3D printing explained simply
In additive manufacturing processes, material is added or applied in layers according to specified shapes and dimensions under computer control. Liquid or solid materials such as plastic, synthetic resin, ceramics and specially prepared metals are used as materials.
Areas of application for 3D printing
3D printing is used in industry, in model making and also in research - to produce models, prototypes, samples and tools as well as end products. Additive manufacturing is also becoming increasingly important for private use. Here are some examples of the areas in which 3D printing is used:
- 3D printing in architecture
- 3D printing in the construction industry
- 3D printing in medicine and research
- 3D printing in the food industry
- 3D printing in the aerospace industry
- 3D printing in mechanical engineering and manufacturing
Rapid.Tech 3D - the concept
Rapid.Tech 3D is one of the most important events in the field of additive manufacturing processes. Rapid.Tech 3D is based on a triad of congress - 3D printing exhibition - networking and, with its combination of theory and practice, creates a successful overall package for visitors and exhibitors alike.
Advantages of 3D printing
3D printing has many advantages over other, conventional manufacturing methods. Here are some of them:
Individualisation of products from batch size 1 - individual design of every single part
In contrast to other, conventional manufacturing methods, where customisation only becomes economically viable once a certain batch size has been reached, 3D printing enables the individual and economically acceptable design of every single part. Only the 3D model needs to be customised without increasing the manufacturing costs.
Moulding production requires special, usually very expensive tools. This often involves prices in the 5- to 6-digit range. To make these costs economically viable, identical parts are produced in very large quantities. In contrast, no special moulding tools are required for 3D printing, which enables very low start-up costs. The costs for 3D-printed parts depend only on the amount of material and the time required for printing and post-processing of the surfaces.
3D printing offers further significant advantages, such as a high degree of design freedom, a huge selection of materials, rapid prototyping without tools and a very good balance between precision, quality and price. Last but not least, 3D printing is also more environmentally friendly than many conventional manufacturing processes. You not only save on materials, but also on CO₂, as some transport routes are eliminated.