Ever since the invention of the printing press, mankind has been enlightened with new ideas, brought forth impressive designs and stories. However, a fast forward to the current digital generation, there has been major shifts from traditional printing practices, computers have since replaced paper in the name of e-books.
The difference between 3D and 2D objects
One are that hasn’t been left out is the printing. Traditional, printing has moved from the black and white colors to the multi-colored and giant-sized prints. However, one thing that conspicuously stood out was the 2D images nature of print. This is simple terms, refers to the images or objects that only have length and breadth other dimensions like height, are often eclipsed an example is a painting.
3D objects however, can be equated to sculptures; these objects often enjoy almost realistic features, can be felt and have comprehensive and conclusive dimensions. They were previously, previously a preserve of sculpt work and carvings 3D objects were restricted to skilled artists.
The modern 3D printer first burst into the scene, in the 80s however, it took three decades for it to gain popularity and mass production (2010). These printers normally rely heavily on computer programs and software’s to produce a 3 dimensional object. The computer aided design or scanner is used as a blue print for producing objects. The scanner is particularly usable with a prototype model that is scanned and multiple other copies of the objects reproduced in mass.Models are built and the computer through complex analysis and data collection backs up this information. It is against this background that the material to be used to produce the object is re sized, molded and made.
How it works
Unlike other earlier 3D works like sculpturing where the material is re-sized by removal of pieces from the original material, 3D printing offers a material cost cutting and effective method of massive reproduction.
An STL file (printable file of 3D in nature) is often read by the computer. From these blue prints the amount of materials to be used is estimated and automatically controlled. Layers of the material to be used are laid down to build the model. The cross sections which are virtual images when viewed in the computers from the CAD software of 3D printers are counter-checked with the model generated to see if there are any inconsistencies. However, these seldom occur and the models are automatically enjoined to form the final desired shape.
The process may vary from hours to days depending on the model to be made specifications and the type of 3D printer being used. Just like their 2D counterparts, the resolutions of these printers play a crucial role in determining the specifics of the 3D images produced. Often these are measured with units such as micrometers or dpi (Dots per inches).
Given the complexity of these printers, it is rare to come across a 3D printer for sale advert. However,3D printer price ranges from the least $300 to up to a high of $10,000. It is also estimated that the price of a 3D printer will go down during subsequent years.