3D Printing Technology: What Is It And How It Works

By Pritpal Singh | Feb 10, 2017 03:00 AM EST
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3D printing has been a buzz word in the recent times. This technology is taking the world by a storm and has a lot of potential. 3D printing makes it easier to produce complex objects and designs faster with reduced defects.

3D printing is based on additive manufacturing technology in which an object is created by adding some material to the object layer by layer. Additive manufacturing and 3D printing have grown rapidly over the past three years. It is now possible to create products for dental, aerospace, medical and automotive industries in a fraction of time. This technology creates physical objects from a digital design.

There are various technologies that can be used to create 3D prints. The most diverse, powerful and advanced technique which is being used nowadays is called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Using this technique, 3D objects can be created using diverse materials. This technology involves releasing of a tiny cloud of the building material in an aerosol form over the area which is being built up, reported Extreme Tech.

In SLS manufacturing process, a precisely timed laser is used which fuses the molecules of the building material to a growing object. A more advanced 3D printing version of this technology called SLM, which stands for Selective Laser Melting is used. Instead of using a laser, this technology uses a melting technique to build up objects which are more dense and strong, reported HowStuffWorks.

SLS and SLM technique for 3D printing have been used by NASA to create complex parts for satellites, etc. The 3D printing is also perfect for bio printing organs. This technique can revolutionize the growth of organs from stem cells. Also 3D printing finds application in aviation industry and companies like Airbus are now producing lightweight parts for their jets and planes. In medical industry, professionals can now quickly produce prosthesis for patients and molded casts.

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