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An Introduction to 3D Printing

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process used to create 3D objects. Materials are joined and solidified together to construct a shape of virtually any geometry and is commonly used in education lesson plans, hobbyists, prototyping and proof of concept and end use functional parts. A wide range of 3D printing technologies and materials are available on the market depending on the application and budget however by far the most common of these technologies is FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication). FFF 3D printers most commonly print in PLA or ABS plastic however with use of other technologies, it is also possible to 3D print resin, carbon fibre and metal, though these 3D printers are far less cost effective.

Additive manufacturing is a process where material is “added” together to create a 3D object as opposed to other traditional methods of manufacturing which incorporate a subtractive process where material is removed to create a 3D object, such as CNC machining. Additive manufacturing saves waste material, time and cost.

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Key Benefits of 3D Printing

1.

Improve
Time to Market

The ability to produce designs quickly and easily in-house can dramatically speed up the research and design phase of any project.

2.

Reduce
Prototyping Costs

3D Printing materials are a cost effective way to produce multiple incarnations of your designs whilst retaining total control.

3.

Produce
Bespoke Parts

Create one off designs that would be impossible to source from a traditional manufacturer and avoid costly mass production.

4.

Unlimited
Possibilities

3D printing is a fun and versatile way to produce an infinite number of designs and is ideal for professionals and makers alike.

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