3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. 3D printing processes allows customisation: the ability to personalize products according to individual needs and requirements. The advent of 3D printing has seen a proliferation of products that are better designed in digital environments, which involve levels of complexity that simply could not be produced physically in any other way. 3D printing can eliminate the need for tool production and, therefore, its costs. It is an energy-efficient technology in terms of both the manufacturing process itself, utilising standard or reused materials, and, therefore, creating less waste.
3d Modelling for 3d Printing
What can you do with 3D prints?
– Prototyping. 3d printing speeds up the earliest stages of product development with a quick and straightforward way of producing prototypes that allows for multiple iterations of a product to arrive more quickly and efficiently at an optimum solution. This saves time and money at the outset of the entire product development process and ensures confidence ahead of production tooling.
– Figurines: find or design a character you like. Then print your statuette!
– Designers and artists who want to create impressive objects thanks to original shapes and visual effects. 3d printing allows them to explore form and function without limit.
– Architects : 3D printing offers a fast, easy and economically viable method of producing detailed models directly from 3D CAD, offering accurate demonstration models of an architect’s vision. 3d printing can also become a direct construction method!
– Jewellery: from new design freedoms enabled by 3D CAD and 3D printing, through improving traditional processes for jewellery production all the way to direct 3D printed production eliminating many of the traditional steps, 3D printing is having a tremendous impact in this sector.
– Fashion : 3D printed accessories including shoes, head-pieces, hats and bags have all made their way on to global catwalks.
– Automotive and Aerospace: for prototyping, process and materials development, and on demand spare / replacement parts.
– The medical sector is viewed as being one that was an early adopter of 3D printing, but also a sector with huge potential for growth, due to the customization and personalization capabilities of the technologies and the ability to improve people’s lives as the processes improve and materials are developed that meet medical grade standards.
– Food: 3D printing of chocolate, sugar cubes, fruits, pasta and “meat” allows original shapes and balancing nutrients in a comprehensive and healthy way.