Who deals with 3D printing, soon understands the sustainability and opportunities that he offers one. Tinkerers and specialists are usually involved with it, but the development does not stop at “Otto Normal.”
How about small gifts for friends that you simply design on the home PC and just print your new 3D printer at home? You need a birthday present and just cannot find the right one in the shop? Maybe the recipient is happy about individually designed pastries from the 3D printer. The term “home-made” gets a new dimension and is also something for handicapped people. However, this is still a dream of the future, but it is audible even in the distance. The development is in full swing and unstoppable. Along with that, you will have Graphene-the electronic material of the future!
What is a 3D printer?
3D printers are not printers in the classic sense. They refer to machines that produce three-dimensional workpieces made of different liquid or solid materials. Plastics, metals, ceramics, or sand are processed into workpieces in three-dimensional shapes. Chuck Hull, an American, invented 3D printing and thus the 3D printer in 1983. In 1986, he applied for the patent and described it as stereolithography.
The technology is already so far that even in the low-budget range, one or the other device for 3D printing is offered. So there is, for example, instead of a 3D printer, a so-called 3D printer kit and that already for 200 dollars or 300 US dollars. As the term kit says, these models are a device that is essentially a 3D printer but is not sold as a 3D printer, that is, you need to assemble it first.
But what are the most important components for a 3D printer and how does such a printer print 3-dimensional objects? Professionals answer these questions in the following sections.
How does the 3D printer work?
In industry, in addition to liquid plastic, metal or ceramic powders are used as material for 3D objects to be created. Even sand can be processed into 3D workpieces. After all, the old and precious glass is also made of molten sand.
Unlike the toner powder, the powder is melted here and then baked together to form corresponding forms. Caking is the so-called additive manufacturing process. In FDM, this material is heated and liquefied so that it can be sprayed onto a working platform by a so-called extruder. The materials are applied in very thin layers. For the production of a 3D object, there are now several methods. For home, use is especially interesting 3D printers that work by the so-called melt pressure method Fused Deposition Modeling, short FDM.
They are hardened layer by layer by a laser beam. The work platform lowers piece by piece while the laser continues to work at the same height.
For example, spare parts, chess or other figures, model cars, dolls, or other toys. The imagination and creativity are there no limits. By additive manufacturing, the figure to be created, thus gradually gets its shape. The technology behind it is either stereolithography (SLA) or the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), there is also the Direct Metal Printing (DMP), or others are already being intensively researched.