23-25 MAY 2017


3D printers: operation and types

3D printers: operation and types

3D printers are the machines of printing figures with volume from a design made by a computer, a 3D printer what really has done a 3D design has created with the computer a real 3D model within a design system, That is to say, it has designed In our computer, for example: a simple cup of coffee through any CAD program (Computer Aided Design). We can actually print it through the medium of the 3D printer and obtain a physical product that could be the cup of coffee itself. It all came about several years ago when a group of MIT experts started wanting to print what they saw in the CAD. files.

Although we are already more than accustomed to 3D printers, the truth is that when the science fiction thing arose: these devices are capable of creating three-dimensional objects from scratch by adding layers of material. Its uses beyond the mere curiosity, because with 3D printing can be made prostheses, creating replicas of archaeological finds and even building houses.

How a 3D Printer Works

The three-dimensional printing process is, fundamentally, to create a prototype layer by layer and from top to top. For this the 3D printer deposits a layer of plastic powder, solidifying the area indicated by the computer and repeats the process that places one layer over another until the piece is completed.

The most famous three-dimensional printers they make are to take a .CAD file in .STL, which is a monochrome version, or a .VRML, which is a one color version. The two are performed with the process explained above, in which it is compacted layer by layer.

Types of 3D printers

Addition of polymers or FDM: what it does is melt the film and the polymer filament with a peak and deposit the layer on the layer the material background to create the solid object. In this technology, the own material is added in layers until creating the desired shape. The printers that use this technique have a lower cost and are the most used in the educational field, also known as Deposition of Molten Material or FDM.

By laser: can be found in two ways.

  1. SLA: means hardening a polymer to light. It starts from a base that is immersed inside a container full of the liquid resin and leaves the container layer by layer. The laser solidifies the base as it leaves the container to create the object.
  2. SLS: means laser sintering of a material. The material, a difference from the SLA, is in a state of dust. The laser impacts the powder and melts the material by solidifying it. It is the same as the SLA a difference that the material in which the base is bathed will be dust.

At present, printing in three dimensions on a 3D printer is something very new and does not work in a very fast way. That is why inclusion in households is a little behind schedule, although it is clear that little by little the different companies began to worry more in order to be the first to distribute this new technology to which more and more attention is being paid.