3D printing has gained importance in the field of
manufacturing in past decade.
It is an additive process in contrast to some
conventional process’s of manufacturing which are
In conventional process like cutting,milling,etc the
material is removed to form the required component ,
but in 3D printing material is added as per
requirement and component to be formed.
It is being studied at
world level to attain new
techniques relating to
this process so that is
becomes more feasible to
use this process on large
The printer’s or scanner’s
are required to form a
through this process.
The process is also used
for Rapid Prototyping.
The process of 3D printing was evolved way back in
70’s but became quite popular in past decade.
The reason behind this was the set up required to carry
out this process was costly compared to other
But as time passed by the cheaper machinery were
developed also the patent’s regarding this process
expired in 90’s.
These things couples with rise is expenditure of
conventional techniques attracted the manufacturers
to this process.
3D printing or Additive manufacturing is a process of
making a three dimensional solid object of virtually any
shape from a digital model.
3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where
successive layers of material are laid down in different
A 3D printer is a limited type of industrial robot that is
capable of carrying out an additive process under computer
The 3D printing is used for prototyping and distributed
manufacturing with applications in architecture,
construction (AEC), industrial design,
automotive, aerospace, military, engineering etc.
3D printing could become a mass market item because
domestic 3D printers can offset their capital costs by
enabling consumers to avoid costs associated with
purchasing common household objects.
The term additive manufacturing refers to
technologies that create objects through sequential
Objects that are manufactured additively can be used
anywhere throughout the product life cycle, from pre-production
(i.e. rapid prototyping) to full-scale
production (i.e. rapid manufacturing),
WORKING PRINCIPLE :
The 3D printing technique has following steps :-
1. Forming 3D printable model.
2. Printing the model.
3. Finishing of the model.
FORMING 3D PRINTABLE MODEL :
A printable model can be formed either by using
a computer Aided Designing software package or
using a 3D scanner.
The CAD software might be used to form a
design of a model according to user input.
While a 3D scanner is an industrial robot which
scans a particular object and records it’s
dimensions and provides input to the printer.
PRINTING THE MODEL :
Depending on the design data provided the printer
lays down several layers of powder, liquid, paper,
polymer, plastic or other material depending on the
Printer resolution describes layer thickness and X-Y
resolution in micrometers.
3D printers give designers and concept development
teams the ability to produce parts and concept models
using a desktop size printer.
Though the printer-produced resolution is sufficient
for many applications, printing a slightly oversized
version of the desired object in standard resolution
and then removing material with a higher-resolution
subtractive process can achieve greater precision
In this process the supports would be dissolved which
might be used to support overhanging features in the
model to be printed.
In this process polymerisation technique is used to
create a solid model from liquid resin.
The liquid polymer is filled in a mould of required
shape, then it is exposed to light.
Due to this exposure the liquid polymer layer hardens
and this layer goes down exposing another liquid layer
, thus creating a complete solid model.
Another method is to jet the liquid polymer on the
tray and passing UV rays through it forming a solid
In this process papers are used to form a solid model of
A special adhesive coated paper could be cut using
CO2 laser and then laminated them together to form a
model of required shape.
Regular paper can also be used which might be cut
using tungsten carbide blade and then selective
deposition using adhesives to form required model.
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) does not use sintering
for the fusion of powder granules but will completely
melt the powder using a high-energy laser to create
fully dense materials in a layerwise method with
similar mechanical properties to conventional
Electron beam melting (EBM) It produces parts by
melting metal powder layer by layer with an electron
beam in a high vacuum. Unlike metal sintering
techniques that operate below melting point, EBM
parts are fully dense, void-free, and very strong
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) It fuses materials in a
granular bed. The technique fuses parts of the layer,
and then moves the working area downwards, adding
another layer of granules and repeating the process
until the piece has built up
FUSED DEPOSITION MODELLING :
In fused deposition modeling the model or part is
produced by extruding small beads of material which
harden immediately to form layers.
A thermoplastic filament or metal wire that is wound
on a coil is unreeled to supply material to
an extrusion nozzle head. The nozzle head heats the
material and turns the flow on and off.
Typically stepper motors or servo motors are employed
to move the extrusion head and adjust the flow and
the head can be moved in both horizontal and vertical
Various polymers are
acid (PLA),high density
and polyphenylsulfone (P
PSU). In general the
polymer is in the form of a
filament, fabricated from
There were nearly 100 three-dimensional (3D) printers
quietly making things at RedEye, a company based in
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and you can catch a glimpse
of how factories will work in the future.
Terry Gou, the boss of Foxconn, the world’s largest
contract manufacturer of electronic goods.He thinks
3D printing is just “a gimmick” without any
commercial value in the manufacture of real finished
The market for 3D printers and services is small, but
growing fast. Last year it was worth $2.2 billion
worldwide, up 29% from 2011.
The additive manufacturing process might not replace
the conventional process in mass production.
As 3D printers get better and printed materials
improve, the quality and finish of prototypes is
becoming harder to distinguish from things made in
3D printing is not competing with conventional
manufacturing, but is hybridising with it
The value of 3D printing as a production tool will
increase further with systems that are capable of
printing electrical circuits directly onto or into
components. It can be used to print functioning
switches, buttons and sensors.
Additive manufacturing has other limitations. It can
be slow—taking several hours to print, say, a body
panel for a car. But speed is relative. What may be too
slow for a large production run might be fine for a one-off
item which would take weeks to make in a
Meanwhile, 3D printing is becoming more readily
available to people with no equipment of their own
through service providers that print objects on
The heightened buzz surrounding 3D printing
technology has prompted many manufacturers to
consider bringing this capability in-house.
