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3d Printer: the beginning of the future is today
D.Y. Panasiuk, ES-62
T.V. Pochatko, EL Advicer
There is a device that can quickly and inexpensively transforms your design ideas or scientific data into hand-held, concrete reality. Using it you can watch appearing of some object before your eyes. All it takes is a click of a mouse; a flick of a switch and you can have almost anything, made to order. Researchers are on the edge of technical revolution. With this remarkable technology, you can quickly and inexpensively transform your design ideas or scientific data into hand-held, concrete reality
The technical name for this box of tricks is a 3D printer. Where an ordinary printer lays down a single 2D layer of ink on a sheet of paper, the new device is built on other concepts.
Rapid prototyping is a technology that takes a three-dimensional computer model and builds a three-dimensional part by building layers upon layer of material. Its speed and low cost allow design teams to confirm their new designs early and frequently in the process. Solid made objects you can hold in your hands, submit to testing, or assemble into working mechanisms. Models may have hollow sections, interlocking pieces, and even functional moving parts
All these processes essentially start with nothing and end with a completed part. This is in contrast to conventional manufacturing processes such as milling machines that start from a solid block of a substance and cut material away to form the finished part
Producing of such devices needs a lot of time, and requires well-trained specialists. But fabbers will be able to replicate itself in future.
The "self replicating rapid prototyper" or RepRap could vastly reduce the cost of 3D printers, by making 3D printer capable of fabricating parts of printer or even copies of ready-made devices. This technology is very constrained in access to materials. They must be sturdy enough to make up the body of the machine and yet simple enough to be fabricated entirely by the machine. There is a necessity to avoid any design needing lasers and high precision measuring systems.
In spite of all 3D printers are based on the same maxims, each of them has its own peculiarities. According to it fabber classification is approved: Stereo Lithography printer, Selective Laser Sintering, Laminated Object Manufacturing
Producers of 3D printers are trying to get this technology into as many hands as possible, that's why the kit is designed to be as simple as possible. It's liberating and enormously fun. Once you've used one you never want to go back. One day it will replace traditional models of manufacturing. In future people will swap plans of things to make online, or pay to download them instead of going to the shop.
Advancements of Missouri University allow printing intermediates of biological organs, using modified bubble jet printer. Clots of cells replace ink in container. Special bio gel is used instead of paper. Printing performs in several layers, so we can get volumetrically structure of cells. It can imitate the whole organ. Of course, printing of something that can replace human working organ is too difficult problem now but this technology is still in process.
It currently takes seven days to make a chair from scratch, but soon it will take only seven hours, and then seven minutes. You'll be able to inject different colors and textures. People will be able to design their own objects, and 3-D objects will at last join the open-source movement. There will be 3D printing stations in all neighborhoods all over the world. That will save energy because there will be no need for warehouses and trucks. And the process will use only as much material as is necessary - no waste. This, of course, is a few years from now, but the beginning of the future is today.
|D. Y. Panasiuk, es-62|