Today, we should address the topic of 3D printers which is not new, but is becoming increasingly popular. I write “not new” because 3D printers are part of everyday life in the industry. The 3D printing process was invented by Chuck Hull in 1983, 30 years ago, and first patented in 1986.
Still, the topic is more relevant than ever, as 3D printing technology is slowly but constantly entering private homes. 3D printers are becoming increasingly accessible to a larger audience. So it is already available in a reliable coffee shop.
And as I think about Arduino, RaspberriPi & Co regularly, I find the topic interesting. What could be cooler than home equipment? Okay! Homemade hardware with matching print case.
And as everyone is talking about 3D printing, but there are big differences in printing and printing techniques, I would like to clarify and discuss the basic concepts of 3D printing today. Get more information on remby.de
What is a 3D printer suitable for?
What can a 3D printer do, what is it for and what can I do with it?
In the industry, 3D printers are mainly used for prototyping and small batch production. It’s a little different in the private sector. Generally, it is not against the use of 3D printers in the private sector for prototyping, but the most common goal is different.
For example, 3D printers are used at home to produce individual items. Whether it is a food processor spare part, an individual craftsmanship design box or a decoration. All this is possible with a 3D printer. There is really no limit to creativity. Only the size of the manufactured parts is limited by the type of 3D printer.
How does a 3D printer work?
Sculpting a 3D printer 3D printing describes the process of creating three-dimensional objects. However, a distinction can be made between different printing processes. Below, I want to briefly discuss the three most popular processes. These are sediment modeling, laser sintering and stereolithography.
With the molten sediment model, the solid material, usually plastic, also called filament, melts in the nozzle, the so-called extruder, and is applied layer by layer. Different plastic is used, depending on the printer and the nozzle. The most common are ABS and PLA. Fusion modeling is the most common 3D printer process at home. Depending on the price and quality of the 3D printer, the printed layers are between one and half millimeter thick.
In stereolithography, printing starts with liquid material, more precisely synthetic resin. Here, the synthetic resin is selectively exposed to a UV laser, after which it hardens. This printing process is, in principle, more precise than sediment modelling. The problem with stereolithography, however, is that the remaining liquid synthetic resin, which is not exposed, cannot withstand an already exposed and hardened object. To prevent the printed item from collapsing, it is necessary to use a material called a conveyor, which, however, must be removed after printing.
Laser sintering also acts as stereolithography using a UV laser. Unlike stereolithography, the starting material is not liquid but dust. It can be printed with plastic or metal. The starting material powder has been fused with a UV laser. The product surface during laser sintering is somewhat rougher compared to stereolithography, but the end products are also more stable and flexible compared to stereolithography.