The excitement of 3D-printing has steadily accelerated over the last decade – but it’s the excitement in many ways ahead of the innovation and development in this area. As a researcher in the field of 3D-printing techniques, I have built a 3D-printers, using all major technologies, as well as more experimental.
What I have learned that many of these technologies consists of a very well-known materials, software problems and mechanical systems – things that the engineers have done for decades. This, then, begs the question: why is not 3D-printing better? Why failure rates as high reproducibility and why so difficult? Clearly, this is not because of the work with exotic materials or extended motion control. What actually hinders innovation, as we think about the technology:. As individual parts rather than as elements of
Several elements of the ecosystem
By shifting our view that with regard to 3D printing, and seeing it as a system of components, we can change our understanding of its features. We usually break the system into the following components:
- Design :. This pretty much means that we, the users of technology, ask him to do for us
- Equipment :. Machines that actually do the work of additive processes to make physical things
- Materials :. This includes all kinds of resin, metal, ceramic, plastic or materials that are transformed into functional objects of 3D printing technology
- software Converts the project data into manufacturing, as well as software on the machine and the software that routes data from the machines
The most problematic and often overlooked element in the ecosystem can be found in the broken ways, intended to connect each domain to another. The old-fashioned ways of thinking prevent us really realize the potential of 3D-printing. By changing the way we think about the 3D-printing systems to embrace the nature of the family of technologies, we can begin to actually use it against the real problems.
We continue to design for older technologies. Almost everything that is printed today was designed (consciously or not) to another manufacturing process. Just as the design for the computer numerical controlled machining or injection molding, the additive processes succeed when they are used in geometry, designed for a particular process. There are a lot of efforts to develop new design tools to allow us to design better processes additives, but progress begins with the recognition of additives production as just another fabrication process with strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered during the design process.
We still Construction machinery prototypes. Current machine generalists rather than specialists. How prototyping machines, they are designed for the lowest common denominator of performance. This results in a machine that can do many things, but it can do little things as well. We must change our view of the very purpose of these machines, and ask what the problem they solve. Rather than build a machine and then looking for the problem, which corresponds to the inside, we have to build the car around the real problems that need solving.
equipment actually comes to software. In addition to focusing on real industrial applications, we have an architect machine to use the software. This means the construction of “smart” machines, which are highly Instrumented with sensors and connected to the web to provide monitoring and analytics in real time. One example is Autodesk Amber, which has sensors that allow him to gracefully recover from unexpected errors, improve printing reliability report its user when it completed its work and allow other users to check its status remotely.
Materials: multicompound compared Mesostructure. Perhaps one of the biggest opportunities 3D printing technology is its ability to realize the difficulty of cheap materials. As designers, we are used to bind to specific types of properties of matter, and we call it “stuff.” For example, wooden beams and a piece of paper have very different properties and serve different purposes, but in the end both of cellulose fibers (cellulose). What really distinguishes them as the cellulose is organized and structured. We call the structure of which is greater than microcrystalline (tens of microns or less) and is less than the human scale (centimeter to meters) mesostructure.
old-fashioned way of thinking prevented us really realize the potential of 3D-printing.
general purpose 3D-printing is the ability to print multiple materials with one machine to achieve several properties for one object or design. Nevertheless, mesostructure design allows to gain more value from the same material. Instead of relying on a variety of materials for different operating characteristics of the particular designer can use several mesostructures create an object with the required characteristics (soft, firm, elastic, breathable, and so on), using only one car and one material.
With the principle Mesostructure, designers no longer have to compromise and can, in fact, the design is much more flexibility and power than ever before. This opens up a huge untapped potential of 3D-printers and opens new horizons in the design.
Putting it all together
Once we can actually design these elements to interact with each other and their respective technologies and to build the original production decisions with attendant systems, we can integrate everything that the industry has learned over the past 25 years, and begin to apply it
- Openness: Availability is extremely important for innovation. If the barrier or to the application of new material to provide a complete machine, it will not be overcome.
- Modularity :. This approach is important both for the attractive applications and to attract a wider range of materials
- Contact :. Connecting to the network will enable data analysis and deeper integration with software support for more complex monitoring
- Destination: As we have seen with the mythical consumer market 3D printing industry will not move forward if it pursues the wrong problem. We must use the power of this technology where it makes a big impact.
The core of the technology is not holding back industry, a system in which they live, that is.