Compared with the equivalent material manufacturing process 3D printing has many advantages, and many articles have carried out detailed analysis and elaboration.
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1. The design space is unlimited . For items with complex geometric structures (such as items with very complex topological structures or cavity structures), traditional manufacturing processes cannot be processed, and the items need to be decomposed and processed separately and then assembled. 3D printing decomposes the object into 2D areas layer by layer, so there is no problem in processing arbitrarily complex objects, and the processing accuracy depends only on the smallest material particles that the printer can output. This is the biggest advantage that 3D printing brings to us, allowing designers to design arbitrarily complex geometric shapes with unlimited design space. It is this advantage that gives us a large number of problems to be solved in geometric design and optimization, which will be detailed later.
2. Zero skill manufacturing . Traditional manufacturing process equipment is huge and expensive, and requires high skills to operate. 3D printers (such as FDM 3D printers) are small and cheap, and some have entered the home, which are simple and convenient to use; compared to expensive molds, 3D printing only needs a digital file to form. Therefore, through 3D printing, the personalized design and customization of products can be easily realized, which greatly shortens the development time of products. This advantage has given us non-mechanical researchers who are also able to conduct related research on geometry, structure, materials, etc., which greatly deepens and expands related research issues in manufacturing.
3. Unlimited combinations of materials . The multi-jet 3D printer can print multiple materials in combination. Through the stacking and combination of materials, the printed objects have different physical and mechanical properties from a single material. Therefore, through the combination of different materials, "new materials" with different properties can be produced. This advantage provides us with the use of controlling the distribution of materials to control the physical, mechanical and structural characteristics of the items, so as to produce a variety of items and increase the flexibility of the product.
In short, the three most valued advantages of 3D printing technology are accelerating the product development process, providing personalized and customized products, and increasing production flexibility. From the perspective of the molding process, 3D printing has broken through the traditional molding method. It does not need to make molds and mechanical processing in advance. Through the combination of rapid automatic prototyping hardware systems and CAD software models, various products with complex shapes can be manufactured, which makes the product design and production cycle It is greatly shortened, and the production cost is greatly reduced.
Of course, as a young molding process , 3D printing still has many shortcomings, such as slow molding time, low precision, few types of materials, and inability to mass produce. At this stage, the actual use of 3D printing still belongs to the category of rapid prototyping, which is to provide enterprises with the manufacture of product prototypes before producing formal products, which is also called prototype in the industry. Therefore, the 3D printing molding process currently exists as a complementary way to the traditional manufacturing process , and it will take time to become the mainstream manufacturing technology. But we must believe that mankind’s pursuit of technology is limitless. With the continuous progress of the research and development of 3D printing equipment and printing materials, 3D printing technology will be more and more widely used.
From another perspective, 3D printing technology has moved manufacturing from the factory to the family, spawning a large number of individual designers (ie makers), and inspiring unlimited creative design possibilities. This is the author believes that 3D printing technology can bring the greatest significance to the public, which will be explained in detail later.
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