February 9, 2016
Have you ever experienced losing a part of your laptop computer and eventually seeing yourself struggling to find or else replace that piece? As it is now, you’d order the lost piece from your repairman or computer electrician who gets it from the distributor, who got it shipped from abroad, where they mass produced thousands of them at once, probably injection molded from an expensive mold. This scenario takes quite long, long waiting.
Nowadays, this story can be easily solved especially that we are now on the era of the various advancements in modern technology, and of course, with the aid of 3D or 3 Dimensional printing. Thanks to Mr. Chuck Hull who invented this wonderful technology on 1986. The lost piece could now be easily replaced through 3D printing.
Recently, Lorma Colleges had this technology last March 9, 2015. The 3D Printer is readily available for use at the College Library. Go and see it for yourself!
3D Printing Exposed
Prior to the invention of the household and consumer-friendly 3D Printer units, 3D printing exists on the industry since 1990’s especially on extensive and large-scaled factories. Oversized 3D printers were usually tools in production of goods and various products.
Now that as 3D printers evolve trough time, more efficient and home-based 3D printers were invented for the benefit of households.
3D printing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file or blueprint. This digital file can be made through 3D modeling softwares such as Blender and Maya.
Numerous downloadable, ready-to-print 3D models are scattered around the internet and can also be used in 3D printing. Another way for obtaining a digital file is through the use of a 3D scanner which serves most likely as a camera, wherein it scans and converts an actual volumetric object to a 3D model.
The 3D digital file will then be “sliced” by the modeling software into very thin horizontal layers as hundreds or thousands of 2D images depending on the dimensions of the model. The data will then be sent to the 3D printer for printing.
Most 3D printers use material such as renewable bio-plastic coil attached to the 3D printer. This serves as “ink” of the printer as an office printer have. Aside from bio-plastic, 3D printers may also use metals and fiber depending on the printer’s specifications.
When the printer receives the data, it pulls the material through its tube, melts it and deposits it to the plate where it instantly cools. The material is printed thinly layer-by-layer through the additive manufacturing process. This process prints thin successive layers at a time until a fully formed 3D structure is created. Imagine a multi-layered cake, with the baker laying down each layer at a time until the entire cake is formed. 3D printing is somewhat similar but just a bit precise than 3D baking. 3D printers vary in sizes making the creation of any objects exceptional.
From A to Z
With the futuristic concoction of 3D printing technology, new doors were opened and discovered, making inventions just within our reach. Literally, almost all objects can be effortlessly 3D printed. From kids’ toys to realistic life-sized human figures. From food production to automobile manufacture and design. All these can benefit from 3D printing.
You can now 3D print a personalized toy or action figure of any-size for your little brother as your present on his upcoming birthday, or a doll-version of your niece’s favorite actress as your gift .
Human-shaped candies? Skull-shaped chocolates for the Halloween’s trick-or-treat? Just print it on a 3D printer specialized for food production & you can now produce any sweets of your own.
Fashion enjoys the advantages of 3D printing as well. Artistically designed footwear and gallantly created jewelries and any kind of clothing from dresses to casual shirts can also be made. You’re just-a-3D-print away. Wanna have a try to 3D print your personally designed swimsuit or beach trunk?
There’s also a gigantic break on automobile production especially on the design field. Stunning car designs from vintage to racing cars are just amazingly available. Have you ever thought 3D printing your own design of your dream car? No matter how complex your design is, it will be a literal ‘no-sweat’ for the 3D printer.
3D printing also offers advantage to students. For example, an engineering student needs a completing piece for the machine he’s working for his thesis. Without 3D printer available, he will have a hard time searching for that piece at the automobile shop or general electronics supply shop on town proper. But now that 3D printing can handle and work on this, he’ll just have to make a model then print it. Time saver and effortless, isn’t it?
Architectural breakthrough was also handed over by 3D printing technology. Classic walling and interior design, elegant display objects for your living room such as antique memorabilia and sculpture can be 3D printed.
Other materials can be also used in 3D printing such as glass, copper, aluminum and some other materials allows the creation of so pretty amazing products beyond simple tools and toys.
In China, giant 3D printers that use cement as primary material “printed” ten real average-size houses in just a day.
Worldwide development and evolution on the aspects of architecture and infrastructure are expected to boom for the coming years because of the wide variety and flexible application of 3D printers.
In the medical world, doctors are testing biomaterials for regenerative medicine. By using a patient’s own cells, doctors can 3D print small body parts like ears and noses, just perfect for persons with physical disabilities and abnormalities. Some surgeons have even tested 3D printed organs for transplants. If the experiment becomes a success, body organs such as kidneys, lungs, heart, eyes and limbs could be readily available on laboratories, diminishing the chances of fatalities on organ donation operations.
There are many more things and objects that can be created through 3D printing. From your imagination to absolute reality, from scratch to art. Literally, almost all objects you can name from the letters of the alphabet, can be 3D printed. 3D printing had made all these sort of impossibilities possible.
If you wanna start now, get your blueprint and try Lorma’s very own 3D printer. What would you like to build today?