3D printing principle

3D printing principle

3D printers and 3D printings more and more penetrate into our everyday life. So what is this stuff? Let's describe the 3D printing process briefly in layman's language.

3D printer  —  is a machine, which builts real 3D objects by using a technology of deposit welding layer by layer (Fused Deposition Modeling = FDM technology) according to their virtual 3D models.

3D printing can be named additive printing, or additive manufacturing - as a 3D printer adds filament to the building object layer by layer during 3D printing process. In this way of manufacturing the object arises from scratch. Printing material (filament) is added to the object being created in small portions. The first thin layer of the filament is placed on a plain work table surface. After that it is added the next layer above the first one. So the intended object is growing up layer by layer with the help of a 3D printer.

For the time being the main field of use of 3D printers - prototyping. It is hardly surprisingly, as at the present time 3D printing is the most rapid and easy way for creation of a production prototype of the developing device - for proving and testing before starting batch production or serial manufacture. If any faults are discovered, all it takes is correct the 3D model of the coming device. The 3D printer will print the new model in the shortest time. Such possibility saves time and resources of developers significantly .

Also gains popularity usage of described printing technology for manufacturing of small batches of devices. The speedy progress of 3D printers technology (and FDM principle) leaded to decreasing of the printers and materials cost. And now 3D printers are affordable even for little and upstart companies.

As mentioned, an initial object for 3D printing is a virtual computer 3D model. An author creates the future object on a computer in the form of solid modeling (3D model) using a special software. Such virtual 3D objects exist only as electronic forms and long ago became popular in image multiplication, designer's projects, computer games. Solid 3D models can be created by oneself, bought or downloaded from the internet - there are more and more available models to get.

The ready 3D model is converted into the suitable for the printer form. To create from a virtual 3D model a real one it is transfered to the 3D printer, which layer by layer transfer it to the real physical object.