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3D Printers

3D Printers

Is 3D Printing Environmentally Friendly?

is_3d_printing_environmentally_friendly

is_3d_printing_environmentally_friendlyThe truth is that 3D Printing really isn’t much different than typical manufacturing in terms of its environmental impact. So, it’s not necessarily environmentally-friendly, at least at this point. While it may seem a lot cleaner, because it is electronic, it consumes more energy than typical production. In fact, it consumes a lot more energy.

When compared to assembly-line style manufacturing, 3D printing consumes a whopping one hundred times more energy. However, to balance this out, most 3D printing happens with plastic materials, which, while not the most eco-friendly materials around, do have the capacity to be melted down and reworked. So, this is one “greenish” element of 3D printing.

In the future, those who work on 3D printing technology may be able to reduce the amount of energy which is consumed in order to run 3D printing presses. At present, though, this energy expenditure is remarkable high. Nonetheless, 3D printing technology offers a host of benefits to society and these benefits are going to keep coming. So, there is more to consider than environmental impact.

3D printing is the future and, at some point, it may replace assembly lines completely. However, it will be a long time before this type of technology is everywhere. This may not be a bad thing, as assembly lines keep people employed and 3D printing presses may require less human supervision, as they are highly-computerised.

Some companies are attempting to reduce the environmental impact of 3D printing by re-using plastic materials which don’t turn out correctly. 3D printing isn’t a perfect process, so some items which are made via 3D printing don’t meet quality standards. In these cases, they may be melted down and made into other things. This eliminates wastage. This type of re-use isn’t possible with most assembly-line style manufacturing processes.

3D Printing Does Have Eco-friendly Benefits

Another environmental benefit is that less materials may need to be used during the 3D printing process. It’s possible to make items of lighter weight via 3D printing presses, versus products which are created with traditional manufacturing methods. Since less materials are utilised, more resources may be preserved. This speaks to sustainability. As well, since energy is expended making materials, needing to use less materials counterbalances the energy expenditures of 3D printing presses.

How to Stay in the Loop

If you’re interested in the power and potential of 3D printing, as well as its environmental impact, you’ll find that staying in the loop is pretty simple. Every day, new articles about this form of manufacturing technology become available online. Doing occasional Google searches for new information should keep you in the loop.

3D printing technology is trickling down to the common man and women. For example, it’s possible to buy 3D printing pens which make structures out of plastic threads. The plastic threads are heated and they are extruded. These fun toys are safe enough for older children to use and many adults enjoying trying them out, too. Also, 3D printers for home use are now available.

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3D Printers

Is 3D Printing Food Safe?

Is 3D printing food safe

Is 3D printing food safeIs 3D printing food safe products possible?

3D printing technology has already changed the landscape of manufacturing completely, making a lot of modern miracles that seemed impossible before – like making critical organs (such as a heart, for example) on demand from biological material – a reality, but there are some that are concerned that 3D printing products that will come into contact with food aren’t safe.

On the other hand, there are a lot of folks in the 3D printing world that would argue the contrary.

These people say that the products they produce through the 3D printing process are just as safe to use around food as those made through more traditional approaches, if not more so.

Who’s telling the truth?

Is there such a thing as 3D printing food safe products?

Find out right now!

Is 3D printing food safe products possible?

You bet it is!

Sure, there are some hurdles that need to be cleared for these kinds of products to be completely safe when exposed to food stuffs for human consumption, but by and large there aren’t any real differences in these 3D printed products and those made through other means of manufacturing.

The number one risk that 3D printed products have to contend with as a bacteria buildup in the material used during the printing process, which happens a lot more often than most people would like to admit.

This is because the material used for 3D printing doesn’t have to be stored – or heated – to a specific temperature to be used. When you’re making plastic tupperware, for example, the plastic material itself has to be superheated until it’s a liquid and able to be cast into it’s final shape.

No bacteria could survive in temps like that.

The same is NOT true for 3D printing materials, which can be left alone at room temps (for the most part), giving bacteria plenty of time to come to life and inject themselves into the deeper layers of the product.

Secondly, 3D projects that are printed need to be sealed completely – not only to protect the finish (and the finished product) but also to make sure that the joints have all adhered properly to one another.

This is incredibly important, but you run the risk of using a sealant or an adhesive that may not be so good for the human body – even if it’s only consumed in small amounts passed along from contact with food.

Finally, you have to worry about the kind of filaments used in the production of these 3D printed food safe products.

A lot of the new filaments used in projects today are not only 100% food safe across the board, but also made from natural or recycled/reclaimed materials. These are good for the body as well as the environment – not to mention cheap and renewable – which is fantastic news for all involved.

But older filament materials aren’t quite as safe or as sophisticated. Those are the ones you need to look out for. Natural PLA, for example, is always going to be 100% safe (it’s made from corn starch), whereas ABS is a dangerous toxin you can’t have anywhere near your food – or your mouth!

