3D printing is a fascinating technology that has increased in popularity over the last several years.
It’s an innovative approach to manufacturing things, and there are many intriguing fun facts about 3D printing.
Here are our favorite FUN FACTS about 3D printing!
3D Printing Was Invented in France
Since its humble origins in France, 3D printing has come a long way.
Although the notion of making physical items from digital designs has been around for hundreds of years, it wasn’t until the 1980s that 3D manufacturing became a feasible technology.
Étienne Boulanger was a young engineer who studied at the Ecole de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal.
Boulanger began his project after seeing new technologies, like stereolithography and fused deposition modeling, used in the aerospace industry.
He wanted to build his own 3D printer, so he set out to do it.
To accomplish this, he collaborated with scientists from INRS-EMT in France.
In doing so, he became one of the first people to create an open-source prototype of this revolutionary technology.
While many people credit the United States as the birthplace of 3D printing, it was France that nurtured its early growth and established foundations for this cutting-edge technology.
There Are a Variety of 3D Printing Processes
Most individuals think of FDM 3D printing and consumer desktop 3D printers when they hear the phrase “3D printing.”
However, there are numerous distinct types of 3D printing technologies available for a variety of purposes.
Read More: Best FDM 3D Printer. Here are our top picks!
Selective Laser Sintering
For example, selective laser sintering (SLS) is a type of 3D printing that’s quite popular.
This process employs a powerful laser to weld particles of material together into solid things.
SLA, or stereolithography, is another well-known technique.
In this technique, ultraviolet (UV) light hardens liquid resin in predetermined patterns to form fully-formed objects layer by layer.
Read More: Cheap SLA 3D Printer. See our favorite SLA printer picks!
Other typical methods of 3D printing include:
- Soluble support technology (SMO), which employs water bonding between the build material and support structures;
- Powder bed fusion (PBF), which uses an energy source, such as a laser or electron beam to melt powdered materials; and
- Direct extrusion (-DE) printing, in which granular thermoplastic materials, like PLA and some of the best ABS filament, are melted via heat as it passes through a nozzle.
There are many reasons why FDM technology is still one of the most well-known and widely utilized 3D printing methods.
However, it isn’t the only game in town when it comes to this quickly-growing field.
3D Printing isn’t Only a Prototyping Technique
3D printing, often called additive manufacturing or rapid prototyping is a technology that generates three-dimensional objects from a digital file.
It’s primarily used for prototype creation, but it may also be used to create finished items.
Used In A Wide Range Of Sectors
Some other fun facts about 3D printing are that it is employed in a wide range of sectors, including:
- Automobile design
- Medical care
It is also popular among amateurs and DIYers.
3D Printing Materials Are Numerous
There are many 3D printing techniques available in the industry. The technology has been around for some time and has rapidly evolved.
Direct Light Processing
DLP uses a digital projector to cure layers of photosensitive resin with ultraviolet light. The end result is a high resolution model.
The finished product is precise, with layers as thin as 10 microns.
This is used in dental and medical applications where accuracy is key.
Another interesting technique is granular jetting.
This process drops small particles of plastic onto a build platform where they are then fused together using heat or light.
This technique is becoming increasingly popular because it is one of the fastest available, with speeds of up to 100mm per second.
One of the main disadvantages of this technology is that it requires specialized materials that are not always readily available.
As you can see, there are many different 3D printing techniques available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
With so many techniques available, it is important to choose the right one for your particular application.
3D Printing Saves Lives
One of the other fun facts about 3D printing is that it saves lives.
Three-dimensional printing has been around for a few decades now, but it is only in recent years that the medical industry has begun to fully embrace this technology.
The short video below discusses what the future would look like if we could 3D print actual human bones!
3D printing is already being used to create prosthetic limbs and implants, and there are even some hospitals that have their own in-house 3D printers.
Uses In The Medical Industry
One of the most significant advantages is that it gives surgeons greater control over the manufacturing process.
With traditional methods, surgeons often had to rely on third-party manufacturers to create implants and other medical devices.
However, with 3D printing, surgeons can create custom devices that are specifically designed for each patient.
This not only leads to better outcomes for patients but also reduces surgical complications. 3D printing is also much faster than traditional methods, meaning that patients can get their implants sooner.
As the technology continues to develop, it is likely that we will see even more uses for 3D printing in the medical field.
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