A good print starts its life with a stunning design. Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make pretty much everything. To harness the advantages of this technology we’ve put together a set of guidelines to get the best results out of your models. Here you’ll find the most important factors to consider when designing for 3D printing.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing or additive manufacturing is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process, an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced cross-section of the object.
3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.
3D printing enables you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
Examples of 3D Printing
3D printing encompasses many forms of technologies and materials as 3D printing is being used in almost all industries you could think of. It’s important to see it as a cluster of diverse industries with a myriad of different applications.
A few examples:
– consumer products (eyewear, footwear, design, furniture)
– industrial products (manufacturing tools, prototypes, functional end-use parts)
– dental products
– architectural scale models & maquettes
– reconstructing fossils
– replicating ancient artifacts
– reconstructing evidence in forensic pathology
– movie props