2D printing is known well by us. When we need print a document, just click the “print” key on the computer scene, then the digital document will be delivered to a ink printer, which will jet the ink onto the paper surface to form a 2d image. When do 3D printing, it uses a similar concept. Software will complete a series of digital slices by using the technology of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and send them to the 3D printer to construct the respective layers. 3D printer will stack up the continuous thin levels until a solid objects being formed. The biggest difference of 3D printer and tradition printer is 3D prink use a real materials as ink.
Like 2D printing has ink printing and laser printing these two types. The method of stacking thin layers in 3D printing technology is also various. Some 3D printers use “ink-jet” way, such as an Israel 3D printer company called Objet use printer nozzle to spray a layer of thin liquid plastic material in a mold pallet. Then this coating will be placed under ultraviolet light for processing. Another method is called “fuse product molding” technology used by company Stratasys in America. The whole process is melting plastic in the nozzle and then forming a thin layer through the way of depositing plastic fiber.
(3D Printer, source from: Replicatorinc.com)
Some systems use powder particles as print media like 2D laser printers. Powder particles will be sprinkled in mold pallets to form a thin powder layer and then be solidified by liquid adhesive. While Arcam Switzerland Company uses the vacuum electron flow to melt powder particles.
When the objects has a complex structure such as holes and cantilevers, the printing media need to join gels or other materials to provide support or used to occupy the space. These powders will not be fused and only need to rinse out the brace content by water or airflow to form pore.
Video Link [3D Printing Time Lapse Photography – Yoda]: http://youtu.be/8_vloWVgf0o
Video Link [3D printing demo — ball bearings!]: http://youtu.be/u7h09dTVkdw
The newest production is an unmanned aircraft made by the researchers from Engineering Department of University of Virginia. Its wing width is 6.5 feet (1.9m), and cruising speed is 45 miles per hour (72km).
(Printed Airplane, source from: GrindTV.com)
Currently, scientists are studying to use 3D printers manufacturing simple viable tissues such as skin, muscles and vascular clips and so on. Someday, the large human organs like kidneys, livers and hearts can be produced by using the biological 3D printer, which can use patients’ own stem cells to reduce the rejections reactions after organ transplantations.
Video Link [Engineering Organs from Scratch]: http://youtu.be/0QJh0yc2mAI
(3D Printed Organs, source from: energyandcapital.com)
In Match, 2012, GeneDupe Company announced that pet customizations can be achieved by using 3D printing technology. The principle of printing organs is cultivating different types of cells firstly, then jetting out them by layers, and creating a wanted shape by bonding cells with hydrogels. A mammal is constituted by 220 kinds of cells. The biggest change of printing pets is put these cells to the right positions. To solve this problem, the researcher of GeneDupe analysed the position and nature of every cell in animals (especially different kinds of dogs) by using the nanometre fault scanner. According the result of scanning, a 3D pet printer was produced by GeneDupe. However, they still face the problems of printing nerves, which will have a great contribution to control the habits and characteristics of printed animals. Awesome!
Link [Bespoke pets, just press “print”]: http://www.economist.com/node/21551450
(source from google picture)