The AGE of 3D Printing?
A little piece of news caught my attention early this morning that got me to write
this article. Two ladies, Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang from Continuum Fashion have
succesfully created a 3D-printed ready-to-wear bikinis called N12. Can you even
begin to imagine having a set of bikinis out of your printing machine? These bikinis
were printed using a waterproof material called Nylon 12, hence the name N12, and
they come in two colors, black and white.
How it all started?
3D Printing is a term that describes an additive manufacturing process to create a
model by laying down a successive layer of materials. Usually this manufacturing
process is used as a part of the prototyping phase of a product design. The
technology of 3D objects from digital data was first developed by Charles Hull in
1984. He named the technique as Stereolythography and obtained a patent for the
technique in 1986. After obtaining the patent, he founded 3D Systems and developed
the first commercial 3D Printing machine.
How does it work?
These 3D Printers works by printing one layer of a two dimensional object over the
other layer to result in an object of three dimensional nature. Compared to
manufacturing technologies of additive nature, these 3D printers are faster, more
efficient and reasonably priced. In the realm of production application such
printers offers a terrific potential.
What are the applications?
There are several unique advantages when it comes to using 3D printers. The first
one is the huge amount of time savings involved in the design phase. With such
printers you no longer have to wait for a long time for your design to be
materialized and checked for defficiencies. There is also a significant cost
advantage involved when you used a 3D printers compares to traditional methods of
prototyping. With 3D printers, you get to print using a variety of gray scales from
printing consumer electronics design to the most optimistic attempts to printing
human tissues as a replaceable materials for medical purposes. The modeling on such
3D printers is dones as and when the need arises and this enables you to construct a
model which has a striking resemblance to the actual design.
The advancement of printing technology that I have learned today somehow filled my
day with excitement, and my mind began to wonder what else does the world have in
store for me tomorrow.