At the end of the day though, is 3D printing food safe products possible?

You bet it is!

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3D Printers

The Basic Things You Need to Know About CAD 3D Printing

The Basic Things You Need to Know About CAD 3D Printing

The Basic Things You Need to Know About CAD 3D PrintingIn recent years, computer aided design (CAD) 3D printing technology has become well-known and widespread. As 3D printers and scanners rapidly move away from being the subject of sci-fi fantasies and toward being attainable home technology, you might find yourself wondering, “What is CAD 3D printing?” Here are the basics you need to know about 3D printing and the way it is revolutionizing production.

WHAT IS CAD 3D PRINTING AND WHAT CAN IT DO?

In 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, a digital blueprint for a three dimensional object is sent to a printer, which “prints” the object by layering materials. 3D printing allows for many of the products we use every day to be manufactured more quickly and efficiently than traditional manufacturing techniques.

Polymer is the most common material 3D printers use to create an object, but most other materials can also be used. Simple trinkets and toys are no longer the only thing 3D printers can create. Additive manufacturing is becoming increasingly popular in the production of food, and the medical field has been utilizing 3D printing for years. Medical scientists are even experimenting with the possibility of printing transplantable organs made from layering live human cells. In China, massive CAD 3D printers printed five houses in one day, at a cost of around $5000 apiece.

Virtually any object that can be replicated and created by the layering of materials could eventually be printed by 3D printers.

HOW DOES ARE THE BLUEPRINTS FOR A 3D PRINTER CREATED?

Blueprints for 3D printers are stored as digital files that can be read by the printer.

Sometimes, an existing object is replicated using a 3D scanner. The scanner creates an accurate blueprint by using one of several techniques to scan an existing object with light or lasers and create an accurate blueprint. 3D scanners can be small enough to fit on your computer desk or big enough to replicate a house.

Other blueprints are created with 3D modeling software. Like 3D scanners, modeling software can be very simple or very complex. Programs available on the market right now range from free open-source programs that can be used by anyone at home, to complicated industrial-grade software used by serious manufacturers and engineers.

WHAT IS CAD 3D PRINTING AS FAR AS AVERAGE TECHNOLOGY CONSUMERS ARE CONCERNED?

3D printing has been available to hobbyists at home since 2011. Use among average consumers is on the rise as affordable home 3D printers can now be bought for less than $500. With free modeling software and simple, inexpensive scanners also readily available, 3D printing technology is rapidly becoming common home technology.

Consumers are able to purchase CAD files of blueprints to use with their home 3D printers if they are not capable of designing their own. Similarly, CAD enthusiasts who do not own 3D printers can inexpensively hire services to print the CAD files they create. Websites for home enthusiasts to sell the objects or files they print are also becoming more popular.

Some advocates for CAD 3D printing predict that commerce will be revolutionized as consumers will eventually be able to print many of the products they buy in their own homes.

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3D Printers

What is Biomedical 3D Printing?

What is biomedical 3D printing

What is biomedical 3D printingRight now – this very minute – there are machines literally manufacturing new hearts, lungs, and other critical organs and body parts from raw biological material, and it’s changing the world of medicine forever.

Now, you’re not reading science fiction. And no, SkyNet is not upon us.

Through the amazing technology of 3D printing – and with the help of some big time medical breakthroughs – it’s now possible to assemble body parts and organs from raw material for implantation (and a whole host of other uses) on factory floors just like your new car came off of.

Wild, wild stuff, right?

Welcome to the future!

What is biomedical 3D printing, anyway?

Devices no bigger than a laser printer are being used in labs right now (this very instant) to combine spoonfuls of squishy, gooey substances – raw biological material – into actual body parts that are saving lives, and it’s nothing short of a modern miracle.

Robotic arms move this way and that, lasers cut, shave, and combine different components, and a piece of software makes sure that the whole project comes together just as the specs designed it to. The process is not at all different from the mass manufacturing process used to make cars, furniture, or any of the other hard goods we use every single moment of every single day.

Yes, you’re reading that right. There’s a laboratory somewhere that is using the same kind of manufacturing system responsible for building the screen you’re seeing this on to produce real, living replacement tissue for human beings.

Amazing.

Biomedical 3D printing is in its infancy, but the real world applications are astounding

The very first time that anyone seriously printed using biomedical materials was in 2000, when an engineer swapped out a standard inkjet cartridge in a Brother printer for one filled with collagen – and then printed out his initials in living tissue!

Flash forward just slightly more than 15 years later into the future and we’re already seeing large scale adaptation of this technology (no longer using modified inkjet printers, either) to produce some big breakthroughs in modern medicine.

Imagine this, for a moment:

Instead of having to wonder about the effectiveness of major new pharmaceutical products on the human body before wide scale release, human tissue can be printed up and tested with no negative impact on a human host.

