What is 3D printing? It is a new invention that changes the way we produce products. It can print “objects” like tools, toys, food, body parts and even larger things such as houses almost out of thin air by using plastic, metal, nylon and other materials.
3D printing or additive manufacturing creates material by adding layer upon layer and it uses this technique until the object is fully formed. It is able to create complex parts more easily at a cheaper outlay.
3D scanning can create 3-dimensional models of objects by scanning them and then analysing their actual shape and appearance.
How Does It All Work?
For a 3D printer, you have to create a blueprint of an object by using modelling software or finding other people’s work, usually online. Then you can send the data of this model to 3D Printers. When the printers receive the data they will pull the chosen printing material through a specially designed tube to create layers. These layers continue to be added upon until the object is fully formed.
3D scanners capture a real world object and construct a 3-dimensional model from the data. For example, a 3D scanner can reconstruct and replace a damaged human skull by scanning it and it can then be duplicated in, for example, titanium. Now that’s pretty amazing isn’t it! The marvel of new technologies.
Who Uses 3D Printing and 3D Scanning?
3D printing and 3D scanning have changed the way that businesses work. Many industries include 3D printing technology techniques in their businesses to improve their performance and productivity.
Medical Uses – 3D printers can print human organs to use in surgery as transplants. Instead of having to find replacement organs, which can often prove to be difficult, the necessary organs can be recreated. 3D scanners can be used to analyse organs such skulls or kidneys which can then be with other materials.
Aerospace – NASA, ESA and many aircraft manufacturers are using 3D printing techniques to reduce the weight of large sections of aircrafts.
Prototyping – 3D printing is used in the manufacturing industry to help reduce costs, save time, and ultimately produce better products. Companies no longer need to outsource models but can save time by just printing out prototypes.
Art and Education – Artists can print their ideas out using digital models. 3D printing makes creativity become reality and can even be used for valuable objects that require high quality and accurate models like museum objects, military simulations or cars. 3D scanning can make these recreations of objects look as real as possible.