3D printing technology: the manufacturing revolution nairavilla.org

Hi everyone and welcome to Nairavilla. 
In this post, I will be giving an introduction to the new wave of manufacturing technology known as 3D printing. As the name implies its simply the act of printing physical objects in 3D form, simply by using a Computer Aided Drawing program (CAD) to design the object.

3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing as been hinted to be the next big thing after the Internet. The term 3D printing covers processes and technologies that offer a full insight of capabilities for the production of everyday objects and parts in different materials. Ideally, the overview of 3D printing a host of processes, in which production is carried out by setting materials layer by layer in an additive process. This comes in contrast to traditional production methods involving subtractive methods or moulding/casting processes.

Everyday application of 3D printing outnumbers itself each passing day and this technology is believed to penetrate across the industrial, individual and consumer manufacturing dutifully cutting costs, manpower and stress factor. 


3D Printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model typically designed by a CAD, andbbrought to life by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. It brings a digital object (its CAD representation) into its physical form by adding layer by layer of materials.


There are several different techniques to 3D Print an object. A few are listed below:

  • Stereolithography (SLA) ...
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP) ...
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) ...
  • Electronic Beam Melting (EBM) ...
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) ... 
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM) ...
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) ... 

3D printing could clearly put an end to traditional manufacturing as we know it due to the fact that there are quite a number of limitations to traditional manufacturing, which has widely been based on human labour and hand-made ideology rooting back to the the times of cave men. However, the world of manufacturing has changed significantly, and automated processes such as casting, forming and moulding which are relatively new, and more complex processes that require machines, computers and robot technology.

However, these technologies all demand subtracting "excess" material from a larger block either to achieve the object's shape or design or to produce a tool for casting or moulding processes and this is a serious limitation within the overall production processes as materials can be largely wasted. 

Traditional design and production processes definitely come with a number of unacceptable constraints, including the expensive equipment, fixtures, and the need for the assemblement of complex parts. In contrast, 3D printing creates the objects directly, by adding the needed material layer by layer in a variety of ways, depending on the technology used. 

3D printing is also currently emerging as an energy-efficient technology that provides for both environmental efficiencies, and utilising up to 90% of standard materials, resulting in a higher product operating life, lighter and stronger designs. 

It seems 3D printing is going to push local manufacturing methods into extinction, what do you think? 
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