How does 3D printing work?
The 3D printing machine reads the data from the CAD drawing and sets down progressive layers of liquid, sheet material, or powder – building up the physical model from a series of cross segments. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross section from the CAD model, are automatically pieced together to build up the final shape.
Implemented in STL file format, 3D printing or rapid prototyping uses a standard data interface to connect the 3D prototyping machine and CAD software. The STL file then uses triangular facets to approximate the shape of a part or assembly of a prototype. Rapid Prototyping systems can usually produce 3D models within a few hours. However, this varies depending on the type of machines used and the size and number of models being produced.
Benefits of using 3D Printing:
- Quicker and more effective communication of design ideas
- Effective validation of design fit, form, and function
- Run multiple design iterations quickly as well as greater design flexibility
- Better end-products with fewer production design flaws