The technology of 3D printing which is also known as additive manufacturing is a popular technology for developing a three-dimensional model of any digital drawing. This technology is gaining wide attention and is capable of bringing a positive change in the world. This revolutionary technology offers an innovative and a completely new way doe engineering designing and manufacturing. It has a wide use in the different fields such as demographic, social, environmental as well as economic. It offers a new dimension in engineering designing and drawings and therefore have a profound implication in the political, economic and demographic field. The manufacturing world is profoundly affected by the innovative technology of 3D printing or additive manufacturing. It is not only a cost effective solution in the world of designing and manufacturing but has a wide impact in resource productivity as well. The process of 3D printing and its extensive uses are discussed in this report. The report further discusses the different cases in which the 3D printing is most valuable. The report discusses why 3D printing is suitable for both low and high volume production (Campbell, Williams, Ivanova, & Garrett, 2011). The technique of 3D printing and the technology of additive manufacturing is elaborated in the following paragraphs.
1. The work “additive” signifies the addition of layers for developing a 3D structure. The process of 3D printing is most appropriately called additive manufacturing because the conversion of digital image to three-dimensional image is done by subsequent addition of layer of materials back to back. The layers are not very thick and the thickness is limited to 180 microns at maximum. The process of 3D printing follows this method of subsequent addition of layer and therefore it is also called additive manufacturing. It is very different from subtractive manufacturing. With the help of 3D printing, complex images can be constructed with ease. One of the major advantages of additive manufacturing or 3D printing is that, it requires very less material in development of an object. The digital image that is to be developed into a 3D model is generally designed by CAD. Three-dimensional printing makes the process of designing a three-dimensional prototype even easier. The layers that are to be added are at first sliced with the help of a slicing software and then fed into the 3D printing device or the printer. Thus the layers are subsequently added one after the other in the printer to develop a 3D model. This minimizes the use of materials and therefore, it can be said that additive manufacture or 3D printing offers a very cost effective solution. With the advent of the technology of 3D printing the designing and development of the complex shapes become even easier (Chua & Leong, 2014). Therefore, this technology possesses the power to turn traditional manufacturing into an obsolete practice.
2. It is generally difficult for the manufacturer of a low volume production to spend a huge money on designing and redesigning of the prototype using traditional process. However, it is important to develop and test the different parts of project to be implemented for its successful completion. 3D printing offers a very cost effective solution in such cases as the use of additive manufacturing for prototype development reduces the cost of building a prototype to a considerable amount. Conceptualization and testing of the prototypes becomes easier in case of 3D printing or additive manufacturing. Engineers and designers therefore prefer 3D printing over traditional manufacturing. Another advantage of using 3D printing is that, it eliminates the necessity of tooling thus making the process even more user friendly. Since the additive manufacturing process eliminates the necessity of tooling, it is generally preferred by the manufacturer of low volume production.
Traditional manufacturing is mainly used in case of large or bulk amount of production. However, the cost of designing or building a porotype using traditional manufacturing is time consuming and costly as well, which is much less in case of 3D printing and hence it is preferred for low volume of production (Weller, Keeer, & Piller, 2015). With the advent of 3D manufacturing and the looking into the advantages and benefits it offers, additive manufacturing finds use in certain high volume production as well. Therefore, it can be concluded that the process of additive manufacturing finds its use in both low and high volume production, however, it has an increasing use in low volume production.
3. 3D printing has varied advantage and its use in medical world is certainly noteworthy. According to different researches laid on 3D printing, 90% of the hearing aids are known to be developed with the help of 3D printing. Apart from this, it has other varied uses in the field of medicine as well. Apart from this, 3D printing is widely used in development of prototypes used in engineering and manufacturing industries (Suchubert , Van Langeveld, & Donoso, 2014). The development of complex structures has been possible with the advent of 3D printing, which has a power to turn every imagination into reality. The technology enables designing and development of complex prototypes in very little time, and therefore it finds extensive usage in the manufacturing industries. The traditional manufacturing process uses different expensive tools like porotype injection, in development of the prototype and therefore it is gradually becoming obsolete in the engineering industry. Furthermore, since the development of prototypes using 3D printing is cost effective, it is generally used as a risk mitigation technique, which includes thorough testing of the prototypes (Gibson, Rosen, & Stucker, 2014).
4. 3D printing is a technology that is here to stay and is gradually becoming popular in different industries. Different researches laid of additive manufacturing proves that it has a wide effect in the different industries such as engineering, automotive, medical and aerospace as well. With the increasing use of this technology, it is sure to gain momentum and reach the take-off point in near future. According to the Ganter report, the technology of 3D printing has brought a transformation in the trigger phase hype cycle (Campbell, Williams, Ivanova, & Garrett, 2011). Metal component printing have been possible with the technology of 3D printing. 3D printing is finding extensive usage in the field of engineering as engineers use 3D printing for fabrication of different component from titanium and steel alloys. Therefore, it can be certainly said that 3D printing has brought a revolution in the field of engineering. It is possible that this technology will bring a revolution in the field of designing and manufacturing. The leading firms forecast that 3D printing has the capability of occupying a huge market area in the recent future. Therefore, it is clear, that the demand and usage of 3D printing is going to see an increase over the years as many industries are implementing this technology as a process of manufacturing for its wide benefits (Wong & Hernandez, 2012).
5. Yes, it possible that the process of 3D printing will make the process of traditional manufacturing obsolete. This is because of the benefits and the advantages it offers, the primary one being the cost effectiveness. Furthermore, it does not require any tooling such as traditional manufacturing that effectively reduces the cost and time of manufacturing (Lipson & Kurman, 2013). The process of traditional manufacturing is time consuming and the process of rework is even more difficult. This is because, the retooling of the line for churning the parts of the porotype built with the help of traditional manufacturing is very high (Vaezi, Seitz, & Yang, 2013).
Another advantage of 3D printing is that, it is very resources efficient and reduces the wastage of resources (Berman, 2012). It has varied usage in titanium bone implants, prosthetic limbs and the devices of the dentists. With the varied advantages the 3D printing offers, it has a high capability of making the process of traditional manufacturing obsolete. (Ventola, 2014)
Therefore, from the above discussion it can be concluded that 3D printing is an advanced technology that is capable of occupying a huge place in the market in recent future. It is synonymous to additive manufacturing as the 3D model is developed by addition of subsequent layers of materials. The report discusses in brief the process of developing a 3D model with the help of a digital file developed using CAD. The report further discusses the use and implication of 3D printing in both high and low volume of production. The increasing advantage of the 3D printing or additive manufacturing is capable of making the process of traditional manufacturing obsolete. The report further discusses the application of 3D printing in the different fields and the industries and how effectively in helps in giving a shape to the imagination.
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