Contact Us Today! +31 (0)418 712 052 | Live Chat | [email protected]

What is 3D printing?

3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.

  1. It all begins with the creation of a 3D model on your computer. There are many 3D modelling softwares you can use. We advise using Simplify 3D and also deliver a free copy of this program when you buy a Tractus3D printer.
  2. When you have a 3D model, the next step in the 3D printing process is to prepare it in order to make it 3D printable. This process is called slicing which means dividing a 3D model into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers. This is all done automatically with Simplify3D so you don’t need any additional slicing software.
  3. When your 3D model is sliced, you are ready to feed it to your 3D printer. When the file is uploaded to a 3D printer, the object is ready to be 3D printed.
  4. The object will be created by laying down successive layers of material. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.

On this page you find a lot of articles about what is 3D printing. Any questions? Never hesitate to ask us! 

Hand holding a 3D printed high resolution transparant object

3D printer resolution – what does it really mean?

When you want to know more about what is 3D printing, you need to learn about the 3D printer resolution. Because the 3D printing process is such an accurate procedure, the resolution is in the size of microns. A micron is one thousandth of a millimeter, so it is extremely small. By displaying the 3D printer resolution, the buyer has a general idea of what the printer is capable of. There is more to the story, however.

It’s important to know that there are three types of possible deviations in the 3D printing process: machine-, material- and end result deviation.

A printhead of an industrial 3d delta printer

3D printing technology – Delta vs Cartesian

The 3D printing market is quite competitive, so there are plenty of different printers to choose from. Each printer has its own 3D printing technology and unique capabilities, so it’s important to know which printer is most suited for the results you want to achieve. As most 3D printers, Tractus3D printers use the FFF method (also known as FDM printing), which means everything is printed layer by layer using filament.

In the FDM 3D printing technology, two types of printing systems can be distinguished: Cartesian and Delta. The biggest difference between these two systems is the method of moving. Because each system has its own way of moving, you can achieve different results.

Table full of 3D printed parts of drones

The advantages of 3D printing

When you want to know more about what is 3d printing, you sure also want to know more about the benefits of this relatively new technology. Through creating layers, 3D printing opens a whole new way in which products are created and it offers a lot of advantages compared to the usual traditional manufacturing methods. They will be used to deal with a wide range of tasks in the same way that the digital revolution of twenty years ago enhanced lives and businesses in ways that could never be imagined.

There are many different types of 3D printing technologies available but the advantages discussed here are applicable to the whole industry. Through fast design, high levels of accuracy and the ability to make informed decisions, the following advantages make 3D printing a real prospect for businesses but also highlight its importance in future production techniques.

A man studying a 3D printed object which is produced by FDM 3d printing

What is FDM 3D printing?

To the question 'What is 3D printing?" there is not one absolute answer. The way in which 3D printing has developed in recent years is nothing short of astounding with a wide range of 3D printing technologies available.

The most common is the Fused Deposition Modelling, also known as FDM. This is a technology that has been patented by Stratasys and it is a technology that enables the creation of prototypes in a very short timeframe. This technology is also known as Fused Filament Fabrication or FFF. All Tractus3D industrial printers make use of this technology. Many different industries choose to use FDM 3D printing including the automotive industry and a wide range of consumer goods manufacturers. They use FDM because it helps to aid their product development, their prototyping and their manufacturing process.

An army officer holding 2 objects: the original metal object and a 3D printed metal-like version which is produced by 3d printing thermoplastics

Thermoplastics as a substitute for metal additive manufacturing?

Metal additive manufacturing technology enables the production of highly complex geometries due to the fact that is not constrained by the same rules associated with subtractive machining and other traditional manufacturing techniques. In fact, some 3D printed parts are already just as good, if not better. But there are more benefits. In this article we will first have a look at the other advantages that this relatively new technology brings. Then we will explain why 3D printing thermoplastics can be an even better and cheaper substitute. More and more companies are using 3D printing thermoplastics for crafting metal (like) objects as this has a lot of extra advantages compared to the standard process of metal additive manufacturing.

A batch of 3D printed objects showing the possibilities of 3D printing for manufacturing

3D printing in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is always looking at new and innovative ways of working and in recent years, 3D printing has been at the forefront. Advancements in the 3D printing technology, equipment and materials has resulted in the costs being driven down and that makes it a more feasible option when it comes to general manufacturing use.

Traditional manufacturing has to deal with the ever-growing demands of the world but it has some restrictions. That is where 3D printing can step in to take over. 3D printing for manufacturing comes with a number of exciting and unique advantages when compared with traditional manufacturing.

Subscribe to our newsletter:

Every month we release a newsletter with the most important items posted on the Tractus3D website. This includes case studies, news items, announcements and informative items.

News

3D Printing Excursion

15. April 2019

Members of the Society of Oud-Willemers visited Tractus3D in Ammerzoden. This Society is a club of former staff members (both teaching and non-teaching) of the Willem van Oranje College in the Netherlands.

Read More

Flocking a 3D printed object

31. March 2019

To some people, 3D printing and styling or interior design might not yet sound as the most obvious combination, because 3D printing is mostly done in plastic filament.

Read More

Tractus3D Expands its Partner Reseller Program in France

11. March 2019

New Partnerships will broaden the market for Tractus3D’ products and services. By signing a partnership with Dupli Data, the north of France is covered.

Read More

3D Printing Tips & Tricks

28. February 2019

Want to fine-tune your 3D printing skills? Download our 3D printing tips and tricks document to discover the most important do’s and dont’s. We hope this help you to achieve the best…

Read More

Asia Chooses Dutch 3D Printing Expertise

21. February 2019

Recently Tractus3D engineers flew over to Korea and Indonesia for the installation of our large volume 3D printers. In Korea we installed the T3500 at the Gyeongnam…

Read More

Introducing 3D Printing to Students

14. February 2019

Tractus3D thinks it is important to work closely with various universities and colleges of all sorts of education. We like to give students an insight…

Read More

Large Volume 3D Printing at C!Print Lyon

12. February 2019

People are exposed to many different adds, most of the messages are blocked out by our brains. 3D advertisements however, do catch the eye of attention….

Read More

The Next Level PEEK 3D Printer: T850P

4. February 2019

The temperature inside the T850P can easily be controlled with an innovative heated chamber. Thermal management helps…

Read More

3D Printing Tax Benefits

14. January 2019

The government considers 3D printing as an important technology in their environmental policy. They provide tax benefits for companies that use 3D printing…

Read More

Installation Service including Training on Location

18. December 2018

This week, we shipped two of our large 3D printers off to their new owners. It is always a special thing watching those giants leave…

Read More
Businessman working on a computer on a desk with a industrial Tractus3D FDM printer on it

Do you have a question about 3D printing? Please never hesitate to ask us!

Please ask us any questions you have. We are happy to help you with whatever assistance you need in researching the ideal solution for your business - in whatever way works best for you.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.