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How Does a 3D Printer Work?

Have you heard so much about 3D printing but wonder how it really works?

When you are in the business of developing new products and you need to show them off to clients or customers, having a prototype or a model you can touch, hold and feel is best. 3D printers are a new generation of machines that can make just about anything from ceramic cups to plastic toys, metal machine parts, stoneware vases and more. They have replaced the traditional factory production lines with a single machine. Here is how a 3D printer works.

1. From hand-made prototypes to fast prototyping

Before the invention of such things as computer-aided design (CAD) and lasers, making prototypes and models was a laborious process, involving carving wood or sticking cards or plastic together. This could take days or even weeks to make and was very expensive. With the arrival of improved technology, development of models and prototypes became automated. 3D printing offers such a technology where rapid prototypes of product designs are made very fast.

2. How does a 3D printer work?

A 3D printer works by building up a 3D model one layer at a time, from the bottom upward. It achieves this by using various methods. The most commonly known method is fused deposition modelling (FDM), which repeatedly prints over the same area. The printer automatically creates a model over a period of hours by turning a 3D CAD drawing into bits of two-dimensional, cross-sectional layers. Rather than using ink, the printer deposits layers of molten plastic or powder and fuses them together and to the existing structure using adhesive or ultraviolet light.

Another technology, multi-jet modelling, is an inkjet-like 3D printing system that sprays a coloured, glue-like binder onto successive layers of powder where the object is to be formed. This is one of the fastest methods and it also supports multicolour printing. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is another method of how the 3D printer works, which uses a high-powered laser to fuse particles of plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass. Another technology, electron beam melting (EBM) uses an electron beam to melt metal powder, layer by layer.

3. Who invented 3D printing?

Charles W. Hull invented the first 3D printer in the mid-1980s, around the same time Carl Deckard invented selective laser sintering and Scott Crump invented fused deposition modelling. Hull was the first to apply for and be issued patents for his invention. Nowadays, those patents have entered into the public domain and opened the door for more development.

Where to go for any 3D printing solutions and products?

Contact our team at Copysmart today for instant assistance on your printing and copying business. We offer high quality, tailor-made office and copy solutions, repairs and maintenance, and unbeatable rental services. With our highly experienced staff and electronic technicians, you are guaranteed of the most reliable office service and products. Call our sales and service staff members on 0418 631 266, 0411 530 531, 0405 836 876 and 0449 951 304 or visit our website on https://www.copysmart.com.au/

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