Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design. The process works by placing thin layers of material in the form of liquid or powdered plastic, metal, or cement, and then fusing the layers. Stereolithography (SLA) is the original industrial 3D printing process. SLA printers excel at producing parts with high levels of detail, smooth surface finishes and tight tolerances.
Quality surface finishes on SLA parts not only look good, but they can help the part function test the fit of an assembly, for example. It is widely used in the medical industry and common applications include anatomical and microfluidic models. We use 3D printers Vipers, ProJets and iPros manufactured by 3D Systems for SLA parts. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) melts nylon-based powders into solid plastic.
Since SLS parts are made of real thermoplastic material, they are durable, suitable for functional testing, and can withstand live hinges and snap locks. Compared to SL, parts are stronger, but have rougher surface finishes. SLS requires no support structures, so the entire build platform can be used to nest multiple parts in a single construction, making it suitable for larger part quantities than other 3D printing processes. Many SLS parts are used to prototype designs that will one day be injection molded.
For our SLS printers, we use Pro140 machines developed by 3D systems. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a common desktop 3D printing technology for plastic parts. An FDM printer works by extruding a plastic filament layer by layer onto the build platform. It is a fast and cost-effective method for producing physical models.
There are some cases where FDM can be used for functional testing, but the technology is limited because the parts have relatively rough surface finishes and lack strength. When this cutting sequence is completed, the 3D printer deposits the next layer of adhesive, and so on until the part is complete. At the lower end of the market, 3D printers, which today are considered mid-range, a price war arose along with incremental improvements in accuracy, speed and printing materials. Liquid additive manufacturing (LAM) is a 3D printing technique that deposits a liquid or high viscous material (for example, DLP uses lamps to produce prints at higher speeds than SLA printing because the layers dry in seconds).
In stereolithography based on mask imaging, a 3D digital model is divided into a set of horizontal planes. In recent years, gold and silver have been added to the range of metallic materials that can be printed directly in 3D, with obvious applications in the jewelry sector. The starting point for any 3D printing process is a 3D digital model, which can be created using a variety of 3D software programs in the industry, such as 3D CAD, for manufacturers and consumers there are simpler and more accessible programs available or scanned with a 3D scanner. Some other early food experiments, including 3D printing of “meat” at the cellular protein level.
As 3D printing processes have improved in terms of resolution and more flexible materials, an industry, renowned for experimentation and outrageous statements, has come to the fore. Today, precious metals can be 3D printed in a variety of patterns and designs quickly and cost-effectively. In addition, machines and devices wear out over time and may need quick repair, for which 3D printing produces an optimized solution. A precise process, material blasting is one of the most expensive 3D printing methods, and parts tend to be brittle and degrade over time.
In Healthcare, Customization Is Critical: Most Hearing Aids Made In The U.S. UU. are manufactured almost exclusively with 3D printing. .