-By Monika Sachan
3D Printing which is other times referred to as additive manufacturing is simply a three-dimension object basically from a CAD model.3D printing may also refer to processes whereby, materials can be deposited, combined, or solidified to make a three-dimension object through the help of a computer. Below are some facts you need to know about 3D Printing technology.
3D technology is becoming more popular and it’s gradually overpowering the traditional way of making objects in some industries. 3D printing uses computer technology to make 3 dimensions objects The process involves purely arranging of materials into a horizontal cross-section of layers to print solid objects such as machine parts gun and toys are good examples of successful 3D technology. A Japanese Inventor, Hideo Kodama, holds a record as the first person to invent the use of the technology in 1981. He manufactured solid objects by using ultraviolet lights to harden polymers.
Selective Laser Sintering is more advanced compared to previous ones, the technology uses additive manufacturing and also polymer powder, pure nylon to make the objects. As the name suggests, the technology uses a laser to mix the powders together layer after layer to make more complex shapes.
Scott Crump, developed Fused Deposition Modeling form off 3D printing, the process involves heating of thermoplastic cable into liquid form then eliminated layer by layer. For instance, this is the commonly used form of 3D printing, it is also referred to as a desktop 3D printer. The use of 3D printing technology has changed and contributed a lot to the development of manufacturing industries
Top Four Application of 3D Printing
Below are some effects on introduction of 3D printing technology in a number of industries. They include
3D Printing technology has been more important in the world of medicine for the last couple of years. The technology has been employed in areas such as Bioprinting to help in the making biomaterials such as cells and growth factors combined together to make tissue-like-structures to produce an imitation of natural look alike.
In the area of prosthetics, 3D printing has been used to make simpler and less expensive prosthetics that is suitable for the patient, for instance, children who are in need of prosthetic used to wait for long in order to get a prosthetic that they will not outgrow, nowadays it is easy to acquire one with the aid of 3d printing after every few months. In most developed countries, they have taken the advantage of technology. (Rance Tina, n.d.)
In the field of medicine, the application of 3d printing is used to make metal orthopedic implants since the application has enabled the making of porous surfaces. Their many cases of patients getting a successful titanium pelvis implant or someone having a new titanium lower jaw, in other cases a motorcyclist can get involved in a road accident and got serious injuries on his face, with the help of 3D printed parts he will have it rebuild.
Also, in the field of bioprinting, it is easy to print artificial organs which helps to solve the issue of kidney failures to patients faster, which is nice to the health sector and to the patient as well. Some 3 D printed tissues have been invented to be used in the pharmaceutical field to help in determining the cost-effectiveness and also assist in examining any side effects of drugs and help to identify the best dosage.
Through the application of 3d printing, pills are manufactured by applying Binder Jetting process, however, the pills are made to be porous hence high dosages in a particular pill which is easily dissolvable for easy digestion. Good news for treating epilepsy.
Scans of animal hearts have been used by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis who created printed models. A stretchable electronics peeled off silicon device can be taken out of the printed model and attached to a human heart as desirable.
3D Printing offers a couple of technologies in the field of construction, for instance, is used in extrusion, which includes, concrete, wax, foam and polymers. Also is used in powder bonding, that is polymer bond, reactive bond and sintering and lastly in additive welding. 3D printing is widely applied in the private commercial, industrial and public sectors. The most important as to why the technology has been mostly used is that there are more complexity and accuracy reduced labor cost, less wastage of materials without forgetting to mention faster construction hence saving time. The first residential house was build at (Yaroslavl Russia, 2017 (website) (Placeholder3)). 3D printing was applied to print 600 elements of walls which were printed in a shop and brought to the site. Thereafter, they completed the roof of the building then finalized on interior decoration, covering a total area of 298.5sq meters. The project is the first worldwide to employ 3d printing technology in the house construction sector process.
Concrete 3d printing is a faster and a less costly process of construction of structures, use of large scale 3d printers are used purposely to print concrete that can pour a foundation and also build walls on the site.
The first pedestrian bridge to employ 3D technology was printed in Alcobendas, Spain, they reinforced concrete for 12 meters of length and 1.75 meters of width respectively. The whole project was laid through the use of a set of rules, values, that guide designing. 3D printing is being studied in the school of construction as the new technology in the area of building houses and structures, the technology is mostly targeted to be employed in the construction of extraterrestrial habitats on moons, mars. These habitats will only require ten percent of structure to be taken from the earth through lunar materials.
