3D Printing — Bringing Forward the Revolutionary Innovation
3D Printing has the power to bring your imagination to life. 3D printing is a manufacturing technology that enables you to create solid three-dimensional objects from digital models. In this process the object is created through construction of successive layers one after another until the 3D model is printed into a real object. I would like to enlighten the reader about the different processes and applications of 3D printing. We would like to bring forward our contribution to the Indian 3D printing sphere along with the services that we have to offer.
STEPS INVOLVED IN 3D PRINTING
- Computer Aided Design Development
The process starts by first creating a Computer Aided Design (CAD) of the product which basically means designing every aspect of the object in 3 dimensions. This digital data helps in conversion making it print ready for 3d Printing. The object is now captured in a 3 dimensional digital format which can be exported to a 3D printer for printing.
As in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD must convey information, such as materials, processes, dimensions, and tolerances, according to application-specific conventions. CAD is basically the method to sketch a human’s imagination in 3D on a digital display.
2. G Code Generation and 3D Print Ready File Preparation
G code Generation
G-code is a numerically controlled computer language used mainly for computer aided manufacturing (both subtractive and additive manufacturing). It is a language which tells a machine how to move. Without G-code there would be no way for the computer to communicate where to deposit, cure or sinter a material during the fabrication process. Programs such as Slic3r are required in order to convert 3D model files into G-code. Once the G-code is created it can be sent to the 3D printer, providing a blueprint as to what its next several thousand moves will consist of. These steps all add up to the complete fabrication of a physical object. There are other computer languages out there and perhaps many will eventually gain popularity, but for now G-code is by far the most important.
3D Print Ready file Preparation
There are many parameters that are necessary to make sure the file is ready for printing which are controlled through Pronterface and Repetier host software. These softwares helps define the Extrusion Multiplier, Filament Melting Temperature, Speed of the Printer, First Layer Height, Infill and other parameters to ensure the print objectives are met.
a) Extrusion Multiplier : It allows you to control how much filament comes out of the nozzle and make small adjustments to the extrusion flow rate.
b) Printing Speed : The printing speed will determine the quality of print. Slow prints allow the part to cool down before deposition of additional filament and enable high quality prints.
c) Temperature Settings : Temperature of your extruder and build plate can dramatically affect the quality of your print. You can control both with your slicer.
d) First Layer Height : Having a good, solid, first layer can be a determining factor in whether or not you will have a successful print.
e) Internal/External Fill Pattern : The strength of your print will vary depending on what kind of internal infill you choose. If you want your print to be strong, choose infills like Grid, Solid Honeycomb and Triangular.
3. 3D Printing and Finishing
The digital designing and G Code generation is followed up with the final step of physical prototype development of the CAD model. One of the following techniques is used globally as well as at O2i (Oxygen to Innovation) to complete the successful implementation of the desired design objective:
FDM — Fused Deposition Modeling builds the parts layer-by-layer from the bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. This process works by material being melted and extruded through a nozzle to 3D print a cross section of an object each layer at a time. FDM is an affordable 3D printing process compared to other 3D printing technologies.
SLA — Stereo Lithography is a form of additive manufacturing technology used for creating models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts in a layer by layer fashion using photo polymerization, a process by which light causes chains of molecules to link together, forming polymer.
SLS — Selective Laser Sintering is another additive manufacturing technique that uses a laser as the power source to sinter powdered material, aiming the laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, binding the material together to create a solid structure.
PolyJet — PolyJet 3D Printers , jet layers off curable liquid photopolymer onto a build tray. The high-quality PolyJet 3D printing process uses a UV light to crosslink a photopolymer. Rather than scanning a laser to cure layers, a printer jet sprays tiny droplets of the photopolymer (similar to ink in an inkjet printer) in the shape of the first layer.
DMLS — Direct Metal Laser Sintering is a technique that uses a Ytterbium fiber laser fired into a bed of powdered metal, aiming the laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, melting or rather, welding the material together to create a solid structure.
