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3D Printing Technology

With the advancement of technology, the methods of printing also saw a change in the past few decades. In 1976, advent of ink jet printers enabled everyone to own one of these at home. 3D printing technology came into being in 1988, but it is widespread by the end of 20th century. It is also known as additive manufacturing which is nothing but creating a three dimensional object. Such an object is created by putting layers of material one over the other.

When 3D Printing technology was first introduced, they used Stereolithography (SLI) method. It used laser which hardened the molten resin held on a tray. The tray moved up and down depending on the layer it was forming to create a 3D object.

They usually take a design in order to print them using computer aided design (CAD). This technique actually provides a cross-sectional image of an object. This produces a 3D print of the object just the way it looks physically. It produces a 3D file with an extension “.stl”.

Different materials such as powder, resin and corn starch used to make a different layers of the object in inkjet printers. The adhesive material is provided by the print head. This turns out to be the fastest technology of all. Earlier the designs were made by skilled labor force, who made a models of wood. Here in addition to skilled craftsmen, it took a lot of time.

Fused deposition modeling is another method used for 3D Printing. This method was in used in 1990 and it melts various materials being used in process to create a 3D object. Selective Layer Sintering is another method that fuses powder rather than resin.

Rapid Prototyping (RPT) is a term used for creating objects three dimensionally. This uses additive manufacturing technique. RPT has been in use for a long time and is priced much higher than it should. This is because it is available to few industries for industrial purposes.

Although the industrial use of 3D printing is on the rise, however the same with a home version is likely to take at least 2 – 3 years. But, now 3D printing products are sold by many companies where you can get quality product. One such company is providing 3D printing service products.

The use of 3D printing is seen in structures used in architecture, geospatial field, education, archaeology, pathology and metal casting. 3D printing is also required in archeology nowadays. Similar uses can be found in the other fields mentioned above and there are few areas which are still exploring the applications of 3D printing.