3D printing has become the latest craze to hit the world of invention. This new technology is not only helping to reshape manufacturing, but also allowing individuals with a knack for innovation to bring their visions into reality from the comfort of their homes.
There are many cool things that can be created with the help of a 3D printer and this is what makes it even more exciting. It is no wonder that more and more people are joining the bandwagon to explore the infinite possibilities that this exciting technology has to offer.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing basically involves turning a digital model into a physical 3-dimensional object by adding layers of material one after the other. This is what gives 3D printing its alternative term “Additive Manufacturing”.
Fundamentally, 3D printing is a different approach to producing components compared to traditional subtractive and formative manufacturing technologies. Here, there are no special tools needed; for example, a cutting tool or a mold. Rather, parts are directly manufactured onto the built platform one layer at a time.
How does it Work?
It all begins with the creation of a 3-dimensional model on your computer. The digital design is, for example, a Computer Aided Design file. The 3D model is formed from the ground up with the assistance of 3D modeling software.
Alternatively, it can be based on information generated using a 3D scanner. A 3D scanner enables you to come up with a digital copy of a particular object.
Choosing a 3D Printer
When choosing a 3D printer, you should always consider a number of factors prior to purchasing the first new printer you lay your eyes upon. The price will obviously come to play!
You also want to establish what the device is going to be used for and the kind of items you want to print. Lastly, we can’t forget the level of knowledge you have about 3D printing.
Whatever the reason you are purchasing your first 3D printer; there has hardly been a better time to acquire this exciting device. This technology is not only reliable and precise but acquiring a decent 3D printer for a reasonable price is no longer as farfetched as people initially thought.
Functions of 3D Printing
3D printing has revolutionized the way the manufacturing of tools and other organs happen. However, there are particular areas where this technological revolution is being experienced at a faster rate than others, and one of such areas is the bicycle industry.
Bike manufacturers have taken advantage of 3D printing and are on the front line when it comes to exploiting the possibilities of 3D printing. 3D printing has already been applied in a number of fascinating projects that focus either on improved performance or advanced design.
The technology can help both individuals and bike manufacturers to get a clearer insight into what 3D printing is capable of; the most important being accessible experimentation leading to dispersed and home-based manufacturing.
Customization is something that serious bikers look for. Having the ideal size of a bicycle can bring a significant difference as far as comfort is concerned. Small bike makers are already offering several options and they are well placed to offer even more with the help of 3D printing. A good example is the titanium customized bikes produced by Flying Machines from Australia.
While its harder to print something as complicated as an electric mountain bike, road bikes are certainly doable.
Another possibility that 3D printing provides us with is topological optimization. This is a process which rapid prototypes and designers use to implement sophisticated geometries in a 3D printed component with the aim of removing as much material as they can without compromising the structural integrity of that component.
This could potentially be the most critical application of 3D printing at the industrial level because it enables us to reduce waste creation and use fewer materials.
3D printing can also allow you to create bike parts in your backyard. As long as you have the right 3D printer and the knowledge to put up the whole process together, you can print a bike that can compete with the best.
The very first possibility that this technology offers us is experimenting with new and fresh approaches to manufacturing. 3D printing has already demonstrated its capability to do more than any of us can imagine. The only limit we have is our ability to envision new products.