Instead of wondering EXACTLY how the different body systems work together with one another in the body – without ever being able to really open up a living person to study how everything reacts naturally – 3D printed dummies can act as surrogates for this research, making big breakthroughs in science possible.

Instead of having millions and millions of people die every single year because of organ failure, disease, and a host of other issues, 3D printed organs can be “made to order” for 100% successful integration, improving the quality of life for people all over the world while giving them a chance to survive they never would have had otherwise.

All of this is possible thanks to biomedical 3D printing.

And it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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3D Printers

What is Meant by 3D Printing?

What is Meant by 3D Printing

What is Meant by 3D Printing3D printing technology has come a long, long way from when it was first conceived.

Originally the brainchild of science fiction writers imaging the way of the future, today it’s possible to print in 3D – actual physical objects, using advanced production technology now available commercially – right in the comfort of our own homes!

That’s right! For the first time ever we all have the chance to build a 3D model of something in a CAD program or the like and then print it physically to use in just a matter of moments.

People are printing car parts for classic vehicles no longer made, cheaper components for high end medical tools and technology, and even making toys for their children or grandchildren!

The possibilities with 3D printing are literally endless.

But if you’re new to the world of printing in 3D (and want to make sure you’re able to hit the ground running with a printer of your own), you’ll want to check out all of the inside information we have to offer you below in this quick guide.

Shall we jump right in?

Let’s rock and roll!

What is meant by 3D printing?

It’s pretty common for folks not fully versed in the high tech world to think of 3D printing as the same kind of process as 2D printing (what you get out of your laser or inkjet printer, for example), but nothing could be further from the truth.

3D printers don’t “print” so much as they utilize a number of advanced filaments and materials that are fused together to produce the project that you have designed in a separate piece of software.

In the early days of the technology, filaments were fused together through an extruding process that was slow and cumbersome (and was limited to only a handful of materials). Useful for prototyping – and not much else – these machines cost hundreds of thousands (millions, sometimes) of dollars to produce and were just as expensive to operate.

Today though, multiple filament fabrication processes are the norm, and 3D printing technology is much more compact and accessible. It’s possible to purchase a desktop 3D printer for under $500 these days!

What can 3D printers be used for?

The world of 3D printing is still in its infancy and it’s impossible to really know the full possibilities for the future of this technology, but it’s safe to say the future is looking very bright indeed.

Today there are companies all over the world prototyping new advances rapidly (and without any unnecessary cost), but there are a lot of new companies in the medical world using 3D printing technology and biological filaments to actual produce new body parts and organs.

This is some special stuff we’re talking about here, and it only begins to scratch the surface.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of new frontiers that 3D printing technology brings to the forefront. We are living in a world of modern miracles, and it’s likely that this kind of technology will play a major role in where we’re headed!

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What is a 3D Printing Application?

What is 3D printing application

What is 3D printing applicationEverything you need to know about finding the right 3D printing application

If you’re going to dive headfirst into the world of 3D printing, you’re going to need a couple of things:

  • Raw material to work with
  • A 3D printer capable of producing the end products you hope to make and
  • A 3D printing application that allows you to design and engineer the components that the 3D will bring to life

All three of these elements need to exist or your 3D printing dreams will stay just that – dreams – and you’ll never be able to fully take advantage of everything this amazing technology brings to the table.

Of course, the first two elements above – the raw filament material and the printer itself – are rather easy to come by. All you need to do is fork over a little bit of cash and you can have all the filament you need to produce tons and tons of 3D printed elements, and a home 3D printer can be had these days for less than $500.

It’s the 3D printing application that is going to be much tougher to come by – and not because there are only a handful of them available. No, it’s because there are so many to pick and choose from that you’ll have a tough time navigating this part of the process.

But by arming yourself with the inside information we’re able to share below you should be able to really hit the ground running. You’ll have the kind of software and application in your hands that allows you to freely create and innovate with your 3D printer without restriction.

Let’s dig right in!

What is 3D printing application?

Before we get into what you should be looking for in a 3D printing application, it’s critical that we highlight what this software is and why it is so important.

For starters, you’ll want to think of the application side of the process as your blueprints.

This is where you’ll create the actual design and engineering that goes on behind the scenes to make your project a reality, as well as where you finalize all of the commands that will go to the 3D printer you’re working with.

As critical a component in the process as any other, without the right software – software you feel completely comfortable using and working with, and software capable of producing the project you want to make a reality – your 3D printer and your raw material will just sit on the desk like a lump.

It’s the software that brings the design (and your project) to life!

What to look for in 3D printer applications

When you’re buying software (or using the open source solutions available 100% free of charge) for 3D printing there are a couple of things you need to focus on:

  • The ease and usability of the software itself
  • The robust design and engineering components of the platform
  • Whether or not it effortlessly interfaces with the specific 3D printer you have

…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Really try to find technology that pairs nicely with your other components, but also be sure you’re using a piece of software or and application that you can learn and learn to be comfortable with. This makes all the difference!

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