April 10, 2013

3D Printing - The Next Gen Manufacturing Technology!

Hi Guys,

One of the modern technologies that has been gaining a lot of momentum is 3D Printing. It is a technology that has captivated me for some time. This technology is said to be the future of manufacturing and it will be able to replace many of the traditional methods. So far the concept of Mass Customization has been difficult to achieve. But this technology is capable to creating really Customized products.

Generally all the traditional machining works are done by taking a metal (or material) and removing the unwanted portions from the material. All the traditional methods that are done with the help of Lathe, Planers, Milling Machines, Drilling machines are based on this method of material removal.

Objects printed with a 3D printer
3D printing is something different. You design the object in computer software. You feed the design to a 3D printer. The object is designed by means of Additive process. It means that the material is laid down successively in different shapes and the end product is formed.

The 3D printing machines are expensive. In particular if you want 3D printer that will be able to work on Metals it is very expensive since technologies like Electron Beam and Direct Metal Laser Beam are required. Currently the technology is commonly used with Thermoplastics and Polymer materials as they have a low melting point.

The uses of this technology are very vast. Imagine a Jewellery shop. With the help of this technology they will be able to create a vast amount of models in a matter of few minutes. A customer can find out whether a model would be good or not by means of a prototype. In fields like Dental care and Healthcare, where many minute dimensions come into play, this technology can help improving the efficiency.

Generally all the big manufacturing industries that work in Niche areas like Aerospace, Power plants, Architectures where each design is different, create prototypes before constructing the actual model. This technology can redefine the creation of Prototype. It can create prototypes accurately and save lot of time. Due to this, a concept called Rapid Prototyping has come.

Creation of models does not look like a difficult process any more. I have seen lot of students come up with good models in CAD software, but creating a real model is a very difficult task.

The cost of 3D printers has also come down within a short span of time. It is said that a 3D printer that cost $20000 in 2010 costs just $1000 now. In the next few years, it will cost even low. This has created a lot of interest among designers who now have the real chance of seeing their designs transform into live models.

I found this video on Youtube that portrays how the 3D printer can change the future world and how it has been progressing. It is a 6 minute Video.

If you have free time, check Wikipedia about 3D printing and you will be able to gather more information.

Happy Reading!!!


  1. WOW! This would be something really interesting to work with, having a dummy prototype model in front of our eyes in minutes can help and enhance the creativity so much more. Surely, would love to see the technology in effect soon.

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  3. Hello Karthick, I was curious about the 3D printing technology and it has been popping up in the news from time to time. I loved reading your blog and understood it in a technical perspective. The video was also helpful in showing the process of how the 3D printing service actually happens.


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