be expensive if the part is
very intricate. 3D Printing is not the answer to every type of production method, however its
advancement is helping accelerate design and engineering more than ever before. Through the use
of 3D printers designers are able to create one of a kind piece of art, intricate building and product
designs and also make parts while in space.
We are beginning to see the impact of 3D printing in many industries. There have been articles
saying that 3D printing will bring about the next industrial revolution, by returning a means of
production back within reach of the designer or the consumer.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
3D printers have been noted to be an environmental hazard due to them emitting microscopic
particles and chemicals that have been linked to asthma. A National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH) report notes these emissions peaked a few minutes after printing started
and returned to baseline levels 100 minutes after printing ended. The problem was reduced by using
manufacturer-supplied covers and full enclosures, using proper ventilation, keeping workers away
from the printer while wearing respirators, turning off the printer if it jammed, and using lower
emission printers and filaments (It must also be noted that 3D printing drastically reduces the
wastage of material, resulting in less pollution, and is therefore safer for environment.)
Additive manufacturing, starting with today’s infancy period, requires manufacturing firms to be
flexible, ever- improving users of all available technologies to remain competitive. Advocates of
additive manufacturing also predict that this arc of technological development will counter
globalisation, as end users will do much of their own manufacturing rather than engage in trade to
buy products from other people and corporations. The real integration of the newer additive
technologies into commercial production, however, is more a matter of complementing traditional
subtractive methods rather than displacing them entirely. (“Jeremy Rifkin and The Third Industrial
Revolution Home Page”. The third industrial revolution.com. visited 2017-01-04)
Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing (3DP) creates physical products from a digital
design file by joining or forming input substrate materials using a layer- upon-layer printing
approach. 3D printers use a variety of very different types of additive manufacturing
technologies, but they all share one core thing in common, they create a three dimensional
object by building it layer by successive layer, until the entire object is complete. It’s much
like printing in two dimensions on a sheet of paper, but with an added third dimension: UP.
Technology Material type
Photo- polymerization • Plastics
• Ceramics and wax
Material extrusion • Plastics
Sheet lamination • Plastics
Binder jetting • Plastics
Material jetting • Plastics
• Wax and biomaterial
Powder bed fusion • Plastics
• Ceramics, sand, and carbon
Direct energy deposition • Metals
In the 2D world, a sheet of printed paper output from a printer was “designed” on the
computer in a program such as Microsoft Word. The file - the Word document which
contains the instructions that tell the printer what to do.
In the 3D world, a 3D printer also needs to have instructions for what to print. It needs a file
as well. The file, a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file is created with the use of a 3D
modelling program, either from scratch or beginning with a 3D model created by a 3D
scanner. Either way, the program creates a file that is sent to the 3D printer. Along the way,
software slices the design into hundreds, or more likely thousands, of horizontal layers.
These layers will be printed one atop the other until the 3D object is done.
3.1 3D Printing Technology
There are seven major printing technologies today.
Each has a different way of processing input materials into a final product. Combined with
advanced scanning, 3DP technologies allow physical products to be converted into digital design
files and vice versa. Going forward, 3DP has the power to transform the digital-physical interface
for product design, development, and manufacturing.
3D printable models may be created with a computer- aided design (CAD) package, via a 3D
scanner, or by a plain digital camera and photogrammetry software. 3D printed models created with
CAD result in reduced errors and can be corrected before printing, allowing verification in the
design of the object before it is printed.
The manual modelling process of preparing geometric data for 3D computer graphics is similar to
plastic arts such as sculpting. 3D scanning is a process of collecting digital data on the shape and
appearance of a real object, creating a digital model based on it.
Before printing a 3D model from an STL file, it must first be examined for errors. Most CAD
applications produce errors in output STL files: holes, faces normals, self-intersections, noise shells
or manifold errors. A step in the STL generation known as “repair” fixes such problems in the
original model. Generally STLs that have been produced from a model obtained through 3D
scanning often have more of these errors. This is due to how 3D scanning works-as it is often by
point to point acquisition, reconstruction will include errors in most cases.
Once completed, the STL file needs to be processed by a piece of software called a “slicer,” which
converts the model into a series of thin layers and produces a G-code file containing instructions
tailored to a specific type of 3D printer (FDM printers). This G-code file can then be printed with
3D printing client software (which loads the G-code, and uses it to instruct the 3D printer during the
3D printing process).
