3D Printer are a special subset of the digital fabricators class. Within the class of digital fabricators, these are class of the class of additive manufacturing. In the previous article on 3D Printing or Three-dimensional Printing, we mentioned that, in that article; we will not discuss about 3D Printer – because this class demands a special article themselves.
3D printer is a machine where the three-dimensional workpieces are crafted. The structure is computer controlled from CAD and one or more liquid or powdery materials are used according to the predetermined sizes and shapes. When building, physical or chemical curing or melting processes are used instead. Typical materials for 3D printing are plastics, synthetic resins, ceramics and in very high end setup – metals. We deliberately avoided mentioning metals in the previous article.
Description of 3D Printer
3D printers were first mainly used in the production of prototypes and models, the production of parts, of only small quantities. As for example, the aircraft manufacturer Boeing in the fighter jet F-18 Hornet 86 used laser sintering parts. Some basic advantages over competing manufacturing processes has lead to an increasing use of the 3D printing technology in mass production of parts. Compared to injection molding, 3D printing has the advantage that the complex manufacturing of molds and mold changing is fully eliminated.
Compared to all material procedures such as cutting, turning, drilling; 3D printing has the advantage that the loss of material is also eliminated. Most of the process is also energetically favorable, because the material is built only once, exactly at the required size and mass and then is ready. The main techniques of 3D printing are the selective laser melting and electron beam melting for metals and selective laser sintering of polymers, ceramics and metals, stereolithography, digital light processing for liquid resins, Polyjet Modeling, Fused Deposition Modeling for plastics and some synthetic resins. The achievable resolution of a resin printer is currently is 0.043 mm in the x-axis and 0.016 mm on the z-axis.
Discourse and effects of 3D Printer
In science, a discussion of the economic and social consequences of this development is, with technological development; increasing use of 3D printing has been started. Some researchers expect drastic changes in the economic structure. These are, for example, by relocating production processes to the consumer. Also innovation processes significantly has been accelerated. Some British scientists see the technology even as the basis for a third industrial revolution. Critics of this assumption, as the mathematician Hartmut Schwandt of the Technical University of Berlin has said as a response to this process-is that, the material costs at the individual production are much higher than in mass production. For this reason he considers the proclamation of another industrial revolution to be exaggerated. Many has criticized the publication of free building plans of a weapon, a plastic gun.
Multiple 3D printing
Most 3D printing machines only work with one material or a mixture of materials and printing methods. Tentatively, but already combined methods are also being tested. For example, scientists have created a complete zinc-air battery from several printed materials. The printing of plastics to different degrees of hardness and colors simultaneously is now possible, which makes the processes that previously required several manufacturing steps can be carried out in one operation.
Cost of 3D Printer
Cost of a 3D Printer can be as less as $200 ! MakiBox A6 LT is the product and has been designed to be affordable and dependable. It comes with a frosted acrylic printing bed that is suitable for PLA and work with lower temperature plastics. High end can obviously as costly as a traditional industrial manufacturing unit.