3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.
3D printing enables you to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
3D printing has been used to create car parts, smartphone cases, fashion accessories, medical equipment and artificial organs. Charles “Chuck” Hull created the first functional 3D printer in 1984 and the technology has come a long way ever since then. Manufacturing corporations and aerospace organizations have saved billions of dollars by using 3D printing for building parts. 3D printing has also helped save lives. One of the best ways to learn about what 3D printing can do is by researching real-life applications on the technology.
In short, practically 3D printing is using everywhere. Aerospace, medicine, education – the list goes on. It’s empowering people to make functional prototypes saving money and reducing risk. It’s changing and enriching lives.
You can see some field that 3D printing is useful for, in blow.
3D printing has become a vital tool for aerospace engineers, making rapid prototyping, tooling and even part manufacturing easier and more cost efficient. All this can now take place on-site, ensuring trade secrets never leave their facility.
With an Ultimaker by your side everything becomes far more efficient. Within hours you’ll have a concept model in your hands – and at a fraction of the cost too. But why stop at one model? With 3D printing, you can let the creativity flow crafting many iterations until you’re satisfied.
By their very nature, artists are always looking for new ways to express themselves. With 3D printing, you can craft beautiful work that fuses both 3D modeling and traditional finishes.
With an Ultimaker you can 3D print highly accurate, functional prototypes or tools that can withstand lots of abuse. This gives engineers and designers the ability to improve and test designs quickly. And it cuts down lead times to days, instead of weeks compared to traditional methods.
When engineering bold new designs, 3D printing let’s you try new prototypes, addressing problems and finding solutions as you go, all in only a matter of hours. Even those with complex internal structures and geometries, something traditional methods just can’t offer.
3D printing has an amazing way of enabling minds to make something fresh and innovative. Exactly the same attributes as Fablabs and Makerspaces. Focused on learning and education, they’re spreading the spirit of making everywhere they can.
3D printing is unleashing a whole new wave of fashion. Designers can accessorize outfits with jewelry, prototype new ideas such as 3D printed shoes, and even 3D print an entire collection, no matter how complex.
3D printing has the power to positively affects thousands of lives. From Ultimaker 3D printers in emergency situations to making new hands for kids, the world is a happier place with 3D printing there to help.
The intricate nature of jewelry requires a keen eye for detail. And now many professional jewelers are embracing Ultimaker 3D printers for testing concepts, casting and even finishing their craft.
With its streamlined and efficient method, 3D printing is shrinking supply chains, reducing development times and increasing the ability to adapt to customers’ needs. This isn’t the future of manufacturing – it’s now.
In a field where breakthroughs save lives, Ultimaker 3D printers are helping doctors, researchers and medical equipment manufacturers to visualize procedures, test ideas quickly and personalize healthcare like never before.
By 3D printing functional prototypes, product designers can get feedback in the early design stages. This makes product development far more efficient. And designers have more time to do what they love – design.
Researchers are turning to 3D printing to help them craft prototypes. Our 3D printers can create near impossible geometries in production-grade plastics, precise forms with multiple material properties and pretty much anything else. All without confidential information leaving your lab.
3D printing is being used in many schools to create interactive, mechanical and technical lessons. This inspires young minds and makes learning more fun.
An Ultimaker 3D printer is a revolutionary teaching tool in secondary education. Help your students create prototypes or parts, and learn hands on about 3D design and digital manufacturing.
An Ultimaker is an invaluable tool at university level learning. Students can print durable prototypes. While teachers can create models to teach subjects that are hard to explain in 2D like anatomy. And so much more.
DIY, hobbies and home
The maker movement is empowering people across the globe to make things for themselves. Functional things. Beautiful things. Or experimental projects. That’s the joy of 3D printing – it’ll take you anywhere.