Rapid prototyping is usually means 3D printing now days. A computer user will design a computer aided design, i.e. CAD file & will plot it to produce real thing. Additive manufacturing also known as Direct Digital Manufacturing is now started & will boom in next few years. 3D Printing is impacting a large number of industries, and becoming more relevant to consumers. Wikipedia says “Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model.”
The technology is running with time & creating amazing world & science. Printing of Object happens like this: The machine reads the design from an “.stl” file and lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, paper or sheet material to build the model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross sections from the CAD model, are joined together to create the final object. The first commercial 3D printer was based on a technique called stereo lithography. This was invented by Charles Hull in 1984. All 3D objects are generally built out of layers. A 3D printer starts with the bottom layer, waits for it to dry or solidify, and then works its way up. This layering process differs depending on the printer and the material it works with — metal, plaster, polymer, resin — but it also depends on whether it’s an industrial or commercial 3D printer.
Distributed 3D printing is the anti-monopoly technology. It is anti-patent. It is true open source. 3D printing technology is currently out of the price range of most people, this will quickly change as the technology becomes more widespread. And it already is becoming more affordable and accessible. For a few thousand dollars, anyone can purchase a 3D printer (an “additive” desktop fabrication device) and print out physical objects using ABS plastic. 3D printing technology that creates objects by using a light source to solidify a liquid photopolymer is known as ‘polyjet matrix’. This was pioneered by a company called Objet, and forms object layers by emitting liquid photopolymer from an inkjet-style, multi-nozzle print head.
Different printing techniques
- Inkjet printing.
- Fused deposition modeling.
- Digital light processing.
- Selective laser sintering.
A wide range of commercial 3D printers for industrial application are now available from a range of manufacturers. Another possible future application is in the use of 3D printers to create replacement organs for the human body. This is known as ‘bio printing’, and is an area of rapid development. Making a similar object using additive manufacturing not only uses less energy but also reduces waste to a minimum. And sometimes, the finished 3D printed product can be up to 60% lighter compared to the machined part. The 3D printer’s nozzle can build an infinite number of complex figures, being limited only by human imagination.
- Quick Production.
- Less Waste.
- Better Quality & sustainability.
- 3D Black Marketing.
- Copyright violation.
- Possibility of fraud & scam.
3D printing provides the ability for your company to be proactive, and to make better products. Truly, banning printed weapons won’t prevent murder, and banning 3D printers won’t prevent counterfeiting or copyright infringement.