As we have heard recently in the press and on the news the 3D printing concept is now the latest hot topic.
The 3D printing technology found its way to the technological world in the year 1986, but did not gain much importance until 1990 as it was not that seldom known outside the world of engineering, architecture and manufacturing.
3D printing is also known as desktop fabrication; it can form any material that can be obtained as a powder. For manufacturing an object you need a digital 3D-model. You can scan a set of 3D images, or draw it using computer-assisted design or CAD software and you can also download them from internet. The digital 3D-model is usually saved in STL format and then sent to the printer. The process of “printing” a three-dimensional object layer-by-layer with equipment, which is quite similar with ink-jet printers.
One of the most important applications of 3D printing is in the medical industry. With 3D printing, surgeons can produce prototypes of parts of their patient’s body which needs to be operated upon. 3D printing makes it possible to make a part from scratch in just hours. It allows designers and developers to go from flat screen to exact part.
In today’s technical world almost everything from aerospace components to toys are getting built with the help of 3D printers. 3D printing can provide great savings on assembly costs because it can print already assembled products. With 3D printing, companies can now research with new ideas and numerous design ideas with no extensive time or tooling expense. They can decide if product concepts are great enough to allocate additional resources. 3D printing could even challenge mass production methods in the future.
3D printing is going to impact so many industries, such as automotive, medical, business & industrial equipment, education, architecture, and consumer-product industries.