Saturday, October 28, 2017

3D Printing, as the name suggests, is a process wherein a solid three-dimensional object is printed layer by layer from raw material, which could potentially lead to a whole new era in manufacturing. The process is also known as additive manufacturing or desktop fabrication.

Firstly, a three-dimensional design is created and saved in STL format, which is then sent sent to a 3D printer. The design is then printed layer by layer to fabricate a real object. Several specific technologies used for 3D printing include: 3d optical

Selective laser sintering (SLS)
Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
Stereolithography (SLA)
Other Materials Used to Print 3D Objects
A range of other manufacturing materials can be used for 3D printing that include nylon, glass-filled polyamide, epoxy resins, wax, and photopolymers.

As mentioned above, there appear to be few limits on what materials can be used for additive manufacturing

Plastic in 3D Printing
In terms of raw materials that are put into the printing system to create the 3-D objects, there seem to be relatively few limitations on what can be used.

Currently, plastics are the most widely used materials in additive manufacturing, and the important ones are listed below:

ABS - acrylonitile butadiene styrene or 'lego' plastic – a very common choice for 3D printing
PLA - polylactic acid – Is available in soft and hard grades, is becoming very popular and may overtake ABS in the near future
PVA - polyvinyl alcohol – This is used as a dissolvable support material or for special applications.
PC – polycarbonate – Polycarbonate requires high-temperature nozzle design and is in the proof-of-concept stage.
SOFT PLA - polylactic acid – Is rubbery and flexible, available in limited colors and sources. As 3D printing spreads, may get easy to find.