Invented in 1984, 3d printing technology has slowly started to become popular just couple of years ago. Nowadays, it is making a remarkable impact on the scientific world and on the domestic world of everyday life of everyday people. Used in many fields and areas, for example medicine, space travels, home management and building, architecture and security mechanisms. How does it work then?
The father of the invention—short summary
Charles Hull is believed to be the inventor of the technology of 3d printing. He worked out the concept while he was experimenting with UV light. The following research slowly led to stereolitography, that is based on UV light. In 1986 Hull developed rapid prototyping in his company 3D Systems. His main goal was to find a means to create objects and their prototypes very fast. Eventually, prototyping is a way of creating various objects of any kind by simply adding new layers of material.
What are the types?
As in many sciences, there are many kinds of methods used in 3d printing. One of them is FDM (Fuse Deposition Modelling), that in the process uses melted plastic. The leading advantage of this technique is the possibility of creating objects of any size, that additionally are immune to damage. Different method is SLA (Stereolitography). This type, on the other hand, is based on a process of photopolymerization. This process relies on linking molecules by treating them with a beam of light. SLA’s main advantage is that it is very precise and operates with high quality, which result in high quality products. Another technique is SLS (Selective Laser Sintering–nylon sls printer). This one is most popular and is used most often, as it the price of the products is adequate to quality. The component that used in SLS is powder. The material is sintered by a laser. In the process, the pilot product is very resistant and have a long endurance.
Where can one find the products of 3D printing?
3D printing makes it possible to produce objects of any kind and shape at any speed. Additionally, it is also manageable to reshape items and objects already existing or printed before. As 3d printing is gaining popularity and, without doubt, higher efficiency, items of 3D printing are used in industry, medicine (especially stomatology), advertising, space exploration, architecture, army, even fashion along with shoe industry. They are continuously improved every day.
Few of the many examples
An object that is as new as highly in demand is an air pollution mask. The best thing about them, is that they are protecting people from high level of air pollution in the biggest and most urbanized cities all over the world. Which is why the masks are very important and needed as the pollution gets higher and higher every moment. What is also worth mentioning, there are sizes for both adults and for children.
In medicine, there are exoskeletons used. They were created in order to help people, who suffer, for example from SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). Thanks to this technology, these people are able to move their hands or legs with more control. This control matters even more to children who are in their growth.
The limits of the kind of the product is only human’s imagination. You can create shoes, glasses, components of space ships and a lot more. 3D printing is used in everyday life, and it is reassuring that is highly developed every day, being more and more available for everyone.