3D Printing and Scanning

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3D Printers

3D Printing, also called additive manufacturing, is the process of taking a digital model of an object of any geometric shape and creating a three-dimensional (3D) solid object replica. A 3D printer uses rapid prototyping, a pre-production process that allows manufacturers to scale a model using computer-aided design (CAD) data, or modeling software. A solid object is created using layers of various materials such as liquid, paper, powder, or metal that form a series of cross sections. The additive process automatically fuses the joined layers to create the object. Using a 3D printer filament, commonly supplied in various colors on spools, the 3D printer is able to create a smooth extrusion, creating a shape form as the material comes through the nozzle.

Commonly used in manufacturing, machining, automotive, construction, medical, and architectural industries, 3D printers are applicable to a wide variety of fields.Education, engineering, and jewelry-making professionals also use additive manufacturing. Manufacturing, in both industrial and remote areas, can utilize this technology. For example, if new machinery is required, new machined objects can begin to take shape in minutes. Material savings can be measured in decreased material waste during the manufacturing process.

3D printer reviews can be a source of information to help consumers select and buy 3D printer machines. Some of the best 3D printers are Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-approved, and many come with design or CAD software, handling tools, and printer filament. Some 3D printers are supplied with a USB cable and a power supply cable. A 3D printer can come with a dual extruder that uses two spools of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or other filament type, or a single extruder that uses one spool such as the Dremel 3D printers. Temperature parameters may need to be adjusted for optimum extruder performance.

Each 3D printer has a specified build volume, layer thickness, and nozzle diameter. A 3D printer may also have a multi-directional control pad, and LCD character display screen in various sizes. Footprint, including overall dimensions, and weight are also considered in 3D printer selection.