How Does 3D Printing Work?

Let’s just say at some point in our lives as humans, we’d often wish it was possible for some of the things running through our mind to exist in the real world. Like. I remember wishing someone would just buy me a PS 1 console back in the days. Well, in the world we live in today, I’m glad to say we’re finally getting to the era where we could get things just as they were in our imaginary minds. This is the era of 3D printing and in this post, we are going to be looking at how 3D Printing works.

Please understand that while we at fortune hill homes try to describe how 3d printing works, we’ll also throw more light on how this technology is going to better our lives now and in the future.

Let’s just describe 3D printing as one of the revolutionary technologies of the 21st century. It’s a revolutionary technology because it’s going to usher a new way of doing things, whether in medicine, engineering, art, robotics, space travel, in all aspects of human endeavour.

3D Printing Techniques

Well, there are tons of 3D printing technology in the world today, but we’re going to be looking at the 4 most common forms;

  • FDM
  • SLA
  • Laser Sintering
  • PolyJet

It’s very important to understand that there are other forms of 3D printing that might not be discussed in this article today this is because we saw the need to create awareness on the most widely used 3d printing Techniques today.

Let’s explain these techniques briefly

Fusion Deposition Modelling

FDM is an acronym for Fusion Deposition Modeling. The FDM 3D printer is the one you must have seen in real life.

Let’s see how it works

How does an FDM 3D printer work?

This type of 3d printer works like a hot glue gun. But this time, a hot glue gun operated by a robot.

In this printer, a solid material known as the filament enters the printer in one end and is pushed off through a hot nozzle which melts this filament and after then, lays it in layers.

The entering and melting, laying in layers is a sequence that continues till a full Three-dimensional object is achieved.

What this means is that we could liken the Fusion Deposition Modeling to a 2D printing. The slight difference is that after each layer, the Hot Nozzle goes off what’s created and starts printing the next layer right on top of that printed before lifting off.

Stereo Lithography. 

This is also known as SLA. It works by casting ultraviolet light into a pool of photoreactive resin.

The resin solidifies on receiving the ultraviolet light to form a layer of the object being printed.

The difference between Fusion Deposition Modeling and Stereo 

Lithography is that the SLA produces objects with finer details than the FDM

Now let’s talk about the other 3D modelling technique which is laser Sintering

Laser Sintering

laser Sintehering working by casting a very powerful laser beam over a layer of superfine powder thereby fusing the particles to produce a thin solidified layer 

On achieving the thin solidified layer, the machine further sweeps more powder over the top of the layer and continues to repeat the sequence a 3D object is completely created…

laser Sintehering 3D Printers are not used in domestic environments, however, they are industrially used to create large and durable objects from metal.

Recent research mentioned that SpaceX uses laser Sintehering technique to manufacture super Draco rocket engines 

PolyJet 3D Printing Technique

The PolyJet technique combines Fusion Deposition Modeling and Stereo Lithography techniques to achieve its objectives.

In PolyJet Technique, the machine squeezes out tiny droplets of photoreactive resin onto a built surface and this resin is hardened with ultraviolet light. The process is repeated several times till the object is formed from the bottom to the top

The PolyJet is a 3D printing technique that is super fast with precision. However, you might be a bit disappointed to learn it costs a couple of tens of thousands of dollars to buy 1. 

Application areas of 3D printing

Because we care about quality and spreading the good news about latest technology, we shall be talking not only How 3D Printers work, we want to share with you the various areas where the innovation would be more appreciated

Prosthetics

As you know, in prosthetics, every limb, arm needs to be customized for every individual which makes it a bit hard for prosthetics to be produced on a larger scale. Thanks to 3D printing which has made it so easy to the extent that a person’s body could be scanned and fed into the printer which then produces a copy to match the body geometry of the benefactor.

3D Prosthetics hand

Well, in the world of medicine, 3D printing doesn’t only work for prosthetics, it also touches such areas as organs. This is because scientists did print a mini human heart from stem cells. the heart printed with this technology is about 40% functional and currently used for pharmaceutical studies. 

3D Printed heart

Well, the heart so printed isn’t fully functional, but we believe a few advancements would be made within a few years that would enable the printing of more than a thousand functional hearts that could be used for heart transplant surgeries.

3D Printed Shoes

Take it to the doors of NIKE. The company is currently running their fly brand. The fly brand is a collection of 3D printed textile to be used in the production of sneakers. These shoes are easily customized for specific sports or athletes and the process allows these shoes to be designed 16 times faster than regular shoes 

3D Technology in Construction Industry

Well, as we speak, there is a home known as Appis Coe in Russia, another in Dubai and Germany. These were 3D printed homes. We all understand how rigorous the construction industry has been over the years. It would take an advanced Construction company a few weeks to build a home. But with 3D printing, a home could be built within 24hrs and at a very reduced cost since labour and wastages won’t be there.

3d printer image
PERI 3D Printer used on a construction site

Still on construction. A nonprofit startup company, ICON printed homes that provides 800 square foot living spaces. These are affordable housing solutions that cost less than 5000USD…

The technology has helped the construction industry provide housing solutions in poor communities. These are cheap and quick to build since the 3D printer is there to print the walls in layers.

Let’s remember it takes over 2 years to build a yacht. But with 3d Printing, this Herculean task would only take 90 days.

The showbiz industry uses 3D Technology in Set design and prop making. Allows studios to create custom props quicker and far very cheaper than traditional it would be in traditional methods. 

What about 3D printed meals? Nova is using 3D printing to print foods such as Sushi, Pizza, Burgers, etc. It is believed that 3D printed food could be the solution for the world’s food shortages in the nearest future.

Truth is, with 3D printing, we could outgrow printing rocket engines, prosthetics, objects and find ourselves in a world where even humans could be printed with machines

Conclusion

While we were able to understand the different types and techniques in 3D Printing, we were also able to mention some application areas that we believe the technology would bring improvements to. Finally, we were able to understand that 3D printing is a technology that has more benefits to offer. Now that i understand how 3D Printers works, i am sure it would bring much joy!

Yes, i can’t wait to be able to print my favorite Marvel Superheroes as soon as i lay my hands on a 3D Printer

Thanks for dropping by

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