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3D Printing and Its Background

The processes that used to synthesize a three dimensional object with its successive layers of material lead to the formation or creation of an object under computer control is called 3D printing, also known as AM or additive manufacturing. It is said that 3d printing started the beginning of a third industrial revolution that took over the production line assembly. For easy understanding, 3d or additive manufacturing, is the process of producing a three dimensional solid objects with the aid of a digital file.

A 3D printed object is created by an additive process wherein the object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is formed. The object is created by layers of thinly sliced horizontal cross section.

In order to create the object, you can start your 3D printing process by making a virtual design of the item you like to develop. A computer aided design file is an example of a virtual design, that uses 3D scanner that produces the 3D digital copy of the object to be formed. Various technologies are used by 3D scanners, for example time of flight, structured or modulated light, volumetric scanning, and so on. Some companies today are enabling their hardware to conduct 3D scanning. It is projected that future smart phones will have integrated 3D scanners. Nowadays, there are expensive professional 3D scanners to cheap DIY scanners that anybody can perform at home.
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Know that 3D modelling software also comes in several forms. One form is the industrial grade software with a license that costs thousands every year. Another example of the form is a free open source software that accompanies a tutorial video for beginners
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Those who would like to start with 3D printing have to ask themselves whether it is the hardware that he or she is interested, or is it the creation of the object. There are 3D printers for beginners that are created to help buyers decide when choosing a pre-assembled 3D printer or a 3D printer kit. For those with limited budget and want to learn 3D printing, an affordable 3D printer kits is a great starting point.

Know that not all 3D printers use similar technology. The SLS or selective laser sintering and the FDM OR fused deposition modelling are the most common technologies using 3D printing. Another method using similar power source of one layer at a time is the most common technology called SLA or stereolithography.

Applications of 3D printing can further go in rapid prototyping, architectural scale models, healthcare, and entertainment. It is said that 3D printing also would cover reconstructing fossils in paleontology, replicating artifacts in archaeology, reconstructing bones and other body parts in forensic pathology, and reconstructing heavily damaged evidence in crime scene investigations.