Printer resolution describes layer thickness and X-Y resolution in dots per inch (dpi) or micrometers
(μm). Typical layer thickness is around 100 μm (250 DPI), although some machines can print layers
as thin as 16 μm (1,600 DPI). X-Y resolution is comparable to that of laser printers. The particles
(3D dots) are around 50 to 100 μm (510 to 250 DPI) in diameter.
Construction of a model with contemporary methods can take anywhere from several hours to
several days, de- pending on the method used and the size and complexity of the model. Additive
systems can typically reduce this time to a few hours, although it varies widely depending on the
type of machine used and the size and number of models being produced simultaneously.
Traditional techniques like injection moulding can be less expensive for manufacturing polymer
products in high quantities, but additive manufacturing can be faster, more flexible and less
expensive when producing relatively small quantities of parts. 3D printers give designers and
concept development teams the ability to produce parts and concept models using a desktop size
Seemingly paradoxically, more complex objects can be cheaper for 3D printing production than less
complex objects. (Hideo Kodama, “A Scheme for Three-Dimensional Display by Automatic
Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Model,” IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics (Japanese
Edition), vol.J64-C, No.4, pp.237–241, April 1981)
3.4 Types of 3D Printing Technology
3.4.1 FDM – Fused Deposition Modeling:
Fused Deposition Modelling, is an additive manufacturing technology commonly used for
modelling, prototyping, and production applications. FDM works on an "additive" principle by
laying down material in layers. A plastic filament or metal wire is unwound from a coil and supplies
material to an extrusion nozzle which can turn the flow on and off. The nozzle is heated to melt the
material and can be moved in both horizontal and vertical directions by a numerically controlled
mechanism, directly controlled by a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software package. The
model or part is produced by extruding small beads of thermoplastic material to form layers as the
material hardens immediately after extrusion from the nozzle. Stepper motors or servo motors are
typically employed to move the extrusion head. FDM, a prominent form of rapid prototyping, is
used for prototyping and rapid manufacturing. Rapid prototyping facilitates iterative testing, and for
very short runs, rapid manufacturing can be a relatively inexpensive alternative.
Advantages: Cheaper since uses plastic, more expensive models use a different (water soluble)
material to remove supports completely. Even cheap 3D printers have enough resolution for many
Disadvantages: Supports leave marks that require removing and sanding. Warping, limited testing
allowed due to Thermo plastic material.
3.4.2 SLA – Stereolithography:
Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process which employs a vat of liquid
ultraviolet curable photopolymer "resin" and an ultraviolet laser to build parts' layers one at a time.
For each layer, the laser beam traces a cross-section of the part pattern on the surface of the liquid
resin. Exposure to the ultraviolet laser light cures and solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and
joins it to the layer below. After the pattern has been traced, the SLA's elevator platform descends
by a distance equal to the thickness of a single layer, typically 0.05 mm to 0.15 mm (0.002" to
0.006"). Then, a resin- filled blade sweeps across the cross section of the part, re-coating it with
fresh material. On this new liquid surface, the subsequent layer pattern is traced, joining the
previous layer. A complete 3-D part is formed by this process. After being built, parts are immersed
in a chemical bath in order to be cleaned of excess resin and are subsequently cured in an ultraviolet
oven. Stereolithography requires the use of supporting structures which serve to attach the part to
the elevator platform, prevent deflection due to gravity and hold the cross sections in place so
that they resist lateral pressure from the re-coater blade. Supports are generated automatically
during the preparation of 3D Computer Aided Design models for use on the stereolithography
machine, although they may be manipulated manually. Supports must be removed from the finished
product manually, unlike in other, less costly, rapid prototyping technologies.
Advantages and Disadvantages
One of the advantages of stereolithography is its speed; functional parts can be manufactured within
a day. The length of time it takes to produce one particular part depends on the size and complexity
of the project and can last from a few hours to more than a day. Most stereolithography machines
can produce parts with a maximum size of approximately 50×50×60 cm (20"×20"×24") and some,
such as the Mammoth stereolithography machine (which has a build platform of 210×70×80 cm),
are capable of producing single parts of more than 2m in length. Prototypes made by
stereolithography are strong enough to be machined and can be used as master patterns for injection
moulding, thermoforming, blow moulding, and various metal casting processes.
Although stereolithography can produce a wide variety of shapes, it has often been expensive; the
cost of photo-curable resin has long ranged from $80 to $210 per litre, and the cost of
stereolithography machines has ranged from $100,000 to more than $500,000.
Cheaper SLA 3D printers have been created recently and one can only assume that in the future
more will be created that are within the price range of individuals.
