3D printing has truly taken the world by storm - sort of. It's not as fantastical as it was prophesied, but the technology does drive many of the most efficient industrial processes enjoyed today. So how does it work?

 

First off, it's important to understand the general picture. All 3D printers today are additive when it comes to function.  That means they add increasing amounts of a particular material until they have formed the intended object.

 

Specifically, these are the technologies that make 3D printing possible:

 

1. Sterolithogrpahy (SLA)

 

The master of all solidworks electrical 3D printing technologies is Stereolithography (SLA). SLA is a layer-based system that make use of a laser in solidifying parts of a liquid medium known as a photopolymer. A metal platform is submerged in the liquid and held away from the surface at a distance equivalent to a tenth of a millimeter or closer - the thickness of a single layer. The first layer is then solidified using an ultraviolet laser, and the process is repeated to add layers. This isn't a highly efficient method of 3D printing, but it's compatible with a range of interesting materials (for example, ceramics) for a relatively cheap price.

 

Extrusion Deposition

 

The simplest form of solidworks installation 3D printing that is also the most compatible with mass users is called Extrusion Deposition. When it comes to visualization, it is also the easiest 3D form to visualize. Here, a robot nozzle works like a glue gun with extremely precise control, squeezing out a plastic building material as it moves about. The idea is to produce one toughened layer on top of another. 

 

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

 

For a tougher variety of materials, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) has been the primary choice. Using this method, the building material in aerosol form will be spit out into space where the object should be built up. A laser blast of extreme precision combines the individual molecules of the aerosol (usually of metal) together until it grows to become the product it is intended to be. Working in a similar way is Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology, which is a more advanced version of this technology. But instead of using laser, SLM melts the building material particles completely so that denser and stronger final metals can be created.

 

Carbon Fiber

 

 

Finally, carbon fiber 3D printing is among the most specialized forms of the technology, and is often used in printing parts that are high in strength but low in density. However, these specialized and composite building materials have yet to enter the upper end of the price range. For just a little more than $5,000, enthusiasts can produce many different carbon fiber parts which are even much better than their metal counterparts. Take some time to check this YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GkS4IGg85A