Graphics Programs Reference
In-Depth Information
7. 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing)
There has been a lot reported about 3D Printing, both within engineering and in the wider
media. It's fair to say some of it is hype, whilst on the other hand other aspects are really
useful, and some even potentially dangerous! Most acknowledge the potential is huge. It's
definitely interesting and has caught the public imagination in a way few manufacturing
technologies have for a long time. Here we'll take a closer look at 3D Printing, with a view
to gaining a better understanding of how it can assist product development for small manu-
3D Printing Explained…
How it Works - From 3D CAD to Real Components
3D Printing Advantages: Inc Development Process Benefits & Design Tips
3D Printing Technologies and Materials
3D Printing Bureaus: Outsourcing for a Convenient Professional Service
3D Printing Industry Trends: What everybody else is doing
Product concepts were traditionally modelled using materials like foam, wood and clay.
However the problem with this is it requires specialist skills, it can be quite expensive and it
is rarely completed quickly. For many small manufacturers this meant modelling was more
an aspiration rather than a reality. Consequently designs would go straight from CAD or
technical drawings directly to production. Sadly the result was often mistakes and defects,
which require expensive and time consuming modification.
This is where 3D Printing comes into its own. It enables engineers to refine and prove-out
designs, before committing to costly manufacturing and production tooling. What's more, it
is relatively inexpensive, widely available and plenty of help exists. Importantly, it is also
quick and entry level skills and knowledge required are relatively low. All you need to start
is a 3D CAD model. As such, the benefits for small manufacturers are significant.
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