3D printing has been around for a lot longer than most people think. Did you know that 3D printing was invented in the 1980s?
One of the biggest reasons for the growth in popularity of 3D printers is the wide amount of 3D printer uses out there. As long as you have the right 3D printer materials, you can create just about anything that you want. They’re even starting to take private use in homes by storm due to all of the applications of 3D printing.
Have you wondered what 3D applications you could gain from investing in a 3D printer? If you have, you’ve come to the right place to learn more. Keep reading to learn everything from how to set up a 3D printer to the uses of 3D printing in the future.
How Does 3D Printing Work?
When you think about it, 3D printing is very similar to the paper printing process that everyone is familiar with. It is an accumulation of different layers of certain materials used to create a three-dimensional solid object. The 3D model is built or created one layer at a time and it works from the bottom of the object upwards.
Over the process of a few hours, it will continue printing in the same area and build the object you want to be created based on a 3D CAD drawing. It essentially uses a lot of 2D drawings stacked on top of each other to create the 3D object. The other big difference between a 3D printer and a paper printer is the 3D printer materials are plastics, while a paper printer uses ink.
Once the 3D printer has its design, melted plastics are squeezed out of the small nozzle of the machine. This small nozzle allows the 3D printer to be accurate and precise when printing out your object. It also works with your computer to ensure the utmost precision. It prints one layer, lets that layer dry, and then proceeds to print the next layer overtop of the previous one.
You can learn more about 3D scanning to gain a better understanding of how the 3D printing process works.
3D Printer Materials
The primary materials that a 3D printer uses to create objects are thermoplastics. The most popular type of 3D printer material is called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). This is the same material that legos are made of, and it is a tough plastic that is perfect for use with a 3D printer.
This material stays solid at temperatures up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit and it pigments really easily. While it is the most popular 3D printing material, there are other options available as well. Any molten material that hardens and sets quickly is a great option. You can use anything from ceramics to chocolate.
3D Printer Uses
As 3D printers and their materials have become more affordable, the practical uses for 3D printers have grown immensely. There are tons of new products and technologies that stem from how affordable and accessible 3D printing is now.
Because of the impressive capabilities of 3D printers, they’re becoming a widely used tool for businesses and entrepreneurs across the country. Here are some of the most common 3D printer uses happening today.
There are more and more curriculums that include 3D printing methods as a way to make ideas and images come to life. 3D printers are great for this because they don’t require expensive tools and they provide a secure environment.
It is proven to provide students in a wide variety of fields with new and better perspectives through the things it builds.
One of the most important 3D printer uses is the process of printing and creating prosthetic limbs as well as tissues. Tissues are metal orthopedic implants that use their porous characteristics to help patients become integrated. 3D printers can even print artificial organs for patients that need organ replacements.
Tests on 3D printed tissues show that these tissues are safe and effective. They’re a cost-effective solution that saves both the medical field and the patient valuable time.
3. Manufacturing Parts
Another great practical use for 3D printers is for creating parts for automobiles and other machines. 3D printers are a perfect solution for an auto mechanic that needs a replacement part for a vehicle. This is especially true for car parts that are no longer in mainstream production.
It also allows companies to provide customization services that allow you to customize your design objects through web-based software and order the item that you design.
Did you know that 3D printers can even print out prefabricated homes? These prefabricated homes are built with 3D printers and installed at the site where the customer wants to live. This is increasingly feasible thanks to the decreasing operating costs related to 3D printers.
5. Personal Uses
If you’re interested in getting your own 3D printer, there are many ways that you’ll benefit from the investment. They’re perfect for creating household items and tools of all shapes and sizes. You’ll be able to print any replacement parts or items that you need from the comfort of your home.
If you need a new shelf to hold all of your favorite books, a 3D printer has you covered. You can even use it to try your hand as an inventor and create new toys and games for your kids.
While 3D food printing is a real thing, it is currently limited to using a single edible paste and tracing it into a precise 3D shape. There are a variety of pastes, or filament materials, for you to choose from. There are bean pastes, cookie dough, jams, mashed potatoes, and even chocolate.
3D food printers come already loaded with templates for your 3D meals and they allow for customization of the flavor, texture, and even the nutritional value.
Get Your 3D Printer Today
The amount of 3D printer uses available today is staggering, and that number will only continue to grow as 3D printing becomes more affordable. It is the perfect investment for a home or a business and will allow for the convenient manufacture of everything from custom car parts to a nutritious and tasty dinner.
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