We’re exploring the capabilities of the latest 3D printing methods and printers.

What exactly is 3D printing? We’re so glad you asked...

 
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What is it? 

 

3D printing is the action or process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many thin layers of a material in succession. It’s also called “Additive Manufacturing” - because you are adding material to manufacture a shape vs taking material away.

 
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How does it work?

There are several types of printers and materials you can print.

Some printers extrude layers; like squeezing a tube of toothpaste, and others fuse liquids or powders together in layers with lazers, lights or even electrons.

 
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Who uses 3D printing?

Product designers for creating quick prototypes of their products

Surgeons for medical implants and prosthetics

Dentists for dental implants

Spaceships and Automotive

Architects  - concrete and specific designs for buildings.

Scientists - biology, nano things and new materials

Fashion designers - Clothing

Chefs - Food

 

Why is it awesome?

How 3D printing has been used to date

3D printing has sped up prototyping for products. Designers can 3D model a shape, print it in minutes then test it out and iterate.

 

What’s the latest 3D printing inventions, discovering and benefits?

  • Metal 3D printing is starting to create efficiencies for multiple industries. For example, car/spaceship/airplane parts used to have to be made out of several parts - but now you can 3D print all in one - speeding up manufacturing processes by reducing assembly time. 3D printed parts are stronger because they have less joins (therefore less weak points).

  • Mixed materials and colours - some printers enable multiple materials and colours to be printed at the same time - think knitting with three colours - adding the colours in when the pattern requires it.

 

What is the future of 3D printing?

  • Companies could sell you a ‘file’ that you get printed at your local printer. Less shipping, transportation, fuel consumption and less waste.

  • 3D printed body parts

  • Bigger things! More houses and cars and big stuff!

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Types of 3D printing

* = what HIJ is currently using

Stereolithography(SLA)

Digital Light Processing (DLP)

Fused deposition modeling (FDM)

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)*

Selective laser melting (SLM)

Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)

Laminated object manufacturing (LOM)

Binder Jetting (BJ) Technology

Material Jetting (MJ) Polyjet and Wax Casting Technology*

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Textures

Titanium is 3D printed via powder bed fusion - direct metal laser sintering (DMLS or SLS) giving a textured finish

Silver is cast from 3D printed wax - via material jetting giving a smooth finish

 SLS - Selective laser melting is used for the titanium icon earrings. 

SLS - Selective laser melting is used for the titanium icon earrings.