3D Printing – What And How

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing is a term that is used for a technology that creates 3D objects by successive addition of thin layers of material based on a 3D design that is uploaded into the printer. The thin layer can be anywhere between 16 to 180 microns. All 3D printing services follow the same principle of additive as they build objects one layer after another to create complex shapes. We are the best plastic manufacturing company in India offering top-class 3D printing services and quality precision parts and components. We have three main steps in 3D printing, namely, preparation, printing and finishing.

3D printing services

Preparation is the first step where you design the object we need to print. The design is a 3D file created using 3D design software like CAD or downloaded from any online marketplace. We can also use a 3D scanner to scan a 3D object into a 3D file. The actual printing involves choosing the right material to print the object. This is based on the type of product and property we want to achieve. There is a wide spectrum of materials that can be used in 3D printing. The built object has to undergo a finishing process for the final delivery. It has to be lacquered, sanded or painted.

Different Technologies Used In 3D Printing Services In India

The material chosen for making the 3D project determines the 3D printing technology to be used. The different materials that are used in 3D printing plastics, aluminide, wax, resins, sand, metal, textiles, glass, biomaterials, food and also lunar dust. Some of the commonly used printing technologies are:

  • Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)
  • SLS Technology
  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  • Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP)
  • MultiJet Printers
  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
  • Electron Beam Melting (EBM)

FDM and SLS technology are used for plastic and aluminide. It is a popular and more affordable printing method as there are more FDM 3D printers available. In this method, the material is melted and extruded via a nozzle to print the object layer by layer. The base of the printer lowers as more layers are added. The process is repeated until the object is complete. SLS or laser sintering is a process that comprises fabrithe cation of an object by continuously melting layers of powder to form the object. The most complex and interlocking type of objects can be built using this technology.

Materials like resin or wax will need photopolymerisation, where the photosensitive resin is solidified by using UV light. Multijet, SLA, DLP, AND CLIP are the different methods that support this technology. SLA uses curable photopolymer resin which is exposed to light as the UV laser will draw the cross-section for each layer. The plate descends in minute increments as the layer is added. The process is repeated to print the object. In DLP, a projector and a safe light bulb are used to cure objects. CLIP works by continuously curing sequences over UV images using a digital light projector. Multijet printers are similar to SLA, except it uses a UV light to crosslink a photopolymer.

DLP, DMLS, and EBM are the methods used for printing metals. DLP combined with lost wax casting allows objects to be printed in brass or silver. DMLS uses lasers to sinter metal. EBM uses electron beams to melt the metal powder to 3D print metal layer by layer. This method can build high-density metal parts which retain the property of the material.

3D Printing Services For A Multi-Coloured 3D Model

If you want to print a multi-colour 3D object, binder jetting is a popular choice. Using this, we can print detailed 3D objects with colour. The layer is spread on a platform by an automated roller. The bed is filled with a layer of packed powder. The print head moves on a fast axis and will apply colour and liquid binder to create the cross-sections of the object. Selective Deposition Lamination is a process that uses adhesive-coated paper that is glued together in a heated roller, laser-cut into different shapes layer by layer. Triple jetting technology is the most advanced technology in polyjet 3D printing. It is used for precise printing with 3 different materials and hence three different colours are possible.