3D Printing: What is it and how can it help you?

Have you ever had a part in a device that needs replacing but can’t seem to find the part for sale anywhere? With 3D printing, you can print the part yourself using a file you found online or even create one yourself with modeling software!

In this blog I will be explaining what 3D printing is, how it can benefit you, and a quick explanation on how to create and print an object!

Like ink in traditional printers, 3D printers require materials to print out the requested object. The materials used vary depending on the type of 3D printer being used.

Here are two of the most popular types of materials used to print:

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS): This is the same plastic material used to created the famous building blocks, Legos!
  • Polylactic Acid (PLA and also known as Thermoplastic)

There are also different methods of 3D printing similar to the inkjet and laser printing of traditional printers:

  • Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM: the trademarked term used to identify the additive method that creates objects by laying down materials in layers. Also known as Fused Filament Fabrication or FFF.
  • Stereolithography or SLA: Also known as optical fabrication, photo-solidification or resin printing. Uses light to cause chemical reactions to form polymers which make up the completed 3D solid that is printed.

3D printing has almost limitless capabilities. From printing small toys or parts or large-scale 3D printing such as bridges and homes, 3D printing will continue to play a big part in our society.


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