The Trends and Challenges of 3D Printing

The Trends and Challenges of 3D Printing

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7359-3.ch028
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3D printing is a type of additive manufacturing technology where a 3D object is created by laying down subsequent layers of material at the mm scale. It is also known as rapid prototyping. 3D printing is now applied in various industries such as footwear, jewelry, architecture, engineering and construction, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, consumer products, automotive, and industrial design. Some claim that 3D printing will put an end to traditional manufacturing, primarily since 3D printing imposes a tool-less process. Though 3D printing technology is used in weapon manufacturing, it is also being used to improve the lives of mankind. In the future, 3D printing will most probably be used to print human organs. The chapter discusses the trends and challenges faced by this exciting technology.
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The Technical Issues Of 3D Printing

3D printing has revolutionized our society from providing medical advances; to scalable production of everything from product parts to buildings. There are, however, many issues that accompany this technology. Two main issues of 3D printing are the technical problems and the controversies. This section will be divided into two parts. Part one presents the technical problems of 3D printing, while part two presents the controversies of 3D printing.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Gunsmithing: The act of making, selling and repairing firearms.

Elephant Foot: The base of the model is slightly bulging outwards.

Scalable Production: A production that can cope and perform under an expanding workload.

Friction-Weld: A welding process that generates heat through mechanical friction between workpieces to fuse materials.

Warping: The print bends upwards at the base of the model and is no longer parallel with the print platform.

CAD Design File: Stands for computer-aided design file; used by engineers or architects to create technical illustrations.

Pillowing: Bumps or holes are present on the top surface of the printed model.

Stringing: Unsightly strings of plastic between parts of the printed model.

Additive Manufacturing (AM): The process of making 3D objects by applying layer upon layer.

Post-Processing: Furbishing or decorating stage of the printed model.

Rapid Prototyping: A set of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a part using 3D CAD data.

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