All You Need to Know About 3D printing for Business

Did you know that the Chef Jet 3D printer can be used to make ravioli, pizza, sugar candies and other delicious foods? Though 3D printing has recently made a foray into the food industry, it has been around for a few decades and was earlier used by automobile and aerospace industries. 3D printing technology has seen may advancements in the recent years and has completely transformed the way we work.

Companies around the world are using 3D printing to create innovative and durable products. The technology can be customized according to the requirement in different sectors such as architecture, aerospace, food, health care, defense, and dental. It’s a brilliant creation because it allows you to create anything you want for business.

What is 3D Printing?

To put it simply,3D printing is the process involved in using three-dimensional digital model to create a solid object. It is also referred to as additive manufacturing as it involves the laying down of thin layers of a material one after the other to create an object.

3D printing does not employ any tools that were traditionally used for manufacturing products. For instance, molds and cutting tools were used for building and designing prototypes. Rather the object is developed directly on a base by putting layers of materials.

How does 3D printing work?

3D printers follow digital instructions from the computer to print a physical object from materials such as metal, plastic, or ceramics. The object is created by transferring multiple layers of a material on the building surface.

The first step in the process of 3D printing involves creating an idea using computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling software. The file of the digital model is then loaded directly into the 3D printer or to a computer connected to the printer.

The next step involves digitally slicing the model into thin cross-sections.  The first layer is printed on base and is then solidified with the help of a laser. This process is called laser sintering. Some printers employ other techniques to solidify the layers. Each subsequent layer is added onto the previous layer to produce a physical object. That object can be used for display, to test, sold as part of a business, and more.

Materials Used

These days 3D printing employs a plethora of materials as it is used in different industries. From edible materials such as chocolate, cheese, and butter to metals, plastic, wax, glass, concrete, and carbon, the list of materials is perhaps endless.

Benefits of 3D Printing

  • 3D printing helps in converting a concept into a reality and that too within a shorter time span. Companies can now stay on the top of their game by producing more innovative products in a lesser time.
  • The technology is constantly being used to modify products and make them better. Rather than relying on the pictures of a model, people can actually have a tangible prototype that they can work on.
  • 3D printing is cost effective as compared to traditional methods that involved building machines to create prototypes.
  • As it easier to build a prototype, it is also easy to get feedback as potential buyers can see and touch the product. Getting a feedback helps in making improvements to the prototype so that it serves the need of the target audience.
  • Medical and dental industries have benefited immensely from 3D printing technology as people get custom fit products. For instance, creating a traditional prosthetic required a lot of time, money, and effort. Also, any changes done to the product would render the molds useless. However, 3D printing technology is being used to create custom fit and low-cost prosthetic parts and that too within much shorter time spans.

The business applications for 3D printing are extensive.  Stay tuned for more.