3D printing is simply additive manufacturing, the building of a 3D object out of a CAD design or a digital 3D image. Additive manufacture refers to the use of plastics in place of solid materials. Additive manufacturers are able to make small parts using three dimensional print heads similar to those used for production of large items. It can be used to make anything from complex shapes and logos, to simple objects. The process lets the manufacturer to define exactly what will go into a product and then has the equipment built to make it.
Ceramics and steel have often been found in the forefront of 3D printing manufacturing, but other metals and even more exotic alloys are being researched. The most exciting material so far developed with this technology is ceramics. This metal is so strong that its walls can be reinforced, giving the metal the strength of diamond without the chipping that diamonds can sometimes have. Because ceramics are opaque, rapid prototyping is possible with the addition of fluorescent paints. The paint allows the metal to be printed in different colors, which means that you can produce a wide range of functional products.
Rapid Prototyping using additive manufacturing means that once a part is designed, you can test it quickly and cheaply before it goes to production. By designing the metal in various dimensions, you can build layers that line up to make the object look as if it was one piece. Each successive layer adds a layer of detail to the object, until you finally reach the desired surface quality, thickness and weight.
In additive manufacturing there is also the possibility of using different materials. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to add the various layers of additive material. One technique called selective laser sintering is becoming popular. This technique makes use of ultrafast alternating electromagnetic pulses to melt down the powdered material and fuse it into the objects that you need. The fused objects are strong and durable, because the metals are held together by their bonding strength. Another advantage of using this process is that it can be done using thicker or thinner layers of powder as long as it is heated to the necessary temperatures.
In a sense, selective laser sintering and other types of metal powder manufacturing techniques are rather similar to ceramics. Ceramics are known for their precision and intricate detailing. In some cases, they have even been used to construct large structures. Other substances that can be used for manufacturing include plastics and polymers, along with metal powders. In many cases, manufacturing of materials using these substances is cheaper than traditional manufacturing methods.
All of these methods have one thing in common, and that is the ability to create a smooth surface finish. Once the parts are manufactured and ready to be shipped off, the quality of the final product will be greatly enhanced because of the smoother surface finish. This means that you can get a higher value for your money, which is important for manufacturers that depend on a steady revenue stream. By investing in jetting 3D printing technology, you will see that the profits of your company will continue to rise.
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