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How to use 3D printer? What is the future of this industry?

July 19, 2020

In fact, it is not difficult to use a 3D printer. Its essence is to put the graphics files drawn by the modeling software on the computer into the 3D printer. The printer will melt the materials, stack them layer by layer according to the pattern of the graphic files, and then print them into the real objects.

First of all, you have to understand the 3D printer. If you have the conditions, you can buy a 3D printer directly. Now there are very cheap ones on the market. You can intuitively understand the structure and principle of 3D printer, and you can also practice it yourself.

Then there must be model files. Model files can be directly obtained from 3D printing platform for free or paid files. You can also draw and generate files by yourself through modeling software.

The second is slicing software, which converts the model file into the language of 3D printer, so that the printer can recognize the file and start printing after the recognition is successful. At the same time, the size can also be set. If some models have hanging places, they can also add supports, which is equivalent to laying a good foundation for the suspended places, so that the hanging printing will not occur and the model printing will fall off in the middle.

From small children's toys and handicrafts to very complex parts for airplanes and rockets, 3D printers have been widely used in many fields. In 2019, the business scale of the global 3D printing industry will reach about US $12 billion, with a year-on-year growth of nearly 30%.

The reasons for the rapid development of 3D printing industry are as follows: first of all, the increase of R & D investment makes technology progress continuously, and 3D printer has more powerful functions, lower cost and faster speed. Since 2012, the number of patent applications in the field of 3D printing has increased for a short time, with a growth rate of more than 40%. In addition, the types of printing materials are constantly enriched, and the use range of 3D printers is also expanding. 3D printing materials mainly include metal materials, polymer materials and ceramic materials. Among them, plastics are still the most frequently used materials. However, metal materials have increased rapidly, and the utilization rate has increased to about 36% in 2018. The widespread use of metal materials has boosted the sales of industrial grade 3D printers, and promoted the expansion of 3D printing from consumer market to high-end manufacturing market. Third, in order to accelerate product development, improve product performance and improve the response speed of users in automotive, electronic, aerospace, medical, shoe-making industries, actively explore the application of 3D printing technology in industrial production. Fourth, primary and secondary schools and education and training institutions have set up courses related to 3D printing to promote the comprehensive popularization of 3D printers in schools, families and small and medium-sized enterprises.

3D printing does not need to open the mold, overall molding and short production cycle. It is very suitable for the production and short-term delivery of complex structure, small batch production of goods. Therefore, it is widely used in prototype design, customized production and complex component manufacturing. However, 3D printing also has obvious disadvantages: 3D printer is more expensive, production time is long and there is no economies of scale. The cost of large quantities of goods is obviously higher than that of traditional processing methods; the price of printing materials is high and the categories are very limited. Compared with the traditional precision machining method, there are still differences between the strength of the material and the machining accuracy.

This industry is still in rapid development, with the development of 3D printers, materials and post-processing technology, the application field will continue to expand.

Sources from: https://creality3dpro.store/blogs/news