3.4.3 SLS - Selective lasersintering
Selective laser sintering is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser (for
example, a carbon dioxide laser) to fuse small particles of plastic, metal (direct metal laser
sintering), ceramic, or glass powders into a mass that has a desired three-dimensional shape. The
laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3-D digital
description of the part (for example from a CAD file or scan data) on the surface of a powder bed.
After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer
of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed.
Because finished part density depends on peak laser power, rather than laser duration, a SLS
machine typically uses a pulsed laser. The SLS machine preheats the bulk powder material in the
powder bed somewhat below its melting point, to make it easier for the laser to raise the
temperature of the selected regions the rest of the way to the melting point.
Some SLS machines use single-component powder, such as direct metal laser sintering. However,
most SLS machines use two-component powders, typically either coated powder or a powder
mixture. In single-component powders, the laser melts only the outer surface of the particles
(surface melting), fusing the solid non-melted cores to each other and to the previous layer.
Compared with other methods of additive manufacturing, SLS can produce parts from a relatively
wide range of commercially available powder materials. These include polymers such
as nylon (neat, glass-filled, or with other fillers) or polystyrene, metals including steel, titanium,
alloy mixtures, and composites and green sand. The physical process can be full melting, partial
melting, or liquid-phase sintering. Depending on the material, up to 100% density can be achieved
with material properties comparable to those from conventional manufacturing methods. In many
cases large numbers of parts can be packed within the powder bed, allowing very high productivity.
SLS is performed by machines called SLS systems. SLS technology is in wide use around the world
due to its ability to easily make very complex geometries directly from digital CAD data. While it
began as a way to build prototype parts early in the design cycle, it is increasingly being used in
limited-run manufacturing to produce end-use parts. One less expected and rapidly growing
application of SLS is its use in art. (“3D Printing: What You Need to Know”. PCMag.com Visited
2017-1-04. Apparatus for Production of Three-Dimensional Objects by Stereolithography 1984-08-
SLS has many benefits over traditional manufacturing techniques. Speed is the most obvious
because no special tooling is required and parts can be built in a matter of hours. Additionally, SLS
allows for more rigorous testing of prototypes. Since SLS can use most alloys, prototypes can now
be functional hardware made out of the same material as production components.
SLS is also one of the few additive manufacturing technologies being used in production. Since the
components are built layer by layer, it is possible to design internal features and passages that could
not be cast or otherwise machined. Complex geometries and assemblies with multiple components
can be simplified to fewer parts with a more cost effective assembly. SLS does not require special
tooling like castings, so it is convenient for short production runs.
This technology is used to manufacture direct parts for a variety of industries including aerospace,
dental, medical and other industries that have small to medium size, highly complex parts and the
tooling industry to make direct tooling inserts. With a build envelop of 250 x 250 x 185 mm, and
the ability to ‘grow’ multiple parts at one time, SLS is a very cost and time effective technology.
The technology is used both for rapid prototyping, as it decreases development time for new
products, and production manufacturing as a cost saving method to simplify assemblies and
3.5 Current and future applications of 3D Printing
3.5.1 Biomedical Engineering
In recent years scientists and engineers have already been able to use 3D printing technology to
create body parts and parts of organs. The first entire organ created through 3D Printing is expected
to be done in the coming years. The process of creating the organ or body part is exactly the same
as if you were to create a plastic or metal part, however, instead the raw material used are biological
cells created in a lab. By creating the cells specifically for a particular patient, one can be certain
that the patient’s body will not reject the organ.
Another application of 3D printing in the biomedical field is that of creating limbs and other body
parts out of metal or other materials to replace lost or damaged limbs. Prosthetic limbs are required
in many parts of the world due to injuries sustained during war or by disease. Currently prosthetic
limbs are very expensive and generally are not customized for the patient’s needs. 3D printing is
being used to design and produce custom prosthetic limbs to meet the patient’s exact requirements.
By scanning the patient’s body and existing bone structure, designers and engineers are able to re-
create the lost part of that limb.
3.5.2 Aerospace and Automobile Manufacturing
High technology companies such as aerospace and automobile manufacturers have been using 3D
printing as a prototyping tool for some time now. However, in recently years, with further
advancement in 3D printing technology, they have been able to create functional parts that can be
used for testing. This process of design and 3D printing has allowed these companies to advance
their designs faster than ever before due to the large decrease in the design cycle. From what used to
take months between design and the physical prototype, now within hours the design team can have
a prototype in their hands for checks and testing.
