3D printing is a pretty interesting technology that has the power to really change the way in which we look at a variety of industries. There are so many new possibilities which can come out of this manufacturing technology. Before I even cover that, let’s discuss what 3D Skills Needed To Be An Electrician printing actually is. In a nutshell, 3D printing is the layer by layer creation of products through a computer aided manufacturing (CAM) system. There are various ways in which these machines, or 3D printers, will lay down material; let’s highlight a few of these ways.
One method of 3D printing is called fused deposition modeling, or FDM printing. This process typically involves a nozzle melting material, and pushing it out of a small nozzle. Think of a hot glue gun stacking up layers of glue on a build tray. This is a pretty good comparison in my opinion, except the detail levels are phenomenally higher through 3D printing. Other methods of 3DP exist, such as stereolithography, or SLA. SLA methods typically involve a “bin” of liquid resin. This resin is hit by ultraviolet light, causing the liquid to cure. When the resin is cured, it solidifies into a 3D physical model. Another popular form of 3D printing would be powder based printing. This process involves a machine laying down layers of powder on a flat build tray. A jet will then come down and spray an adhesive chemical over the powder, binding certain parts of each layer. The layers will continue to stack, while only parts of these layers will be sprayed. When the final piece is done, a technician will remove the powdered print. The excess powder will be cleaned off, and then technicians will dip the piece into an epoxy-like liquid, which will infiltrate the powder based print, and harden it.
There are a few other types of 3D printing such as multi-jet printing or laser printing, but I’ll cover those in other articles. What can this technology do to change the world? What’s the big deal? Well, before I answer that, consider the other forms of manufacturing for custom products. Mold manufacturing is hardly a custom manufacturing method, as it is typically ideal and cost effective to mass manufacture through this method. At this point in time within the manufacturing world, machining seems to be the way to go for custom manufacturing. However, I believe that 3D printing has more potential. There are some aspects to machining which are great, Lean Manufacturing but it is also limited. Because machining methods use material removal methods instead of additive manufacturing, there is a limit as to what can be designed. Models with very intricate centers, curves, and hollow spaces are simply impossible to do in many situations through machining. It simply can’t be done. However, 3D printing offers some great alternatives. 3D printing creates all models through a layer by layer process, and allows for the creation of hollow spaces, curves, and intricate centers. When comparing 3D printing to other forms of manufacturing, other forms simply cannot create the kinds of models that 3D printing can make.

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