What is a 3D Printer?

3D printers are amazing machines that can create three-dimensional objects from digital models. They’re often used for prototyping or for creating custom parts for machines and devices. 3D printers work by building up objects layer by layer from a computer-aided design (CAD) file. The printer reads the CAD file and lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, or sheet material to create the object.

The most common 3D printers use plastic filaments or photopolymer resins as their build material. But some printers use metals, ceramics, and even human cells. 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process, which means it builds objects by adding material rather than subtracting it. This is in contrast to traditional machining processes like milling or lathing, which remove material to create an object.

3D printing is an exciting technology with a lot of potential. It’s already being used in a variety of industries, from aerospace to healthcare. And as the technology continues to improve, we can only expect to see even more amazing applications for 3D printing.

The history of 3D printing technology can be traced back to the 1980s. The first 3D printer was created by Chuck Hull in 1984. Hull is the co-founder of 3D Systems. The first 3D printer created by Hull was called the stereolithography apparatus (SLA).

The SLA 3D printer worked by using a laser to cure a photosensitive resin. The laser would trace the cross-sectional profile of the object that needed to be created. The resin would then be cured and the object would be created.

In the 1990s, the first commercial 3D printers were introduced. These 3D printers were based on SLA technology. The first commercial 3D printer was created by Stratasys. Stratasys is a 3D printing company that is still in business today.

In the early 2000s, the first consumer-grade 3D printers were introduced. These 3D printers were much cheaper than commercial 3D printers. One of the first consumer-grade 3D printers was the MakerBot Cupcake CNC. The MakerBot Cupcake CNC was a 3D printer that was created by Bre Pettis, Zach Smith, and Eric Wilhelm. The MakerBot Cupcake CNC was introduced in 2009. The MakerBot Cupcake CNC was a big success and it helped to popularize the 3D printing technology.

The two most sought-after thermoplastics for 3D printing are PLA and ABS.

Below are the three main 3D printing Techniques:

FDM Printing:

FDM printing, also known as fused deposition modeling, is a type of 3D printing that works by depositing layers of melted plastic onto a build platform. The plastic is extruded through a small nozzle, which is moved around the build platform according to the 3D model being printed. FDM printing is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to produce 3D objects, making it a popular choice for hobbyists and small businesses.

SLS Printing;

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing process that uses a laser to sinter powdered materials into a solid structure. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3D model onto a bed of powder. After each layer is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and scanning commences.

SLA Printing:

SLA 3D printing is an additive manufacturing technology that uses a laser to cure photosensitive resin into solid three-dimensional objects. SLA stands for stereolithography. The technology was invented in the early 1980s by Charles Hull, who filed a patent in 1986 and founded 3D Systems Corporation to commercialize the technology.