3D printing is the process of making a physical object using a digital design. The object is made by placing the material layer by layer. First a 3D printed file of the object is created. The design is sliced into thin horizontal layers and sent to the printer. 3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing.
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3D Printing Services And Technology
The 3D object is created by forming layers of material under computer control. The technologies used are selective laser sintering (SLS) and stereolithography (SLA). These technologies used by 3D printing services create objects layer by layer but each uses its own method.
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Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
The SLS technology uses a laser to melt and solidify the layers of powdered material into the final object. These printers have two beds called the pistons When the printing begins a laser is used to map the first layer of the object in the powder which selectively melts the material. Once the material solidifies the print, a roller spreads a new layer of the powder on top of the object. This process is repeated and the laser melts the successive layers one by one until the object is made.
Ths technology is mainly used for industrial 3D printing applications. It is widely used for making functional prototypes and end products. The biggest advantage is that you can make complex and intricate shapes. The finished objects made using this technology take a longer time to cool and this causes longer lead times.
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In the SLA process the object is created using a liquid resin. It uses a light source to solidify the liquid material. To create the object a build platform is submerged into the translucent tank filled with liquid resin. Once the build platform is submerged, a light is used to map each layer of the object and solidify the material. After the layer is mapped and solidified with the help of light a new layer of liquid resin flows beneath the object. This process is repeated layer by layer until the final object is made.
This technology is useful in making highly accurate parts with smooth surfaces and is commonly used for highly detailed sculptures, jewellery moulds and prototypes. It cannot be used to make large objects.
3D Printed Products
The products created using 3D printing services are made using printing material like nylon, sandstone, plastic and any metal. A variety of finishes are available. You can get finishes like smooth surface with slightly granular feel, slightly granular surface, smooth finish, shining finish, rough, pitted finish and the plastic type feel finish.
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The product can be of any shape and there may be limitations on the size of the object. Using this technology different shapes and ideas can be created – the only limit is your imagination. Shapes that were impossible to make earlier are now accessible and can be easily made using 3D printing technology.
You can make 3D gift items like personalised jewellery, corporate gifts and gifts for any event or occasion. What’s more, you can make functional products like smartphone and tablet accessories, card holders and pen stands.