3D Printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to create a three-dimensional object in which layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and typically are produced using digital model data from a 3D model or another electronic data source such as an Additive Manufacturing File (AMF) file.The term "3D printing" originally referred to a process that deposits a binder material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads layer by layer.
At the time, all metalworking was done by processes that we now call non-additive (casting, fabrication, stamping, and machining); although plenty of automation was applied to those technologies (such as by robot welding and CNC), the idea of a tool or head moving through a 3D work envelope transforming a mass of raw material into a desired shape layer by layer was associated in metalworking only with processes that removed metal (rather than adding it), such as CNC milling, CNC EDM, and many others. AM processes for metal sintering or melting (such as selective laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, and selective laser melting) usually went by their own individual names in the 1980s and 1990s. But the automated techniques that added metal, which would later be called additive manufacturing, were beginning to challenge that assumption.
3D printable models may be created with a computer-aided design (CAD) package, via a 3D scanner, or by a plain digital camera and photogrammetry software. 3D printed models created with CAD result in reduced errors and can be corrected before printing, allowing verification in the design of the object before it is printed.
Before printing a 3D model from an STL file, it must first be examined for errors. Most CAD applications produce errors in output STL files.
Three dimensional printing, or additive manufacturing, goes beyond the capability of printing in the traditional sense of ink on paper, allowing for 3D objects to be physically printed before your very eyes. 3D printers allow you to create prototypes, models, and products out of materials such as plastics and metals.
Three-dimensional visuals are amazing learning aids to help explain difficult concepts to students Print a 3D brain, a planet or anything you want to capture the attention of your class and help them learn. Inspire students with hands-on learning about science, engineering or whatever you choose to print
Why not create a Makerspace in your school? It’s a great source of motivation for kids to learn skills like teamwork, sharing and 3D printing.
Introducing new technologies at an early age really fires up a kid’s imagination and inspires them to learn without limits. It’s also great fun.
There’s nothing like building an Ultimaker Original+ 3D printer in class to encourage kids to interact with each other and learn as a group.
A 3D printer is a great way to mix learning and fun, helping kids get creative and increase their understanding of a subject.=====================================================================================================================
It’s no secret that 3D printing is changing the face of the medical field. The technology has many applications when it comes to healthcare, from custom medicines and prosthetics to tissue engineering.
While an entire organ has yet to be successfully printed for practical surgical use, scientists and researchers have successfully printed kidney cells, sheets of cardiac tissue that beat like a real heart and the foundations of a human liver, among many other organ tissues. While printing out an entire human organ for transplant may still be at least a decade away, medical researchers and scientists are well on their way to making this a reality.
Stem cells have amazing regenerative properties already – they can reproduce many different kinds of human tissue. Now, stem cells are being printed in several university research labs, such as the Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh. Stem cell printing was the precursor to printing other kinds of tissues, and could eventually lead to printing cells directly into parts of the body.
Imagine the uses that printing skin grafts could do for burn victims, skin cancer patients and other kinds of afflictions and diseases that affect the epidermis. Medical engineers in Germany have been developing skin cell bioprinting since 2010, and researcher James Yoo from Wake Forest Institute is developing skin graft printing that can be applied directly onto burn victims.
Hod Lipson, a Cornell engineer, prototyped tissue bioprinting for cartilage within the past few years. Though Lipson has yet to print a meniscus that can withstand the kind of pressure and pound that a real one can, he and other engineers are well on their way to understanding how to apply these properties. Additionally, the same group from Germany who printed stem cells is also working toward the same results for bioprinting bone and others parts of the skeletal system.
Just six months ago, bioengineering students from the University of British Columbia won a prestigious award for their engineering and 3D printing of a new and extremely effective type of surgical smoke evacuator. Other surgical tools that have been 3D printed include forceps, hemostats, scalpel handles and clamps – and best of all, they come out of the printer sterile and cost a tenth as much as the stainless steel equivalent.
