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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.

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News

Automatic Build Platform Calibration

23. January 2018

The Perfect First Layer. What is it? The first layer of a 3D print is vital in order to reach a successful outcome. To ensure the first layer sticks to the build platform and has an even thickness it’s important that the platform is ‘leveled’. All Tractus3D printers have automatic build platform compensation. A sensor in…

Read More

Silent Night, Peaceful 3D Printing

7. December 2017

An undisturbed work environment. Low Sound Level. Our industrial 3D printers are operating at a noise level as low as 35 decibels (dB). This is comparable to human whispering and rustling needles. The peaceful sound of a crackling fireplace is already over 40 decibels. Work in Peace. The Tractus3D printers, even the big ones up…

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.

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