What is 3D Printing?

What is 3D Printing?


The 3D printing is the building of a three-dimensional object from a CAD model or a digital 3D model. The word 3D printing may bring up to a diversity of processes where material is put, combined or hardened below computer control to create a 3-dimensional object. The material was being added together naturally coating by coating. The 3D printing methods were deliberated appropriate only for the making of functional or aesthetic prototypes in the year of 1980s. The term additive manufacturing may be used synonymously with 3D printing when industrial production technology considered viable for 3D printing processes.

Broad-spectrum values​


The 3D printable models could also be created with a CAD (CAD) package through a 3D scanner by a clear camera and photogrammetry software. 3D printed models created with CAD end in relatively fewer errors than other methods. Errors in 3D printable models are often identified and corrected before printing. The physical modeling process of preparing geometric data for 3D special effects is analogous to plastic arts like sculpting. 3D scanning may be a process of collecting digital data on the form and appearance of a true object, creating a digital model supported it.

STL isn’t tailored for additive manufacturing because it generates large file sizes of topology optimized parts and lattice structures thanks to the massive number of surfaces involved. A more modern CAD file format, the Additive Manufacturing File format (AMF) was introduced in 2011 to unravel this problem. It stores information using curved triangulations.


This must first be inspected for errors earlier printing a 3D model from an STL file. Most CAD applications produce errors in output STL files, of the subsequent types:

  1. Holes;
  2. Faces normal;
  3. Self-intersections;
  4. Noise shells;
  5. Manifold errors

A step within the STL generation referred to as “repair” fixes such problems within the original model. Generally STLs that are produced from a model obtained through 3D scanning often have more of those errors as 3D scanning is usually achieved by point to point acquisition/mapping. 3D reconstruction often includes errors. The STL file once finished must be processed by a bit of software called a “slicer,” which converts the model into a series of thin layers and produces a G-code file containing instructions tailored to a selected sort of 3D printer (FDM printers). Then this G-code file may be printed with 3D printing client software. The printer resolution defines layer thickness and X–Y resolution in dots per inch (dpi) or micrometers (µm). Typical layer thickness is around 100 μm (250 DPI), while some machines may print layers as thin as 16 μm (1,600 DPI). X–Y resolution is like that of laser printers. Construction of a model with contemporary methods can take anywhere from several hours to many days, counting on the tactic used and therefore the size and complexity of the model. Additive systems can typically reduce this point to a couple of hours, although it varies widely counting on the sort of machine used and therefore the size and number of models being produced simultaneously.


Though the printer-produced resolution is sufficient for several applications, greater accuracy are often achieved by printing a rather oversized version of the specified object in standard resolution then removing material employing a higher-resolution subtractive process. The layered structure of all Additive Manufacturing processes leads inevitably to a stair-stepping effect on part surfaces which are curved or tilted in reference to the building platform. The consequences strongly depend upon the orientation of a neighborhood surface inside the building process. Some printable polymers like ABS, allow the surface finish to be smoothed and improved using chemical vapor processes supported acetone or similar solvents. Some additive manufacturing techniques are capable of using multiple materials within the course of constructing parts. These techniques are ready to print in multiple colors and color combinations simultaneously, and wouldn’t necessarily require painting. These supports must be mechanically removed or dissolved upon completion of the print. A replacement process for the GMAW 3D printing allows for substrate surface modifications to get rid of aluminum.


The 3D printing usually focused on polymers for printing, thanks to the convenience of producing and handling polymeric materials. Method has quickly changed to not only print many polymers but also metals and ceramics, making 3D printing a flexible option for manufacturing. The Coating-by-coating fabrication of three-dimensional physical models can be a modern concept that “stems from the ever-growing CAD industry, more specifically the solid modeling side of CAD”. Before solid modeling was introduced within the late 1980s, three-dimensional models were created with wire frames and surfaces” but altogether cases the layers of materials are controlled by the printer and therefore the material properties.

Multi-material 3D printing

A drawback of the many existing 3D printing technologies is that they only allow one material to be printed at a time, limiting many potential applications which require the mixing of various materials within the same object. Multi-material 3D printing resolves this problem by letting objects of complex and heterogeneous arrangements of materials to be manufactured employing a single printer. Here, a cloth must be specified for every voxel (or 3D printing pixel element) inside the ultimate object volume.

The processes are often fraught with complications, however, thanks to the isolated and monolithic algorithms. Some commercial devices have sought to unravel these issues, like building a Spec2Fab translator, but the progress remains very limited. Nonetheless, within the medical industry, an idea of 3D printed pills and vaccines has been presented. With this new concept, multiple medications are often combined, which can decrease many risks. With more and more applications of multi-material 3D printing, the prices of lifestyle and technology development will become inevitably lower. Metallo graphic materials of 3D printing are additionally being researched.


There are many various branded Additive manufacturing processes, which will be grouped into seven categories:

  1. Vat photo polymerization
  2. Material jetting
  3. Binder jetting
  4. Powder bed fusion
  5. Material extrusion
  6. Directed energy deposition
  7. Sheet lamination

The main differences between processes are within the way layers are deposited to make parts and within the materials that are used. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, which is why some companies offer a choice of powder and polymer for the fabric wont to build the thing. Others sometimes use standard, off-the-shelf business paper because the build material to supply a durable prototype. The most considerations in choosing a machine are generally speed, cost of the 3D printer, of the printed prototype, choice and price of the materials, and color capabilities. Printers that employment directly with metals are generally expensive. However less costly printers are often wont to make a mold, which is then wont to make metal parts.

ISO/ASTM52900-15 defines seven categories of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes within its meaning: binder jetting, directed energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination, and vat photo polymerization.



Mansoor Ahmed is Chemical Engineer, web developer, a writer currently living in Pakistan. My interests range from technology to web development. I am also interested in programming, writing, and reading.
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