In the same way that tissue and types of organ cells are being printed and studied, disease cells and cancer cells are also being printed, in order to more effectively and systematically study how tumors grow and develop. Such medical engineering would allow for better drug testing, cancer cell analyzing and therapy development. With developments in 3D and bioprinting, it may even be a possibility within our lifetime that a cure for cancer is discovered.7. 3D Heart and Blood Vessels
Another German institute has created blood vessels using artificial biological cells, a 3D inkjet printer and a laser to mold them into shape. Likewise, researchers at the University of Rostock in Germany, Harvard Medical Institute and the University of Sydney are developing methods of heart repair, or types of a heart patch, made with 3D printed cells.The human cell heart patches have gone through successful testing on rats, and have also included the development of artificial cardiac tissues that successfully mimic the mechanical and biological properties of a real human heart.
There are plenty of other developments being made with 3D and bioprinting, but one of the biggest obstacles is finding software that is advanced or sophisticated enough to meet the challenge of creating the blueprint. While creating the blueprint for an ashtray, and subsequently producing it via 3D printing is a fairly simple and quick process, there is no equivalent for creating digital models of a liver or heart at this point.
When engineering bold new designs, 3D printing lets you try new prototypes, addressing problems and finding solutions as you go, all in only a matter of hours. Even those with complex internal structures and geometries, something traditional methods just can’t offer.3D printing can provide significant benefits to engineering processes. From shorter lead times in prototyping to the creation of complex internal structures, additive manufacturing can offer a big advantage over more traditional engineering processes. Our selection of FDM and SLA printers provide multiple solutions to engineering firms looking to improve their design processes and reduce costs. If you have special requirements or are looking to purchase several machines,
The benefits of 3D printing in Engineering are likely to revolutionize many industries. The automotive and aerospace industries benefit from much shorter lead times than with associated traditional engineering methods such as casting or machining, allowing for much faster development and testing of components. In the future, it may even be possible for large components or even entire cars to be entirely 3D printed, as recently demonstrated by Local Motors at the 2014 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, USA.
however, that’s in the future. Where the technology is making a big impact is high-end manufacturing – a sector Britain specializes in – with aerospace really beginning to embrace its advantages.Rolls-Royce is preparing to flight test one of its jet engines fitted with what the company says is the largest component ever built using ALM. The Derby-based business has produced a 150cm diameter, 50cm thick – about the size of a tractor wheel – bearing for one its XWB engines which house 48 titanium aerofoils using the technique.
Rolls-Royce has made what it says it the largest ever 3D printed component, aboveRolls has been investigating the technology for over 20 years and has used it to repair components for the past five says Neil Mantle, head of ALM at Rolls. However, he says the technology is not suitable for producing all types of components and so will never entirely replace traditional methods it does offer many advantages.The 3D-printed part - in blue - fits between the fan and compressor sections
“ALM allows you to be innovative in design and the way you develop components and structures,” says Mantle. “Ultimately we will be able to make shapes and parts that can’t be made in any other method, such as a triangular hole merging into a square – you can’t do that by drilling – and we can also combine components, reducing the number of parts. It will challenge us to think about the way we design objects.”
Other advantages of ALM are the very fact that it is additive, rather than subtractive: rather than cutting or drilling pieces off a solid block of metal, only the material that is necessary is used.“You only melt the material that you need,” says Mantle.In the aerospace sector, this is a definite advantage, not only because of the expensive metals used, but because lightness is key to efficiency. This has resulted in some of the parts having an organic look to them, where nothing wasted, aping the millions of years nature has taken to develop optimized designs.Parts produced using ALM can have an organic look that apes nature, such as this manifoldDeveloping and creating new parts is sped up with ALM. Mantle says that using ALM machines eliminates the need to create specialized tooling, and the design can be easily altered right up to point the button is pressed to begin producing it.Mantle estimates that using ALM cut the development of the bearing for the XWB by 30pc.