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Thursday, June 25, 2015

3D Printing Techniques

Written For : blog.mechguru.com
3D Printing is the process of additive manufacturing & a competitor for material removal processes (eg. lathe). The desired products are designed in design software (eg.Autodesk Inventor) with desired dimensions and saved as STL file.
(STL - Stereolithographic File :: Which disintegrates the 3D into tetrahedral components). STL file is directly fed onto the 3D Printer for manufacturing.

::Additive manufacturing::

It is process of adding layer by layer of material with a binder between the layers. In this method there is no material wastage.
The product which is impossible to create in lathes can easily be created in a 3D printer (Additive Manufacturer).

::Methodologies adopted in 3D Printing::

According to ASTM (American Society for testing and Materials) standardized the 3D Printing technologies into 7 Categories:

1. VAT Photo polymerization (Invented in 1986 for 3D Systems)
VAT- Container
Photo polymerization: Creation of bonds using Light (UV)

:Steps Followed:
**The Container (VAT) is filled with photo polymer resin.
1. Platform Descends @ .05 mm per second.
2. Laser projects light on the resin which cures to form solid according to the STL File loaded.
3. Wiper moves across cross section and re coats the material freshly.
4. Step 1 is again followed.

2. Material Jetting (eg. Stratasys’ Objet500 Connex 3D )
It is similar to inkjet printer used nowadays. 

* The Material and the binder is stored in 2 Cartridges which is injected through a nozzle.
* UV rays are used to cure the material.

3. Binder Jetting ( MIT invented this technology @ 1993, whereas Z Corporation commercialized this @ 1995  ) 
**Material: Powder
**Binder  : Liquid

*The Adhesive is dropped on the powder above the platform 
*The Powder from the left reservoir is sent to the right and the platform moves down slowly.
*A Leveling Roller is rolled on it.
*The Powder becomes hard similar to sintering and the desired object is obtained.

4. Material Extrusion ( 1980 :: It is used by Stratasys )

1. Molten Material is send through the nozzle.
2. The Platform has 4 Degrees of Freedom (4 DOF).
3. The Platform is moved according to the model desired to be created.

Note: Since the material is molten, no binder is required.

5. Power Bed Fusion ( 1980 :: Invented by Dr. Carl Deckard )

**The Technology used in this process is Selective LASER Sintering (SLS).
**POWDER --> SOLID by fusing the powder with LASER.

*It uses a High power laser for fusing powder into solid.
*After the scanning, the Bed is lowered accordingly.
*Then a layer of new material is spread by roller and it continues as a cycle.

6. Sheet Lamination ( Mcor technologies uses this method)

*In this process a Ultrasonic Sonotrode is used to give the Vibration for upper metal foil.
*The Lower metal foil Experiences a reaction force and thereby a solid state bond is formed between the two metals.

7. Direct Energy Deposition.( Sciaky is one of the Companies which uses this method )

*LASER is projected on to the work piece which creates a fusion/molten region.
*Power Stream is projected on to the molten region to create the additive region.


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