3D Printers Into Every Realm Of Humanity
3D Printers have made their presence in the market for about a decade now, but their dominance is far from the reality. This is not because of their impracticality or feasibility issues on large scale productions, but because of the lack of initial investments, and even most heard brands such as Makerbot or Pirate3D, a Singaporean based company, are disappearing into the vastness after an ephemeral kickoff.
This entire thing is scientifically called as Additive Manufacturing or AM, which creates objects by “printing” them using ink analogous plastic substrate and joining them together to give rise to the final shape. This is in contrary to the traditionally known methods, the ones since Stone Age, where a block of wood or any other material is taken first, chipped away, drilled and made into a desired shape. The traditional process is called Subtractive Manufacturing. The term Additive Manufacturing is widely used by ASTM to refer to the process of joining layers of a material, one above another, and creating a shape out of it. The 3D Printers are used in architecture, fashion industry, engineering, automobiles, dentistry, health, prosthetics, apparel, civil engineering, environmental science and eco-friendly products, and many more.
The first of its kind was revealed by a group of researchers from UCL, Riverside, where they have developed a material called Sponge, which is used with swimsuits and bathing suits made entirely out of the 3D printing structure, can be used to clean water bodies such as oceans.
- The Sponge can repel water and absorb up to 25 times its weight of pollutants without causing any harm at all to the person.
In an another case of an engineering feat, students from MIT have revealed G3DP, by which they have made it possible to create 3D printed objects in exactly the same way but using glass. Yes, they have found out a way to melt glass and use a special nozzle made of alumina-silica-zirconium to lay layers of melted glass just like a soft cream ice-cream. This technology can create complex glass structures that are simply unimaginable with the current standards and techniques used in glass manufacturing for the packaging industry. According to the researchers, this technology can be used to create optical fibers that can transmit data more efficiently or for building facades that are aerodynamically designed for better performance.
- World’s first 3D printed glass ornaments by MIT shall be displayed in an exhibition at the Smithsonian Design Museum in New York in 2016.
In a yet another invention, it was recently made possible to produce 3D printed material in color. Yes, those who have had any experience or have closely followed this domain of engineering must admit that the products are nothing but shadows of real world objects as they possess no color, and provide only a rudimentary control over the final tint. Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute of Technology in Germany have found a way to print these structures, not by layers, but by voxels, that is, the exact analogous to ink droplets used by inkjet printers.