What is 3D Printing?

Home / News / What is 3D Printing?

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing or additive manufacturing is the process of creating tangible, three-dimensional (3D) solid objects out of a software file created in a computer program. Production of 3D printed objects is achieved by using an additive process instead of the traditional subtractive process of removing material from a block of material. In an additive process the object is created by laying down consecutive layers of material until the whole object is created. Each of these layers could be seen as a thin sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.

How 3D Printing actually works?

It all begins with creating a virtual layout of an object that you wish to create or print in 3D. This virtual design is prepared in CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using a 3D modeling computer program (for creation of a complete new object) or with the help of a 3D scanner (to copy a stored image). The scanner produces a 3 Dimensional soft copy of the object and puts it into a 3D modeling computer program.

To create the digital file prepared in 3D modeling software program, computer software splits the model into thousands of horizontal slices. When this file is transferred to a 3D printer, the printer reproduces the object each layer by layer. The 3D printer reads every slice (or a 2D image) and processes to reproduce the object combining each slice layer together with no sign of the slicing appearing, give and output of 3D object.

Methods and technologies of 3D Printing

Not all 3D printers use this same technology to reproduce the objects. Many techniques use softening or melting material to reproduce the sliced layers. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) and Selective laser sintering (SLS) are the most common technologies using this technique of 3D printing. Another technique of 3D printing is to spread liquid materials that are cured with the help of different methods. The most common one using this method is known as Stereo Lithography (SLA).


Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

Interested in 3D printing your product idea?

Get your FREE Resource Guide for taking your idea from concept to 3D printed part using free software tools