3d printing Melbourne
It seems that wherever you look in Melbourne, 3D printing systems are in the news. The prestigious American publications, Forbes and The Economist, have devoted entire articles to the potential economic impact of this new technology. What are 3D printing systems? Although we will discuss some of the specifics involved in a moment, let’s start with the overall picture of what’s happening. With standard printing, a two-dimensional (length and width) image or text document is created on a computer and then transferred onto a piece of paper. With 3D printing, designers can now include a third dimension (height) to whatever they are designing, and this new type of printer is capable of creating a model in three dimensions of what has been designed or scanned into the computer. This is an example of a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) process, where the final product closely matches or is the exact equivalent of the original design. The final quality of the product is often used for prototypes of designs, although newer printers can produce market-ready models. Now that we understand the basics of 3D printing systems, let’s look at some of the more specific technologies that are involved?
How do 3D printing systems work? The first step has to do with the original input of the item to be printed (we will look at that in more detail in just a moment). Once the three dimensional design has been input into the computer and modified until it’s just right, the user only has to click “print” and watch the machine work its magic. The machine will communicate with the computer and take many, many detailed cross section portraits of the item to be printed. The machine will then plot the cross sections onto a graph with X, Y, and Z (length, width, and height) axes. Each cross section will be very thin, in some cases about 0.06 mm. Now, here there are two different methods of building up the layers: some 3D printing service will use a nozzle to carefully place the building material on the correct places on the graph. This is called “Fused Deposition Modeling”, and is the high-tech equivalent of using a hot glue gun. The building material is fed through the machine from a coil, and then is heated and applied to form the final product. Other 3D printing systems use a system called “Stereolithography”, whereby layers of resin are applied according to the graphical plot points and then cured and joined to previous layers using an ultraviolet light. Both methods provide products that are highly accurate and manufactured exactly according to the design.
Impressive 3d printing systems…
Now that we understand a little about how 3D print systems work, how is the product to be printed initially designed? One method is where the engineer must make use of some sort of three-dimensional modeling software. The most well-known are CAD programs, although many other programs (like Google’s “Sketchup”) are becoming more popular and increasingly effective. Once the product has been designed in three dimensions, the designer has to make sure that the file is compatible with the new 3D printing system. For example, some 3D printers only accept CAD (computer aided drafting) files; while others only accept STL files (Standard Tessellation Language, used by some Stereolithography printing systems).
3D printing systems also use one other common and very convenient method of inputting designs into a computer. This is called a handheld scanner. By moving the scanner slowly over the entire surface of the part to be printed, the designer can input the shape and size into the database. After a few manipulations in the software (including the specific movements of the components and the coloring of parts) the design can be analyzed and sent to the printer. The actual printing time depends on the size of the part and its complexity. Printing time can range from a couple of hours to an entire day.
3D print systems are incredibly complex machines. Yet, as we have seen in this article, the technology has been proven time and again. Wherever you look, 3D print systems are in the news, and with good reason. This technology will have huge impacts on all kinds on industries in the near future, and will undoubtedly make life better and more comfortable for people everywhere.
3D printing is set to revolutionize the world as we know it. Why do we say that? Think back to the middle ages. In 1450, a machine began to operate that forever changed the landscape of the modern world. Johannes Gutenberg began production on a two volume copy of the Bible for anyone who could afford it. Within five years, his machine had printed over two hundred copies of this influential religious text, doing what would’ve have previously taken two hundred monks about 20 years each to accomplish. This new technology, the moveable type printing press, made information accessible to the masses and forever changed the balance of power both in Europe and in the rest of the world. After all, whoever has access to information can make informed decisions and will not be easily manipulated. Today, the printing landscape is changing rapidly. 3D printing is set to once again change the world as we know it. How so? 3D printing has the potential to upset national economies, shift the balance of power from corporations to individual engineers and designers, and will make exploring hostile environments more feasible than ever. Let’s have a closer look at this new and exciting technology.
What is 3D printing? We are all familiar with standard inkjet printing, whereby a digitized image or text is transferred to a piece of paper. An inkjet printer accomplishes this task by plotting out the image or text into a graph of dots on a set of X and Y axes, and then placing the colored ink droplets accordingly. 3D printing follows the same principles, but works also with a Z axis, making the image truly three dimensional. Using 3D printing, a purpose-built machine will take a digital file (either from a CAD program or some other 3D design software) and divide it into very thin cross-sections. Then, it will build these cross-section one on top of the other until it has printed a perfect, physical replica. These very thin layers (sometimes as thin as 0.06mm) guarantee accuracy and functionality of the final product. The printer can use varied materials during printing, depending on the nature of the product. It can print with titanium, nylon, stainless steel, or a plastic-type material called thermoplastics. This technology is very exciting and has many potential uses. Let’s discuss a few of the ways in which this technology stands to change the future.
