Printing entails many techniques and approaches. Nevertheless, for most persons printing vacuously refers to the act of transmitting ink onto paper and any other printable surface. The ink is often transformed into graphical characters or alphabetical letters. Numerous printer types have been developed to deal with the printing phenomenon. Examples of printers in use at the moment include 3Dimensional (3D) printers, Plotter printers, wireless printers, Dot-matrix printers, Thermal printers, Dye-sublimation printers, Ink-jet printers, Photo printers, and Laser printers (Evans 6). Furthermore, printers are also categorized according to how they are used, and how they function to get images onto paper or any other surface; for instance, impact printers and non-impact printers.
The following report majors chiefly on the 3D printer phenomenon inclusive of;how 3D printers work,the technology behind 3D printing, the various characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, the severalattributes or functions, applications, and other imperativedynamics. For the use of this report, the expression printer is referred to in a superfluous manner.
3Dimension printing technologies
3D printing, also acknowledged as additive manufacturing denotes the creation of three-dimensional objects successively through the addition of layers of an intended object, one portion at a time, until the whole object comes into being. A 3D printer helps the user turn a virtual idea or a thought, into a reality. The three majorly used technologies in 3D printers are CAD, CAM, and Rapid prototyping techniques. However, 3D printers mostly dwell on CAM.
3D printer’s function using a Computer-aided design (CAD) technology that also qualifies as a novel visualization tool as it has not been in existence comprehensively (Chua & Lim 42). Apart from being a new-fangledprototyping tool, CAD has undergone a myriad of advancementsfrom pure virtualization to helping in 3D objects visualization using a number of tactics. The methodsinclude, Selective laser sintering, stereolithography, Multi-jet modelling, and fused deposition modelling.Computer Aided Design software disseminates computer rendered files into standard 3D formats for the eventual printing process by the 3D printer.
The first technology used in 3D printers was referred to as Stereolithography. Stereolithography uses photopolymer resins that cure and reacts with lasers to form precise, compact parts. It offers clear and precise resin created objects. However, stereo lithography embraces a disadvantage since post-processing phases compel the created entities in order for them to exist for longer periods.
Selective laser sintering
Laser sintering denotes the use of compact powdered materials with 3D printers to create objects using the powder particles into a solid component. The powdered materials can range from nylon, metals, mixture of powdered wax or ceramic ingredients. The process consumes an immense amount of heat during the development process. The end product does not have perfect finishing but the products last longer as compared to the stereo lithographed constructions.
Multi-jet modelling and fused deposition modelling
Just as selective laser technology, multi-jet modelling also uses powdered resources to render objects (Bártolo 84). However, the technology uses ink-jet print heads that spray the powder granules to condense only the necessary components that in turn form an object.
On the other hand, fused deposition modelling uses temperature controlled print heads that function contrary to multi-jet models. The temperature regulated printing heads form precise creations that range in size from commercial sizes to personal sized objects. 3D printers can use fused deposition modelling to design real life size objects with exact attention given to details (Chua & Lim 31).
3 Dimension printer properties
According to Vögtle & Ballauff (2001); Like all printers, 3D printers also call for properties that need consideration especially when contemplating anacquisition amongst the top things to watch out for when intending procurementfor a 3D printer include; cost, speed, color, precision,resolution, and properties of constituents.Additional attributes get considered but the above list command most attention.
When it comes to cost, different 3D printer components mandate different fiscal prerequisites. The costs are measured in terms of cubic meters and inches. Geometry determines the cost required for the printing resources and the final finished goods. Geometry in the 3D printer perspective refers to relations of developed objects in terms of the X axis and the Y axis (Towers, 93). A number of 3D printer purveyors hide some material estimated cost volumes and, As a result, they end up portraying incorrect printing costs that often favor the seller and not the consumer. Individual parts also vary in costs even for similar printer models. However, low costs in relation to printing parts relate to the powder-based 3Dprinter models. Low outlays are achieved due to the recycling advantage possessed by such printers. When printing, the powder-based techniques allow for the salvaged use of leftover powders. As a result, the powder-based technologies employed in 3D printers stand as the cheap priced form of 3-dimensional printing. Additionally, 3D printers that utilize distinct materials also have a competitiveaspect, and they emit fewer waste yields because of material recycling usage.
The speed of a 3D printer signifies the time a 3D printer takes to accomplish a creation placed at a predetermined position especially for stable geometry-independent printers. Alternatively, speed also refers to the time needed to print one part wholly, in capacity measurements. The first speed measurements result due to the prompt periods the printer takes to accomplish the object’s part. The second definition related to speeding attains models at a slower rate due to bulk-based complexity issues. When selecting a 3D printer for acquisition, stable geometry-independent 3D printers offer more attributes hence advantageous, since they permit for concept entity modelling that can help in comparing computer-based developments during the design phase of the project.
