3D printing has been rapidly evolving for more than 30 years now. Additionally, a great majority may have no idea that the stereolithography technique expedited the development of additive manufacturing technology. Additive manufacturing that is more popularly known as 3D printing today has evolved to such an incredible extent that the technology is harnessed for making prototypes of almost anything you can envisage about, from airplanes to garbage vats. Additive manufacturing will not only stay relevant but will evolve maybe at a rate faster than it is happening now. As we stand on the cusp of evolutionary developments, following are 5 startling facts about 3D printing that’ll make you sit up and take notice.
1. From the sweetness of PLA to the hardness of ABS
Have you ever tried breaking a Lego component or piece or even bending it? After trying a multiple number of times, you’ll surely give up. What makes the Lego components so hardy and hard-wearing? Lego parts are shaped out of ABS material which is a type of thermoplastic resin or polymer. The same material is applied for accomplishing FDS (fused deposit modeling), a method of 3D printing that is pervasively used in the commercial and industrial sectors of India. Additive manufacturing also makes use of Polyactic Acid obtained from corn starch, a sweet substance. Now you know why the 3D printouts give off a sweet aroma.
2. 3D Printers that can fax objects
Nowadays, you can even fax printed objects, thanks to the 3D printers being equipped with advanced scanners. MakerBot showcased its ‘Desktop Digitizer 3D scanner’ that made it possible to scan an object and thereafter take a printout, thus eliminating the need to get in touch with the manufacturer.
3. Unlimited capability to print materials
3D printing now makes it possible to print materials including but not limited to limestone, iron, and bronze that retain the physical as well as chemical properties of the actual ones. For instance, these printed metals will be able to conduct electricity with the same efficiency as the original ones.
4. Printers that print actual foods
Could you’ve ever imagined generating 3D prints of tomato purees, chocolate, pasta, pizza, and cheese? Three-dimensional printing of food started with creating ingredients like powders and pastes, and now you can pick up microwave cakes in supermarkets and departmental stores of Netherlands that have been baked using 3D printed chocolates, candies, baking powder and other essential ingredients.
5. 3D printed terahertz gadgets
Terahertz gadgets or devices which are capable of generating sound waves having terahertz frequencies can prove to be instrumental in catalyzing breakthroughs in communication, biomedicine, and defense. You can now create 3D printed terahertz devices, a feat which couldn’t be accomplished previously by using traditional techniques.
There used to be a time when most of us would have dismissed the idea of turning out a solid object using 3D printing as delusionary. Are you aware that stereolithography, a technology where UV lasers facilitate the stacking of strata of material upon one another is the mother of additive manufacturing (better known as three-dimensional printing)?