14 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2014
    1. Application

      Make use of the newly printed object or objects.

    2. Postprocessing

      Many 3-D printers will require some amount of post-processing for the printed object. This could include brushing off any remaining powder or bathing the printed object to remove water-soluble supports. The new print may be weak during this step since some materials require time to cure, so caution might be necessary to ensure that it doesn't break or fall apart.

    3. Removal

      Remove the printed object (or multiple objects in some cases) from the machine. Be sure to take any safety precautions to avoid injury such as wearing gloves to protect yourself from hot surfaces or toxic chemicals.

    4. Build

      Let the machine do its thing; the build process is mostly automatic. Each layer is usually about 0.1 mm thick, though it can be much thinner or thicker [source: Wohlers]. Depending on the object's size, the machine and the materials used, this process could take hours or even days to complete. Be sure to check on the machine periodically to make sure there are no errors.

    5. Machine Setup

      Each machine has its own requirements for how to prepare for a new print job. This includes refilling the polymers, binders and other consumables the printer will use. It also covers adding a tray to serve as a foundation or adding the material to build temporary water-soluble supports.

    6. Transfer to AM Machine and STL File Manipulation

      A user copies the STL file to the computer that controls the 3-D printer. There, the user can designate the size and orientation for printing. This is similar to the way you would set up a 2-D printout to print 2-sided or in landscape versus. portrait orientation.

    7. Conversion to STL

      Convert the CAD drawing to the STL format. STL, which is an acronym for standard tessellation language, is a file format developed for 3D Systems in 1987 for use by its stereolithography apparatus (SLA) machines [source: RapidToday.com]. Most 3-D printers can use STL files in addition to some proprietary file types such as ZPR by Z Corporation and ObjDF by Objet Geometries.

    8. Step 1: CAD

      Produce a 3-D model using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The software may provide some hint as to the structural integrity you can expect in the finished product, too, using scientific data about certain materials to create virtual simulations of how the object will behave under certain conditions.

    1. Photopolymerization

      a 3-D printing technology whereby drops of a liquid plastic are exposed to a laser beam of ultraviolet light. During this exposure, the light converts the liquid into a solid. The term comes from the roots photo, meaning light, and polymer, which describes the chemical composition of the solid plastic.

    1. multi-jet modeling

      which creates wax prototypes quickly with dozens of nozzles working simultaneously

    1. Additive manufacturing

      the family of manufacturing technology that includes 3-D printing. AM is the means of creating an object by adding material to the object layer by layer. AM is the current terminology established by ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) [source: Gibson, et al.]. Throughout its history, additive manufacturing in general has gone by various names: stereolithography, 3-D layering and 3-D printing. This article uses 3-D printing because it seems to be the most common term used to describe AM products.


      30.5 L x 30.5 W x 45.7 H CM 12.0 L x 12.0 W x 18.0 H IN 2,592 CUBIC INCHES