How Does 3D Printer Work? – Overview
The technology world has brought many innovations to ease our lives. Today, we can see 3D printers build different types of things.
Starting from small objects to big ones, 3D printers can now print any objects as per your imagination. Have you ever wondered how does 3D printer Work?
Well, most users who have been working with 3D printers are unaware of the functionality of the 3D printers.
The mechanism of a 3D printer is different from what you see on traditional printers. To help you understand how 3D printers work in real life, follow this blog!
What is 3D Printing?
3D Printing is a process of printing computer-aided designs in realistic three-dimensions. It means you can print out 3D objects using a 3D Printer.
In today’s modern world, the use of 3D Printers is increasing as it helps industries in many ways. If we talk about history, 3D printing technology was first used by engineers about three decades ago. It took 20 more years to make it available for consumers.
3D Technology was not that popular a few years back as it was not necessarily needed. However, in today’s fast-growing modern world, we all need them and for that reason, the use of 3D Printers is increasing day by day.
Moreover, 3D printers are available in different shapes and sizes and we can print out almost anything using them.
What’s surprising here is nobody knows how does 3D printer work, what are the main components of a 3D printer, what things are needed to get a 3D object printed using a 3D printer, and many other basic things.
You are here to get all the useful information about 3D printers and their functionality. Let’s collect all the details about the 3D Printers.
How Does 3D Printer Work?
3D Printer works similarly to Inkjet Printers as it follows the same additive manufacturing methods to print 3D objects. 3D Printers need a combination of components to print 3D objects through computer-aided designs. Let’s talk about the list of components of a 3D Printer.
Components of 3D Printers
- Controller Board
- Stepper Motors
- Threaded Rods
- Power Supply Units
- Connectivity with User Interface
- Feeder System
- Print Bed
- Print Head
- File Transfer Options
- Print Bed Surface
A typical 3D Printer consists of the above-listed components. Each component has its value for printing a realistic 3D object through the printer using computer-aided designs.
3D Printing passes through multiple processes before you get the final 3D object. It depends upon the type of materials you use, the size of the product, the modeling software you use to print 3D objects, etc.
Before you purchase a 3D printer for your needs, you need to understand the core functionality of the printer so that you can use it effectively and get the best results.
3D Modelling Software
The first thing that you pay attention to is choosing the right 3D modeling software. The 3D modeling software you use must serve a user-friendly interface so that you can design and customize the required 3D object on your own.
CAD Software is crucial to designing your objects. CAD Software is the backbone of the 3D printer as it allows you to get precise objects printed. Industries like dentistry, aerospace and many others are using advanced CAD software for precise and quality products printed through 3D Printers.
Once the object is created using the CAD software, the next process is to slice down the object so that the printer can recognize its movement and print out the objects accordingly.
The process of slicing the 3D Model of an object is to split the objects into multiple layers.
The slicing software scans multiple layers to guide the printer on how to move further.
After finishing the object slicing process, the final CAD design of the object will be sent to the printer for final printing.
4 Types of Materials to Use in a 3D Printer
3D Printers are used for different purposes in many industries. For that reason, the printing materials to print final 3D objects are different.
Make sure to choose the right filament to get the desired objects printed. Let’s talk about the different types of filament or we can say materials that you can use with 3D Printers.
1. ABS Plastic Materials
Plastic Materials are long-lasting and high in demand due to their nature. They are easy to model and have a better life than other materials. ABS is the standard form of plastic that you can use to print out your 3D objects.
2. Flexible Materials
Flexible filaments are used to design flexible objects. Flexible filaments use flexible materials to print anything you want such as mobile covers, wristwatches, toys, etc.
3. Wooden Materials
Wood Filaments are used to get wooden objects printed through 3D Printers. You can print out natural wooden objects through this material. You can also change the color of the wood to get the type of polish you want on the final product.
4. Metal Materials
Ground metals are used in Metal Filaments to print out metal objects. Ground metals are mixed with polymer glue to get metal objects printed.
Different types of metals such as bronze, copper, brass, steel, etc. are available. You need to choose the right type of material for the metal filament as per your needs.
How Much Time Does It Take to Print a 3D Object?
3D Printers are designed to work automatically. We are unable to calculate the total time that a 3D Printer takes to print a 3D Object as it depends upon the size of the object, the material, and many other factors.
A 3D Printer takes several minutes to hours or even weeks to print the required object. The printer might take multiple weeks to print an object if it is too big.
Did you know you can even print an entire home using a 3D Printer? In that case, the printer will take multiple weeks to finish the home printing process. You can see the whole process as the printer prints out the final object in layers.
The Techniques Used by 3D Printers
Just like the standard printers, 3D Printers use different techniques to print the final object. The question “how does a 3D printer work” depends upon the type of technique you choose. Let’s talk about the different techniques of 3D Printers.
1. SLA Technology
SLA stands for Stereolithography. It is the standard technique used by many consumers to print out their objects. It is widely adopted by many industries as it is quick and gets you quality products. It uses ultraviolet lasers to print 3D objects.
Image: Semantic Scholar
2. Fused Deposition Modeling
Fused Deposition Modeling is also known as FDM. Just like SLA technology, FDM is also widely used technology to print prototypes and models for various industries.
This technique uses a heated extrusion nozzle that helps melt down the material such as plastic.
Here, the nozzle moves around in both directions i.e. horizontally and vertically to print out the final object. The nozzle is controlled by the controller, which helps the nozzle moves around automatically.
3. Multi-Jet Modeling
The multi-Jet Modeling technique is known as MJM. This technique uses the same method as the traditional inkjet printers. First, the technique spreads out powder-like materials and then colored glue to thicken the material and complete the shape of the model.
This technique is highly useful as it works quickly and gets your objects printed faster than other techniques.
EBM technique is used for printing metal objects through metal filaments. Just like the MJM technique, this process uses powder metal materials in a single layer.
An Electrobeam metals down the metal powder and gives the final shape to the object by fixing the melted layer.
EBM technique is used by industrialists for printing heavy-duty quality metal parts. Metal parts of machines can be easily designed and printed using this technique on a 3D Printer.
3D Printing is undoubtedly the most innovative technology that humans have invented recently through different techniques. We can now print any type of object, starting from small to big, using this printer.
3D Printers use different techniques using the type of filament you want to print your objects in! If you want your objects to print in metal materials, then you have to use metal filament.
Imagine you design something on your computer and want its real object on your desk? Just create a 3D model using the software and get it printed quickly.
3D printers will become more advanced as engineers are still working on new techniques to make the 3D Printing process faster and more efficient.