What Are 3D Printers and How Do They Work?

3D printing, till not very long ago, was considered to be a thing of fiction. Never did anyone imagine it will come into existence anytime soon. Transforming from a niche technology to a lively and widely accepted one, 3D printing has spread all across the world. The one unique thing about this technology is how it promises to revolutionize the designing community. For instance, items and sculptors that were too intricate to create with hand can now be created with ease. The only requirement is to create the design on a 3D software and forward it for printing.

3d-printers

What Are 3D Printers?

A 3D printer is a special device that can create a model of any 3D design in 3 dimensions. The 3D design is not a picture drawn on a paper; it’s rather a hard object that you can feel with your hands. That’s why a good 3D printing machine like RAISCUBE A8R comes with strong and high precision parts, which are aluminum or ABS injection molded. It also includes an LCD screen and supports printing via memory card.

The 3D Printing Process

A 3D printer comes in different shapes and sizes, but all of them employ some standard methods to create a particular design:

Creating a blueprint: First of all, it creates a 3D blueprint of any design you put into the software.

Raw materials: In the next step, the printer will require some raw materials such as plastics, papers, metal parts, etc. Some type of adhesive may also be required to stick all of them together. As of now the design is still under development and requires you to manually apply the adhesive in order to stick the individual parts together. As the technology develops, this process may also become automated.

Creating the design: After hitting the print button, the machine starts creating the design. The most common method used in desktop printers is the material extrusion. The print time may vary depending upon the design and complexity of your model.

Just like a glue gun: If you have ever seen a glue gun, you can easily understand how a 3D printer works. Generally, the base for the 3D material is a plastic polymer. It is super-heated until it melts. After you insert a design, it is broken down into two-dimensional cross-sections by the computer software. After having the blueprint or the map, the printer sets to work. The molten polymer is secreted out of a nozzle and is guided by this blueprint. The printer builds and creates any design layer by layer, which quickly solidifies. Again, depending on the details of the model, it can take somewhere between an hour to an entire day to complete a single 3D print.

Giving final touches: The last part includes post-processing which gives the design some final touches and tweaks. While the design is being printed, there may be some jagged edges or support structures, created by the machine to hold the whole thing together. At the end, the user is required to clear off the dust and get rid of the excess support structures.

This printing industry is still in its infancy. It will be interesting to see what direction it takes in its future course of development.

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