- Prototyping and Manufacturing
3D printing technology was purposely developed to enable faster prototyping, the most important about the application is that is more affordable and flexible for small-scale manufacturing and prototyping. Contrary to an injection-molded prototype which is costly to use and also will not save time. The application of 3D printing is friendly and suitable when printing a few products. Some big companies such as Mahle (mahle) well known for automotive parts supplier, employed 3D printing technology.
Many schools are introducing 3D printing technology into their curriculums. The importance of incorporating 3D printing is to prepare learners on how to make prototypes without the use of expensive tools. Students apply the application through designing and also producing models which they can simply hold, in other words, 3D printing acts as the bridge between ideas on paper or on a screen to the creation of the same ideas to physical objects hence, 3-dimensional world.
Most schools and universities are now introducing 3d printing for learners to use in classes and on their projects. Maker Bot company encourages the introduction of the new technology by giving out certificates for both teachers and students.
Learners acquire more knowledge about varieties of 3d printing applications through venturing into designs, architectural principles and engineering fields, therefore, science students are able to learn a cross-section of human organs and other specimens.
One such example of Using 3D printing for educational purpose is presented below:
How 3D Printing Works
The process includes a sequence of steps that are necessary for making any object, the process comprises of
The cad model is the first step and also the most delicate element which without it an object cannot be produced. The model is either manufactured in a 3d modeling software example is Solidworks or through reversing of engineering by using a 3d scanner.
The process includes converting STL files in a way that 3D printers can read hence imported into slicing software. The software thereafter controls the range of parameters responsible for high-quality 3D printing results.
The 3D print is the last step, whereby, the sliced file from slicer software is directed to 3d printer. Through the press of the printer button, the 3D printer will print the objects layer after layer.
Impacts of 3D Printing in the current society
Tsunami Medical Deploys four additional Mlab System for implants
Tsunami medical is a biomedical established in Italy near Modena, it has grown its businesses in order to reciprocate to the growing demand in the implant sector through the application of additive manufacturing. The industry has embarked on investing in AM and other four new Mlab systems from GE Additive. The main agenda for the company is to remain at the top to integrates new technologies such as 3d printing technology. This helps the company to dominate the industry in terms of manufacturing and designing the most developed medical devices used in administering spinal surgery and other invasive procedures. In 2015, the company purchased its first two additive GE that market their journey to 3d printing technology. Tsunami medical remains the best top manufacturer for spinal working hand in hand with qualified orthopedic, neurosurgeons and other medical (sher, tsunami medical deploys, 2020) professionals whereby they have manufactured over 5000 pieces to cater for its global customers. Tsunami has taken advantage of the existence of GE additives DMLM technology, they have been able to create precise geometries such as gears and mechanical moving parts. The technology also helps them attain the more accurate, complex, and functional integration they desire.
Copper 3D Cuprionix Materials validated for Effectiveness against Human Corona Virus
Copper 3D is the pioneer company in the field of antimicrobial materials for extrusion of 3D printing. Due to the outbreak of pandemics, the technology has been used in the printing of parts and other equipment that could be running short of supply against the pandemic. Some of the benefits associated with the use of the technology include few errors which might occur, the process is more effective to use, and also reduced cost. However, there are challenges associated with technology such as lack of expertise.
Hospital respiratory support apparatus
During this time of pandemic, healthcare systems are under siege due to shortages of beds and other medical equipment such as masks and non -invasive ventilation in respiratory support. Some of crucial objects such as venture valves, which is a key factor in respiratory (sher, copper 3d cuprioxnix material, 2020)equipment where not easy to reproduce, the high demand resulted to incorporation of 3D printing technology by group of physicians and engineers developed methods of manufacturing the valves.
Formlabs, which is a 3d printing technology and also manufacture are using 250 printers in its Ohio factory to manufacture nasal swabs for COVID-19 whereby the items are being used daily for testing. The company is also in the process of supplying the design to other publics to use in their manufacturing. (crawford, 2020).
Door Handle Attachment
Materialize, is the provider of 3d printing services, due to the emerging of the pandemic, they have printed hands-free door handles to help in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
3D printing has already played a big role in fighting COVID-19 and also contributed a lot in medical and other sectors such as education and construction.
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