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New Printing Method Will Revolutionize Many Industries

by:Ascend      2020-07-18
In the late 18th century the industrial revolution gave man the ability to mass produce goods, thereby creating economies of scale which changed the global society-in such ways that nobody could have dreamed of at the time. Now a new manufacturing technology has been designed which does the opposite. Additive manufacturing, or 3-dimensional printing, now makes it just as cheap to produce single items, as it is takes to produce huge quantities. This may have as great an influence around the globe, as the Industrial Revolution did. A 3D printer operates by using a 3D computer file to form a series of cross-sectional slices. Each slice is then printed one on top of the other to make the 3D object. Before you press 'print', you have the opportunity to amend the shape and colour where needed. A 3D printer then begins to create the item, one layer at a time, either by depositing material from a nozzle, or by selectively solidifying a thin layer of plastic, or metal dust, using tiny drops of glue, or a tightly focused beam. The object that finally becomes visible could be a spare part for your car, a lampshade, or a violin. A machine, no larger than a desktop printer, sitting in the corner of an office, a shop or even a house, can make small items. Larger articles such as panels for cars, bike frames, aircraft parts, require a much larger machine and a lot more space. In terms of lamination systems, thin layers are cut to shape and welded together. A variety of technologies are accessible to do three dimension printing, though the major difference is the manner the layers are created to build parts. Some use softening material or melting to fabricate the layers (SLS, FDM), where others lay liquid materials that are cured with different technologies. The process is currently possible only with certain materials (resin, plastics and metals) and with a preciseness of approximately a tenth of a millimeter. The technology is being used in the jewellrey, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering, and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries. It is currently the sphere of hobbyists and workers in a few academic and industrial niches, just as computing was in the late 1970s. However, 3D printing is spreading quickly, as the technology improves and costs become lower. This new technology capacity is only as limited as the imagination. An artist, or engineer etc., can make the original article, then copy it using a three dimension Scanner and printed out from a three dimension printer, known also as a fabricator or 'fabber', which now costs less than a laser printer did in 1985.
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