What is 3D printing?
3D printing is the common name of additive manufacturing technology. Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology is used to build solid parts by adding discrete materials (liquid, powder, silk, sheet, plate, block, etc.) layer by layer based on 3D CAD design data. Compared with traditional material removal (such as cutting, etc.), additive manufacturing is a bottom-up material accumulation process. Since the 1980s, additive manufacturing technology has been gradually developed, during which it is also known as additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, layered manufacturing, physical free manufacturing, 3D printing, etc. Different names express the technical characteristics of the manufacturing process from different aspects.
Manufacturing techniques can be broadly divided into three ways. One is the material removal method, also known as reduction manufacturing, which generally refers to the use of tools or electrochemical methods to remove unwanted materials from the blank, and the remaining part is the part or product that needs to be processed. The second is the material forming method, also known as the material manufacturing technology, casting, forging, stamping, etc., belong to this method, mainly refers to the use of mold control, liquid or solid materials into the required structure of the parts or products. These two methods are traditional manufacturing methods developed by 3D printing technology, also known as the Bronze Age, which has been in use since. The third is the 3D printing technology, also known as additive manufacturing, which has been developed in the past 20 years. It is a method to make objects by accumulating materials layer by layer.
3D printing refers to the use of printing heads, nozzles or other printing techniques to deposit materials to create objects, and its devices are characterized by relatively low cost or low functionality. In a broader sense, additive manufacturing techniques can be used to automatically add up materials (including liquids, powders, wires or blocks) to a solid structure on the basis of design data.
How does 3D printing work?
Additive manufacturing is the result of digital technology, new material technology and optical technology. Its working principle can be divided into two processes: one is the data processing process, using three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) data, three-dimensional CAD graphics are cut into thin layers, complete the process of three-dimensional data decomposition into two-dimensional data; The second is the manufacturing process. According to the layered two-dimensional data, the selected manufacturing method is used to produce thin sheets with the same thickness as the layered data. Each layer of thin sheets is stacked in sequence to form a three-dimensional entity, and the manufacturing process from two-dimensional thin layer to three-dimensional entity is realized. From the point of view of principle, data from three to two dimensions is a "differential" process, and the process of making two-dimensional thin layers and adding three-dimensional objects based on dimensional data is an "integral" process. This process is to reduce the three-dimensional complex structure to two-dimensional structure, two-dimensional structure production can be realized, and then from two-dimensional structure accumulation to three-dimensional structure. Compared with the traditional manufacturing mode, this manufacturing idea is a revolution. However, this idea has been around for a long time. It is only mature under the continuous development of digital technology in nearly 30 years, and then materialized into an automatic equipment.
Using this principle, people can use their imagination in the manufacturing process to create a variety of forms, and the process becomes a stage for people to show their creativity. For example, using the principle of photochemical reaction, developed the photocuring forming method, using the physical method of laminated paper cutting, developed the laminated manufacturing method, using the spray adhesive bonding method developed the three-dimensional jet forming method, using the principle of metal fusion welding developed the metal cladding forming method. These phenomena indicate that manufacturing technology has developed from traditional manufacturing technology to multi-disciplinary integration, and the development of physics, chemistry, biology, materials and other new science and technology has brought new vitality to the improvement of manufacturing technology. This has brought great changes to manufacturing technology, and more importantly, this industrial equipment is gradually moving to life, making it easier to create, change the past heavy and boring labor for people to create and innovate the fun of life.