As we know traditional printers are not capable of providing 3Dimensional(3D) prints. This requires more time and effort to design and develop prototype. 3D printers are available which can print 3D documents/pictures.
3D printer accepts .stl files and converts them to gcode files which will be used to print all the layers one by one.
These printers can be used for checking mechanical design and also fitment very quickly. In normal printing process you need to wait for prototype film to arrive and then decide mechanical stuff. There are two types of 3D printer viz. DIY (Do It Yourself) and assembled. For DIY type one need to refer manual to assemble and then start using it. Assembled printers are available ready and one can start taking prints as soon as they receive it from manufacturers. Figure depicts mojo 3D printer manufactured by Stratasys ltd.
Specifications to be considered
Consider following specifications before purchasing the 3D printer.
• Maximum size printer can print.
• Horizontal and vertical resolutions.
• Speed at which printer can print.
• Total number of print heads i.e. extruders supported.
• SD card and display support available. SD card can help store print files so that printer can print continuously without the need of computer.
The carbon fibre material is used in 3D printers in the form of composites.
Assembled desktop 3D printer manufacturers
|Manufacturer OR vendor||3D printer model|
|3D systems||Zprinter 850|
|Airwolf 3D||AW3D HD|
|Altem technologies||uPrint SE|
|CAD centre||Projet 7000HD|
|Amptronics systems||Dual Extruder 3D printer|
|J Group Robotics||Dimension LE|
There are software tools which help in 3D printing. One such tool Slicer helps to represent 3D printing geometry. Another tool such as TinkerCAD will help convert normal image file into 3D image file.
DIY type 3D printer manufacturers
|Manufacturers||3D printer model|
|RS Components||RepRap Pro Omerod|
|3D printronics||Felix 2.0|
|Amptronics||Prusa Mendel LM8UU|