The possibilities of 3D printing in construction
3D Printing as an Invention
Futuristic inventions have been the core engine generator of the modern world. These conceptions and notions have a common purpose; to make life easier and better for people. To introduce novel and fresh ways of perceiving life and its challenges. And as small as these inventions maybe, their effect is notable nevertheless. 3D printing is one of these brilliant small inventions that changed the path and introduced new ways of problem solving techniques. Tackling various venues in the world of engineering and other challenging aspects, 3D printing presents solutions that most importantly, provides opportunities for creative results.
The Process of 3D Printing
3D Printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. It brings a digital object (its CAD representation) into its physical form by adding layer by layer of materials.
Every 3D printer builds parts based on the same main principle: a digital model is turned into a physical three-dimensional object by adding material a layer at a time. This where the alternative term Additive Manufacturing comes from.
The process always begins with a digital 3D model – the blueprint of the physical object. This model is sliced by the printer’s software into thin, 2-dimensional layers and then turned into a set of instructions in machine language (G-code) for the printer to execute.
Depending on the size of the part and the type of printer, a print usually takes about 4 to 18 hours to complete. 3D printed parts are rarely ready-to-use out of the machine though. They often require some post-processing to achieve the desired level of surface finish. These steps take additional time and (usually manual) effort.
Materials and Examples
The materials available for 3D printing have come a long way since the early days of the technology. There is now a wide variety of different material types, which are supplied in different states (powder, filament, pellets, granules, resin etc.) However, there are now way too many proprietary materials from the many different 3D printer vendors to cover them all here. For example, there is plastic, metals, ceramics, paper, bio materials, and even food.
3D printing encompasses many forms of technologies and materials as 3D printing is being used in almost all industries you could think of. It’s important to see it as a cluster of diverse industries with a myriad of different applications. A few illustrations of the 3D printing applications are; consumer products (eyewear, footwear, design, furniture). Industrial products (manufacturing tools, prototypes, functional end-use parts). Dental products. Prosthetics. Architectural scale models. Reconstructing fossils. Replicating ancient artefacts. Reconstructing evidence in forensic pathology. Movie props.
Engineering as a definition can be summarized as the science of problem solving. The creative conceptions it represents is one of the main reasons why investing in scientific discoveries and engineering inventions is essential to society. The team of Phi Contracting Co believes in this ideology, we admire and support the message behind technological advances. After all, it is the way towards a better future.