The future of 3D printing in these industries lies with creating working parts directly from a 3D
printer for use in the final product, not just for testing purposes. This process is already underway
for future cars and aircraft. The way in which 3D printing works (creating a part layer by layer)
allows the designer to create the part exactly the way is needs to be to accomplish the task at hand.
Extremely complex geometry can be easily created using a 3D printer, allowing for parts to be
lighter, yet stronger than their machined counterparts.
3.5.3 Construction and Architecture
Architects and city planners have been using 3D printers to create a model of the layout or shape of
a building for many years. Now they are looking for ways of employing the 3D printing concept to
create entire buildings. There are already prototype printer systems that use concrete and other more
specialized materials to create a structure similar to a small house. The goal is the replace many
cranes and even construction workers with these printing systems. They would work by using the
3D design model created on CAD software, to create a layer by layer pattern on the building just as
a normal 3D printer works today. Most of the innovation in this area will have to come from the
creation of the appropriate materials.
3.5.4 Product Prototyping
The creation of a new product is always one of that involves many iterations of the same design. 3D
Printing revolutionized the industry by allowing designers to create and the next day see and touch
their design. No longer did it take several meetings for everyone to agree on one design to create,
and then wait months for the actual part to arrive. Nowadays a version of each idea is created and
the next day, all are reviewed together, thus giving the ability to compare and contrast each one’s
features. Plastic parts for example require moulds and tooling to be created, these custom parts are
expensive to create, therefore one must be certain the part designed meets the requirements. With
3D printing you can create a part that will look and feel exactly like the finished product. Some
parts can also be tested just as the real injection moulded part would. (Jane Bird (2012-08-08).
“Exploring the 3D printing opportunity”. The Financial Times. Visited 2017-03-04)
3.6 Designing for 3D Printing
All the parts created using a 3D printer need to be designed using some kind of CAD software. This
type of production depends mostly on the quality of the CAD design and also the precision of the
printer. There are many types of CAD software available, some are free others require you to buy
the software or have a subscription. Deciding what type of CAD software is good for you will
depend on the requirements of what you are designing. However for beginners, that simply want to
learn CAD and create basic shapes and features, any of the free CAD software packages will do.
When designing a part to be 3D printed the following points need to be kept in mind:
i. The part needs to be a solid, that is, not just a surface; it needs to have a real volume.
ii. Creating very small, or delicate features may not be printed properly, this depends greatly
on the type of 3D printer that is going to be used.
iii. Parts with overhanging features will need supports to be printed properly. This should be
taken into account since after the model needs to be cleaned by removing the supports.
This may not be an issue unless the part is very delicate, since it might break.
iv. Be sure to calibrate the 3D printer before using it, it is essential to ensure that the part
sticks properly to the build plate. If it does not, at some point the part may come loose and
ruin the entire print job.
v. Some thought should be given to the orientation of the part, since some printers are more
precise on the X and Y axes, then the Z axis. (Hideo Kodama, “A Scheme for Three-Dimensional
Display by Automatic Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Model,” IEICE TRANSACTIONS on
Electronics (Japanese Edition), vol.J64-C, No.4, pp.237–241, April 1981)
Conclusively 3D Printing Technology creates breakthrough value in product design and production.
Across five dimensions, 3D Printing offers distinct benefits that traditional manufacturing cannot
deliver. 3 Dimensional printing (3DP) makes it as cheap to create single items as it is to produce
thousands and thus undermines economies of scale. Just as nobody could have predicted the impact
of transistor in 1950, it is impossible to foresee the long term impact of 3D printing the technology
is here, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches. Standard applications include design
visualization, prototyping/CAD, metal casting, architecture, education, geospatial, healthcare, and
3D printer came with immense number of applications. All the traditional methods of printing
causes wastage of resources. But 3D printer only uses the exact amount of material for printing.
This enhances the efficiency. If the material is very costly, 3d printing techniques can be used to
reduce the wastage of material.
Consider printing of a complex geometry like combustion chamber of a rocket engine. The 3D
printing will enhances the strength and accuracy of the object. Conventional methods uses parts by
parts alignment. This will cause weak points in structures. But in the case of 3D printed object, the
whole structure is a single piece.
3D printer has numerous application in every field it touches. Since it is a product development
device, rate of production, customization and prototyping capabilities need to be considered
With 3D printing, complexity is free. The printer doesn’t care if it makes the most rudimentary
shape or the most complex shape, and that is completely turning design and manufacturing on its
head as we know it.
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