SANDSTONE — The process for 3D printing in sandstone begins with a bed full of sandstone powder. A binding agent is added to the area of the powder that outlines the print, layer by layer, solidifying the powder into a sandstone-like material. As the binding agent is applied, a color jet, similar to those seen in most laser jet printers, injects color specific to your model. Color is added to 3D models ahead of printing with special software.
PAPER PRINTING — This technology allows you to print in full color, using normal paper. The printer uses a normal inject printer to print each layer on a normal sheet of paper. This paper is then cut around the edges of the object and then clued layer on top of layer. With the Iris printer, you have to separately print out the sheets of paper and then insert it in the Iris machine who will do the cutting and glue-in.
APPLICATION OF VARIOUS 3D PRINTING TECHNIQUES
At Oxygen to Innovation , we have worked upon a lot of 3D Printing Applications , check our gallery below to have a look.
The following table identifies the technique to be used based on application and accuracy desired.
BENEFITS OF 3D PRINTING
3D Printing is a holy grail for small and medium size businesses, because it is the best way to visualize and test the final version of product even before it is manufactured.
1. Rapid Prototyping — The process of rapid prototyping comes into contention, when the product is designed through CAD and then printed through different technologies such as SLA and SLS for all sorts of research purposes. This has many advantages like –
a) Helps in saving time of these businesses.
b) Provides a solution for production of functional elements.
c) A technique to do small scale testing.
d) Great impact on businesses, and helps them in creating high quality and cost effective products in small amount of time.
2. Time-to-Market — 3D printing allows ideas to develop faster than
ever. Being able to 3D print a concept the same day it was
designed shrinks a development process from what might have
been months to a matter of days, helping companies stay one
step ahead of the competition.
3. Save Money — Prototyping injection mould tools and production runs are expensive investments. The 3D printing process allows the creation of parts and/or tools through additive manufacturing at rates much lower than traditional machining.
4. Mitigate Risk — Being able to verify a design before investing in an expensive moulding tool is worth its weight in 3D printed plastic.
Printing a production-ready prototype builds confidence before making these large investments. It is far cheaper to 3D print a test prototype then to redesign or alter an existing mould.
5. Clear Communication — Describing the product you are going to deliver is often misinterpreted since it leaves construction up to the imagination. A conceptual picture of the product is better than the description since it is worth 1,000 words, but getting to hold the tangible product-to-be, in hand, clears all lines of communication. There is no ambiguity when holding the exact, or at least a very close, representation of the product.
6. Build your Imagination — In the modern boom of digital art and design, the possibilities are not only accelerating but limitless. One can now 3D print almost anything they imagine after drawing it up virtually. In a relatively short time, an idea, concept, dream or invention can go from a simple thought to a produced part that you can hold.
FUTURE SCOPE OF 3D PRINTING
3D Printing is moving in several directions at this time and it indicates that it will continue to expand in many areas in the future. Some of the most promising areas include medical applications, custom parts replacement, and customized consumer products. As materials improve and costs go down, other applications we can barely imagine today will become possible.
The greatest area of potential growth for 3D Printing is in the medical field. Researchers are just starting to experiment with the idea of creating artificial bones and bio printing with 3-D printers, but the process could potentially be used for so much more.
Oxygen to Innovation is committed to providing great technology and choice in 3D printing. We regularly execute 3D Printing projects in Architecture, Defense, Consumer Art, Automobiles and Medical.
We will bring forward the best that 3D printing has to offer — That’s our commitment No matter what your application — If you can imagine it, we can print it for you.
Our Design expertise covers FDM , SLA , SLS , PolyJet , DMLS , Sandstone Printing and Paper Printing. Please contact us for your specific queries and we would be glad to help.
Our Services Include :
- 3D CAD Model Generation
- 3D Printing Solutions ranging from — FDM, SLS, SLA, Sand Stone, Paper Printing, DMLS.
- Complete Design and Print ranging from Design to Prototype Development.
We look forward to discussing your applications and your project. We are based in New Delhi (India) and provide cost effective services across the globe.