The first way that 3D printing promises to change the future has to do with commerce and product manufacturing. Right now, most western nations purchase the majority of their electronics, home office supplies, auto parts, and even footwear from Asian economies. The reasons are simple: the workforce is cheaper in Asia, meaning more profit and fewer costs for big corporations. How might 3D printing change all that? Let’s use the music industry as an example. For decades, the only way to purchase music was to go through a middle man- the record company. This increased costs for the final consumer, and sometimes the artists himself felt that his creativity and expression was stifled. However, with the advent of the internet and programs like iTunes and Napster, artists could now sell their product directly to the consumer, who could simply purchase the music, download it, and start enjoying it right away. 3D printing might do the same thing. Imagine that, instead of going to the store to buy your new coffeemaker or kitchen utensil, you can simply download the plans from the internet onto your computer and then print out a working machine. All you would have to pay for is the printer and the materials. That means no big corporation, no Asian workforce, no international shipping, never out of stock. The potential of this technology is awe-inspiring, and makes us realize that practically no industry will remain untouched.
3D printing in Melbourne is now becoming affordable enough even for the home consumer. Will it get cheaper? Yes. Will it become more versatile? Absolutely. Will it change the world? Only time will tell. The way that doctors, engineers, artists, corporations, and governments decide to use this new technology will decide its fate. One thing is for sure, though: the world was never the same after Johannes Gutenberg put his machine into operation. Small advances in technology can have huge repercussion in history. We just might be living in one of those moments.
The tidal wave that is the 3D printer has reached all the way to Australia. Why is 3D printing in Melbourne so popular? Where can you find this service, and what exactly is offered? What are the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing in Australia? In this informative writing piece, we will have a look at each of these questions so that you can make an informed choice when choosing a 3D printing company.
First off, why should you be interested in 3D printing Australia has on offer? 3D printing is a technology that is absolutely revolutionising the way that products are designed, manufactured, and sold. Engineers are using this technology to make prototypes of auto parts before investing in new equipment and sending the specs to the factory floor. Dentists are using it to make crowns, bridges, and other orthodontic devices that fit their patients perfectly. 3D printing in Melbourne Australia is also helping architects to visualize their current project like never before. Using this technology, several Melbourne and Australian companies have been able to provide their clients with low priced, high quality products made in a shorter time than ever. The models are highly accurate (measured in micrometers) and the plans can be submitted online, meaning you never even have to leave your office in order to get the piece you need.
Where can you find 3D printing based services in Melbourne? The best way to find the most qualified shop is to do an internet search. Once you have the results, you can take your time looking through the different companies and getting to know more about the specific services that they offer. For example, one company specializing in 3D print in Australia is Prototype Labs. Prototype labs focusing on three main types of clients: architects, engineers, and designers. Their website explains the type of material they use to construct along with some details about its strength and appearance. The website invites interested parties to request a quote and then explains how to submit designs for production.
Another company that has developed an excellent reputation for 3D printers in Australia is RapidPro. Their website explains that they have long experience with 3D printer, and have access to over 80 machines worldwide. They work with varying materials, from plastics to metals, and can take care of either one-off projects or of larger full-scale manufacturing. This company is very solid, and understands the subtleties of working with additive manufacturing technology.
The advantages of 3D printing in Melbourne are many. For example, the cost of shipping is always a large issue when bringing something to Australia. This is especially the case when dealing with just one small item. Very often, the cost of priority shipping in order to meet a tight deadline can overshadow the cost of the actual product. To help you avoid these unnecessary costs and frustration, consider using local 3D printing companies. The 3D printing shops located in Australia have years of experience behind them, virtually guaranteeing that your design will come out right the first time, every time, which cannot always be said with a human machinist working with a new product.
Are there any disadvantages of 3D printing in Australia? Well, the only disadvantages have to do with the limitations of the client himself. For example, designs need to be submitted in a format that is compatible with the technology used by the print shop. If the client does not have the skills to use a 3D design program or a CAD program, then his design will never see the light of day. Also, as with any type of design and manufacturing process, the protection of intellectual property needs to be exercised. The more people see your design, the greater chance that it will be stolen or duplicated. Designers should take steps to protect their work and/or communicate their concerns with the print shop in question.
3D printers in Australia is moving forward by leaps and bounds. The technology is here, the workforce is here. All you have to do now is submit your design and let these companies bring it to life.