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What is the Basic Process of 3D Printing? Additive manufacturing or AM or commonly known as 3D printing, points out to the processes to synthesize a three dimensioned object with successive layers that end up an object with the control of a computer. Considered as the signal of the third industrial revolution, 3d printing succeeded the production line assembly in the manufacturing industry. Another simple definition of 3d printing or additive manufacturing, is that it is a process that makes three dimensional solid objects with the use of a digital file. Creating a 3D printed object is a result of an additive process where successive layers of material are laid down until the object is formed. The object is created by layers of thinly sliced horizontal cross section. You can start the process by making a virtual design of the object that you have in mind to create. An example of a virtual design is a CAD or computer aided design file using a 3D scanner that makes a 3D digital copy of the object in mind. Know that 3D scanners have different technologies in order t generate a 3D model like volumetric scanning, structured or modulated light and others. Today, there are companies that developed their hardware to be able to perform 3D scanning. It is envisioned that future models of smart phones could have integrated 3D scanners. The prices of 3D scanners today would range from the expensive professional industrial devices to a cheap DIY scanners that one can make at home.
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There are also different forms of 3D modelling software. For example is the industrial grade software that costs thousands per year for its license alone. Another form is a free open source software where you can find some beginner video tutorials.
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If you want to get started with 3D printing, it is suggested that you ask yourself what you like to learn first, is it the hardware or you want to concentrate on creating objects. A 3D printer for beginners are being created to assist buyers in deciding should they choose a pre-assembled 3D printer or a 3D printer kit. If you have limited budget but wants to learn 3D printing, you can start with a cheap 3D printer kit to start with. Note that now all 3D printers have the same technology. Considered as the most common technologies are the selective laser sintering or SLS and the fused deposition modelling or FDM. Another method using similar power source of one layer at a time is the most common technology called SLA or stereolithography. Rapid prototyping, architectural scale models, healthcare and entertainment are some areas where 3D applications can be further used. Paleontology, archaeology, forensic pathology and in crime scenes can make use of 3D printing for the jobs on hand.