Estimated sales of 3D printers by the leading
manufacturers jumped from $37.4 million in 2003 to
$74.6 million in 2004, an increase of 99.5 percent.
The number of models and prototype parts produced
last year grew to an estimated 6.05 million, up from
4.83 million in 2003.
The first question arising is, will bringing a machine
in-house provide increased productivity, faster time-to-
market, and cost savings over buying parts from a
Many manufacturers with 3D printers actually use a
combination of in-house and outsourced models in
the process of developing and producing products.
In-house 3D printing is usually faster and more
convenient because it can eliminate delays related to
shipping and the administrative work associated with
purchasing external services.
Also, it provides manufacturers with the flexibility for
managing and prioritizing their own model
Realizing the benefits of speed and convenience is a
function of the volume of models you need.
Another factor to consider in determining whether to
purchase a 3D printer is the sensitivity of the new
Having a 3D printer in-house helps to reduce the
likelihood of new designs landing in the wrong hands.
The leading systems range in price from just under
$25,000 to about $60,000 per unit. An annual
maintenance agreement costs about $3,000 to $9,000
and vary by machine type.
Materials range from about $1.50 to $2 per cubic inch
of part (including infiltrant) for the materials from Z
Corp. to $250 per kilogram for the ABS material for the
By evaluating your specific design and modeling
needs, you can determine whether the acquisition of a
3D printer is the right move for you.
And once you have made that determination,
thoroughly evaluate your needs against what is
Be sure to ask about hidden costs or any extras that
have not been discussed in any publications or
presented by the vendor. Also, consider whether
technical support and service is local or a considerable
Asking lots of questions and doing your homework
will help you meet your goals of reducing cost,
improving product quality, and accelerating time-to-market
Paper By :- Michael Weinberg
20th January 2012
For many people exposed to 3D printing for the first
time, the question that follows “is it real?,” “how does it
work?,” and “how can I get one?” is “what about
piracy?” And by piracy, they usually mean copyright
Copyright, patent, and trademark are the three
primary types of intellectual property. Generally
speaking, copyright covers creative works, patent
covers technical works, and trademark covers the ways
in which goods are identified in the marketplace.
The story of the
first 3D printing-related
is a case in point. A
created a 3D
model for an
called a “Penrose
As 3D printing and modeling grow in popularity, it is
likely that we will see more companies and individuals
assuming they have a copyright for a design or object
and demanding removal of unauthorized versions.
Purely artistic physical objects will be protected by
copyright as sculptural works.
Licensing is another way to provide security where the
designer provides license to other person to refer or
use his designs.
But if the license holder leaks the information to
others the copyright holder remains helpless.
Until there is better legal clarity, cultural clarity is the
best way to protect the development of 3D printing.
Depending on the knowledge raised from the
information gained through several papers few
conclusions are acquired.
3D printing is an important emerging manufacturing
process with which the companies should get familiar
to remain in competition in future.
Though this technique is not good enough from mass
production point of view, but manufacturing some
complex items which instead would take many days in
workshop can be created using this technique.
Rapid prototyping is another advantage of this
Production line parts can also be designed using this
process as employed by BMW in their production line.
Many patents associated with this technique have
expired in 2008 and many of them will finish their
term in coming years this would boost the use of this
technique on large scale.
Many cheap 3D printers and their designs are now
available in market or on net.
The 3D printing techniques should not be blindly
incorporated without understanding the company’s
Once the need of 3D printing is justified the 3D
printer should be selected very carefully from a
The post purchase service should also be considered
while purchasing a machine from a particular supplier.
If you are giving your order to an outsider utmost care
should be taken that no confidential design data
should be leaked from that outsider.
The use of 3D printing technique is used with various
style in various countries for various jobs.
Countries like U.S. , China , Japan etc are diverting
their attention to more and more use of additive
Fields like aerospace industry, automobile industry,
civil structure, medical aids, defence , even household
things are welcoming this technique happily.
The studies regarding this process is being made in
many universities to make this process more popular
and user friendly.
Components like guns, microphones, teeth, bones,
pipes and many more are successfully manufactured
using this process till date.
Even placing electric circuits directly into the cell
phone structure is under development through 3d
Not just manufacturing a 3D printed model but also
protecting it is also of high priority.
One should make himself very clear about the legal
issues related to components produced through this
The design and the product should be copyrighted so
that no would could misuse your design.
Although no strict legislature , legal or cultural rules
are available to secure the 3D printed objects
manufacture, but one should take as much precaution
as possible to secure it’s product.
This technique in future might turn a great blessings
to the companies using it.
With reference to our country the process is peeping
out it’s head to draw attention of the companies for an
alternative to conventional techniques.
Though it is not that popular today but the technique
will surely mark it’s presence in near future as the our
country has a great amount of skilled labour which
get’s familiar to any new technique very quickly.
According to a research in next decade India would be
amongst the top 5 countries using this manufacturing
technique on large scale.
Also there is another side to this coin too.
Many companies are opposing use of this technique on
the basis of less accuracy and rise in unemployement.
If some big companies equip themselves with a 3D
printer then the small companies or the vendors will
not get orders endangering their business growth.
Also the laws regarding the security of the 3D printed
objects are not yet strongly established leaving a loop
hole in the progress of the technique.
The technique has even gone to the grass root level of
production of clothes and even jewellery.
This techniquue according to me might be a revolution
in manufacturing field in coming years prooving it’s
importance in each and every aspect of life.
The aim is to take 3D printer in each house so that
manufacturing will become a household process.