3D printing is a manufacturing technology that was invented in the 1980s. It has since evolved from being a rapid prototyping tool to full-fledged manufacturing technology. The evolution has been revolutionary leading to its adoption in a variety of sectors from automotive to aerospace, from healthcare to sports and from defense to fashion. The industrial term for 3D printing is additive manufacturing since the material is continuously added to manufacture an object (as opposed to subtractive processes like cutting, milling, and machining). We introduce you to this rapidly growing revolutionary manufacturing technology.
3D printing is a manufacturing technology that converts a CAD design into a three-dimensional solid object by successively laying down thin layers of materials one on top of another. In simple terms, it converts a virtual design into a physical object.
The 3D printing workflow includes a series of steps that are essential to manufacturing an object. Below is the 3D printing workflow:
The ASTM classifies all 3D printing technologies into seven categories namely material extrusion, vat photopolymerization, powder bed fusion, material jetting, binder jetting, directed energy deposition & sheet lamination. As we continue down the road of “what is 3D printing” here are some of the most popular technologies: