What is Additive Manufacturing?
What is 3D printing?
|3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the exact opposite of the traditional way of making objects. Instead of machining or “subtracting” material to form an object – much like how a sculptor cuts away clay – 3D printing adds layer upon layer of material to build an object. Product designers and engineers upload a digital (CAD) file to a 3D printer, which then prints a solid 3D object.|
|Thermoplastics are the most frequently used materials, but the technology also includes photopolymers, epoxy resins, metals, and more. Cutting-edge bioinks, which use a mixture of human cells and gelatin, have also been leveraged to 3D print complex tissue models. Even edible materials such as chocolate are being used in 3D printers.|
So how is it possible to turn an idea into reality?
|Design a CAD model||CAD software converts the model into an STL or VRML file||Printer’s software slices the STL or VRML||Model printed, layer by layer|
|2. The software saves the digital file of the model as an STL (Standard Tessellation Language) file, a format that converts the model’s surface into an array of triangles.||3. The STL or VRML file is then sliced into thin layers by the printer’s software.||4. The 3D printer reads each slice (or 2D image) and proceeds to create the object blending each layer together, resulting in one three dimensional object.|