3D printing is of those turnkey technologies that have flipped the game over for many alternate technologies. The future of the manufacturing industry now stands spinning on the figure of this astounding process that delivers throughputs in 3D from plain flat 2D images. The technology is widely used in all possible hi-tech sectors starting at aeronautics to robotics, astronomy to health and more. 3D printers at work have brought such an irreversible twist in the way things are produced in the present that there is only one way thing are going to be manufactured in the future - at home.
A branch of additive manufacturing, the printers function on a process that works through layering. 3D printers at work can transform complex objects from their 2D representations by adding materials in layers to create the shape and add detail to the design. AM (Additive Manufacturing), internationally termed by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) as 3-D layering stereolithography, and 3-D printing, the technology has passed through innumerable stages to come to where it is today (Source: 3D Printing Industry). Currently made available to the people, the process of transforming digital designs into three dimensional objects has stirred up a wave of responses in what the world knows as the tech space.
The process all starts with a concept like everything else. 3D printing commences at laying out the entire scene through digital modeling. This is done through CAD (Computer Aided Design)or some software prepared for animation (Source: How Stuff Works). Once the virtual blueprint is created, it is forwarded to the 3D printer in STL format. Files with this extension have 3D polygons which is digestible for the printers.
The next section is where the process departs from the subtractive process of manufacturing. The 3D printing process takes to adding layers one by one until the object is formed in its right shape, size and dimension. The material to be used for the product can be chosen by the individuals, depending upon what is getting printed.
Usually the choice of materials range between rubber, paper, plastic, polyurethane, brass, bronze, silver, gold, alumide, resin, etc. The printers spray the materials on to the wax mold that it creates to rig the object. Certain 3D printers at work make use of spooled bioplastic at the back (Source: Mashable, http://mashable.com/2013/03/28/3d-printing-explained/). At the time of spraying, it forces the bioplastic filament through the extruder and finally deposits the same. Hand touches are barely required once the printer finishes it’s job.