Posted on Leave a comment

What is a 3D Printer?

3D printing is a technology that is capable of producing an object from scratch. Conventional production methods involve carving and engraving of a solid item, i.e. aluminum or wood, into an object. This type of machining became mainstream in batch manufacture particularly after the industrial revolution. Since it involves the processing of a solid item into a desired product, this manufacturing method generates more shaves and waste than the solid product itself.

3D printing technology on the other hand, generates the desired product from scratch, namely, using zero solid items. Therefore, no shavings, waste, etc. is produced. This in turn, saves production costs and is far cheaper compared to the methods employed in traditional machining.

Furthermore, plastic mass production in the world always requires male and female molds. That is, plastic production in the olden times would require cooling of hot plastic injected between male and female molds made of metal.

This mold must be machined on CNC using conventional principles and very fine workmanship, and the cheapest mold on the market costs approximately $3k. Once we have processed the male and female molds on CNC, we have to place the mold inside the injection device that is used to inject the plastic. Our mold placed inside the injection machine and is then injected with molten granulated plastic raw material aka pellets between the male and female molds. The hot plastic briefly compressed between the molds is solidified by rapid cooling and our plastic object is ready once the male and female molds are separated. The plastic used in this process is either thermoplastic (thermal restructuring) or thermoset (one-time thermal structuring).

Not only is this production process much simpler with 3 dimensional printers, but it can produce any type of item that is unsuitable for plastic injection molds or not fit for manufacture with molding. This is why 3D printers are seen as the 4th Industrial Revolution across the globe. The only thing you require in order to take a 3D printout is the 3D model of the object you intend to print. You can either model it yourself, find an existing model, or simply scan it on 3D scanners.

Plastic injection molds have certain requisites for proper release of the intended object out of the mold. The same principle also applies for baking molds. If, instead of their funneled angle, baking molds were designed with an inward narrowing shape, cakes would be torn into pieces during removal. The same goes also for plastic injection molds. All molds must be manufactured with at least 0.5% slope. Moreover, single piece manufacture of complex shapes, bridged shapes, organic shapes such as the models of a dinosaur which have a lot of detail, is impossible with the current plastic injection technology as they cannot be removed from the mold. In 3D printers however, removal is not an issue.

You can print in your 3D printer an operable wheel system, a ready-to-use wrench, a highly complex dinosaur or a scanned version of yourself within a few hours at very low costs.

Another feature of 3D printers is that they took manufacturing to a whole new level, that is, your home and even your bedroom. You can own any object you like, be it something sold only in Italy or a toy designed in Argentina, or your favorite movie character, within hours at very low costs. Now, manufacture is in your room, right here, right now. The only thing you need to do is to send the model to zaxe and sip your tea. zaxe can produce anything for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *