What is 3D Printing?

March 3, 2016

The advancement of technology continues to shape the world around us in ways that many people thought were fantasy or science fiction. But the reality is many of the ideas we originally considered impossible are becoming commonplace.

For example, 3D printing technology has received a fair amount of attention recently due to the complexity of how the printing works and the possibilities of creation that exist.

What is 3D Printing?

First, a design must be made for an object to be created. CAD drafters create virtual 3D models of objects that meet precise specifications. Once a design has been finalized, the virtual model will be sliced into layers and the uploaded to the 3D printer. The printer will begin the process by “laying down” the material needed to create the object in thinly sliced horizontal sections onto a build platform. Each layer builds upon the previous layer. This could result in thousands of printed layers to create one solid 3D object!

What Materials are Used in 3D Printing?

The variety of materials used for 3D printing seem limitless. Here are a few common materials used:
CAD design 3D printer

  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Bio-tissue (human stem cells, etc.)
  • Wax
  • Metal
  • Food (soft foods and liquids)
  • Polymers

Are All 3D Printers the Same?

NO! Each specific industry will require a printer with a specialized technology to complete a 3D object. Medical manufacturing for living tissue may use “material jetting” similar to how a standard ink jet printer works while a plastic manufacturer may use “selective laser sintering (SLS)” to fuse molten plastic to create a 3D form.

How Does 3D Printing Affect Manufacturing?

The efficiency of 3D printing can’t be overstated. Reduced building time allows for an object to be created in a single build rather than numerous processes. Designs are more efficient due to computer guidance and the need to maintain an inventory of molds is removed. A variety of objects can be conceptualized, designed and manufactured all with the same printer.

Are You Interested In Developing 3D Models that can be Printed?

CAD drafters are leading the charge of advancing technology. If a drafter can design a 3D model of an object, then there is likely a way to manufacture it. If not, you can be sure that a CAD designer will be responsible for developing the tools needed to make it a possibility.

If you are looking for a rewarding career where you can develop 3D models that make manufacturing more efficient or design technology that can save lives, contact CAD Designers at 919-457-9184 or by completing the online contact form today.

We are always looking for driven CAD designers!

As a CAD Designer with over 26 years of computer aided design experience Charlie Seymour is the President and Owner of CAD Designers, Inc. a nation wide cad service firm.

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