A 3D printing process gives concrete shape to the 3D design through the usage of 3D printers. A 3D printer as it name indicates is a machine that provides a solid form to a 3D design without any Human intervention. Not only does it gives shape to designs (irrespective of geometry or shape), but it also gives users a number of options, including the ability to view a structure and design before implementing them.
A 3D printer is a special printer which basically consists of an inkjet printer, an adhesive or binder and a fine powder (could be plaster) which work together to give a design a 3D form. We input a CAD design on special printing software available along with the printer, and the final result will be an actual 3D model of the 3D CAD design. The algorithm used by the software is called slicing algorithm which builds the design in the printer the same way as a building is built i.e. starting from foundation and going up to the roof to complete the structure.
A 3d printer is often compared with a Rapid prototyping systems, which provide exactly same function as a 3D printer but both of these are different in nature. A 3D printer is a low-end version of the RP systems.
We use a 3D printer to create 3D models that are used in various fields of architecture, automotive industries, education and medical sciences. The 3D models are used for basic designing of engines by the world famous automobile industry- DUCATI, the mobile phone leaders Motorola also are using these printers to get the first look of their new inventions. In medical science, these are used to produce Prosthetic limbs which help the disabled patients. The RP4 project introduced in 2005 in
The main manufactures of a 3D printer includes Z Corporations and Stratasys whose range of products include Zprinter 310, 450, etc.
Information technology, Nov 2006, published by EFY