The Capabilities Of 3D Printing
What is so significant about being able to create models with hollowed out sections, intricate centers, organic curves, and various shapes? Well, to answer that question, other forms of manufacturing can't. Machining and milling processes can't touch some of the things that 3D printing can accomplish. Various models with detailed centers are entirely impossible through machining or mold manufacturing. When a drill or saw can't get inside of a part, it can't be made! When a part is too intricate in the center, a mold can't be made. However, 3D printing can still create some of these parts.
Detail levels can also be pretty ridiculous at some times through 3D printing. Machining offers some high levels of detail in many instances, but maybe not to the level of 3D printing. What is so significant about the detail? Well, some of the layers used throughout this manufacturing process are made in sections as small as 11 microns; that's about a fourth of the diameter of a human hair. You can't hardly even see that kind of detail with a naked eye! The detail levels allow for the creations of wax pieces which are used for casting jewelry at very high levels of detail. Just consider this - the levels of detail are a small fraction of a human hair! That offers some seriously high detail!
Other factors also play into the capabilities of 3D printing. The variety of materials offered builds some serious credibility in my opinion. Pretty much anything that currently exists in the manufacturing world can be accessed through 3D printing. There is such an array of materials to choose from. In fact, there are over 100 materials to choose from. Many are somewhat traditional, such as stainless steel, nylon, and glass. Some however, are very synthetic. For example - Objet has worked to create a wide line of 'man-made' materials, including pieces of various colors, chemical properties, heat properties, and mechanical properties. In fact, one of the materials offered simulates rubber.
When considering this form of manufacturing technology, there are quite a few factors which go into making a decision. Hopefully you'll consider it due to the complex nature and various potential of 3D printing. Just think about this - if it can be designed on a computer, it can very likely be made through 3D printing.
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