What is 3D printing?
Researching 3D printers can be time-consuming and frustrating. There’s a wide range of different 3D printers, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, and ideal applications are not widely understood. We will try to help you make a good decision and give a brief overview of everything you need to know about 3D printing and the different systems.
3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. 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.
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.
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.
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. 3D printing or additive manufacturing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine. 3D printing enables you to produce complex shapes using less material than the traditional manufacturing methods. That is why a quiet revolution has taken place in prototyping in the last few years, especially with the advent of widely available and affordable 3D printers. While much attention has been focused on the consumer marketplace, consumer-grade printers are not suitable for large-scale commercial use. They do not have the speed, facilities or robustness which is critical for industrial applications.
Now you know more about the 3D printing process. As specialists in the 3D printer business, we at Tractus3D understand the specific needs of industry. On this page you find all information you need when looking for a a 3D printing machine.
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.
3D printer resolution – what does it really mean?
When you want to know more about the 3D printing process, 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.
While the 3D printer resolution is very important, you also need to use the best material for your design. Even when you have the most accurate machine on the market, it’s possible that there’s a slight deviation. It might be too small to spot with the human eye, but it might make the difference between a functional print and one you can’t use. Therefore it’s important to know that there are three types of possible deviations in the 3D printing process: machine-, material- and end result deviation.
What is FDM 3D printing?
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.
The advantages of 3D Printing
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. It can take a digital design and turn it into something physical in a matter of hours. It has been touched upon that it is still a relatively new technology but it is one that is improving and growing meaning that it will become increasingly versatile.
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.
The main 3D printing advantages:
A. Stay ahead of competition
B. Reduce time
C. Reduce costs
D. Reduce errors
F. Production on demand