The advent of three-dimensional or 3D printing – which is also called additive manufacturing or AM – has had a significant impact on product development.
The 3D printer is a machine that is able to produce a three-dimensional object. It has revolutionized prototyping. The Schoon Corporation is aligned with this technology, as its offerings include 3D filaments and 3D pens.
In 2010, the American Society for Testing and Materials came up with a classification of the AM processes. Among them was Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). Now, FFF is done through a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printer.
When it comes to desktop 3D printing, FDM is the most common method. It involves the use of a thermoplastic filament. Here’s a simplified explanation of how this particular 3D printing process happens.
First, the shape and specifications of the object that will be printed is programmed into the printer. The object is usually conceptualized using a computer-aided design (CAD) package or a 3D scanner. Digital images that are processed or enhanced using photogrammetry software are also used.
The thermoplastic filament is the material that is placed into the 3D printer’s moving extrusion head. It is usually made up of synthetic resin. Once it is inside this compartment, it gets heated. When the filament has melted, the extrusion head then deposits the hot substance in 3D coordinates. Then, the process of forming the intended object begins. The molten plastic takes form layer by layer.
Desktop 3D printers have been especially helpful, as they make it possible for ideas to come to life faster. They are able to create prototypes for a drastically lower cost than traditional machining.
Another 3D technology gadget is the 3D pen. It looks like any other ordinary pen – albeit a slightly larger version. The thermoplastic filament is inserted into the pen. Its mechanism is similar to the 3D printer. Except, in this case, the object is formed by making drawing motions. Essentially, you create 3D objects by freehand drawing.