A 3 Dimensional printer creates objects in an incremental mode and as a result attention to detail represents a major attribute in 3D printing. The materials involved undergo transformations from a particular form to another one. In order to ascertain that a 3D printer embraces the precision quality comprehensively, the recycling perspective gets considered as little wastes get generated and, as a result, material wastage is minimized. The minimizing factor results into lesser material contractions that often determine how accurate an object has undergone development. Actual precision results of a 3D printer vary hence the most accurate ways depend on the geometry magnitude of models and the sizes of the model parts under development.
Properties of elements
The elements a 3D printer uses determine the application area where it gets used. Performance functionalities have both benefits and drawbacks especially in relation to the 3D technology that the printer uses.The selection of a printer should, therefore, get based on the different elements especially if the elements contain plastic or not because plastic elements offer more advantages (Wallbank 216). However, the plastic elements provide maximum benefits only when used with powdered materials. For instance, the plastic components allow full-color capabilities that do not necessarily require post-processing finishing.
3D printers offer color properties in three ways: one color printers, basic color printers, and full spectrum color capabilities. The full color spectrum 3D printer permits printing of many colors, the basic color printer permits few color emission properties on a surface while the one color 3D printer only permits the printing of a single color on a model. Maximum-scale 3D color printers provide more unique color properties and often produce real-like objects that are hard to distinguish from the real world object.
The 3D printing technology has spread to a wide platform that cuts across diverse fields. The various fields that have adopted the 3-Dimensional printing phenomenon include the medicine, automotive, dental, art, jewelry design and molding, architecture and fashion.
The world of art incorporates the 3D printing technology to accomplish a variety of functions, for example, the exploration art forms. When exploring art forms, the art experts use 3D printers to determine various art forms through conceptual modeling. Conceptual modeling enables exact art developments according to consumer needs. Other 3D technologies incorporated into the art field are inclusive of 3-Dimensional scanning, three dimensional printing techniques (Wallbank 85).
Dental and Medicine fields
The medicine field qualifies amongst the first practitioners of the 3D technology. Medicine and dentistry evolves at a rapid rate and as a result, 3D printing provides numerous aids for the two fields. In medicine, 3D technology allows for the creation of lost appendages like hips implants, prosthetics, and knee implants (Wong 216). On the other side of dentistry, 3D technology permits for the creation of dental aligners, dental crown castings, and also missing teeth. Additionally, the 3D technology aids in surgical procedures and recovery procedures thus curtailing professional work by almost half while still maintaining professional expertise levels.
Jewelry design and modelling
According to Gebhardt & Fateri 163), the art of making jewelry requires precise expertise and exact attention to details. 3D printing technology enables the development of jewels using precise attention to details and thus perfecting the technology of jewelry modelling. The various fields in jewelry where 3D technology gets used include stone-cutting and shaping, fabrication, electroplating, and also the engraving discipline.
The automotive industry also lists as one of the first users of 3D technology. The industry first used 3D printing to accomplish rapid prototypes for different vehicle models. 3D technology in the automotive industry is mostly employed by advanced companies to carry out prototypic modelling of vehicles and vehicle components (Jimenez & Kolsun 98). In the future, the automotive industry plans on using the 3D printing procedure to accomplish post-sale functionalities such as inventory management, reproduction of locomotive parts and the respective spare parts.
The architectural field uses 3D technology to create architectural models as it produces accurate architectural apparitions. When compared to former computer generated model applications, the 3 D technology offers an economical and a stress-free method for modelling architectural designs (Gindis 284). As a result, most architectural companies use 3D printing to enhance innovation and also to improve on customer communication strategies since creating customer thoughts often results to an ever demanding shifting task.
The fashion business benefits in large quantities when it comes to 3D printers and the 3d printing phenomenon. The fashion industry gains the ability to create hats, shoes, dresses, bags, and even inner garments.
Advantages and Disadvantages of 3D Printing Technology
A 3D printer offers advantages as well as disadvantages despite creating massive beneficial products across different industries. Among the advantages of 3-Dimensionalprinting include the following factors. Firstly, the intricacy involved when physically constructing objects has undergone significant cutbacks. Additionally, rapid prototyping is achieved at a fast pace (Cooper 84).
Second, the 3D technology is slowly diminishing the tool-use aspect. With computer-aided productions, most development tools are being rendered useless. The tool advantage also introduces a labor and cost reduction. When fewer tools get used, minimum labour gets required and as a result, production costs undergo an immense diminution. Additionally, 3D printing adheres to the environment needs thus less pollution to the environment. Furthermore, 3D allows for consumer customizations on products and that contributes to the advantage of 3D machinery.
The 3D technology also has disadvantages relating to its use for instance; 3D technology presents copyright infringement issues as it reproduces an already existing product in most occasions. Second, the tool-less aspect leads to fewer job opportunities for the population. Fewer employment rates mean that the global and regional economic rates are at vulnerability. Additionally, 3D printers pave way for the creation of dangerous weapons and if acquired by the wrong individuals, 3D printing can create security problems. 3D printing limits object developments in term of size thus creating another disadvantage (Cooper 92). 3D printers currently only permit the creation of small sized objects. Furthermore, 3D printing technology only utilizes specific resources such as ceramics since novel manufacturing materials are still under scrutiny.
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