A 3D printer is a machine capable of printing figures with volume from a design made by computer. With volume it means that it has width, length and height. A 3D printer what it really does is to produce a 3D design created with the computer in a physical (real) 3D model. That is, if we have designed in our computer, for example, a simple cup of coffee by means of any CAD program (Computer Aided Design), we can print it in reality by means of the 3D printer and obtain a physical product that would be the own cup of coffee. A 3D printer is something magical, it’s as if we could finally create “nothingness” objects. Objects as simple as a cup of coffee to much more complicated and incredible objects such as parts of an airplane or even human organs using a person’s own cells. The reality is that three-dimensional printers are not very far from the old printers, or perhaps they would be more successful comparing them with plotters. In both cases they are devices with a head that has ink or a drawing tool that moves on a single axis forming points or lines, while the head itself or the paper moves on another axis allowing images to be formed in two dimensions.For with three-dimensional printers we have, as its name suggests, a third dimension that allows volume to “drawings.” In this way, it is enough to have a 3D model of an object, which then thanks to special software will be divided into layers that we will be printing one on top of the other as in a conventional printer.
What can we do with 3D printers?
Keeping a discreet low profile, the 3D printer advances with sure step towards almost all the headings. What can be done with your technology? It allows to print molds, models, decoration, art, medicinal and dental elements, jewelry, footwear and even food. At present, due to their cost, they are not yet available to individuals. In our country they are already used for medical and industrial purposes, and they are making their way into the world of fashion where they promise to modify their industrial sequences. Models, models, prototypes. The most interesting example in footwear has been the shoe that Adidas presented in the middle of a conference on Environment, made with plastic waste collected from the seas and printed in 3D. 3D printing modifies the sequence of the fashion industry, where it is first drawn, a part is assembled to see how the product looks and, finally, it is sent to do. It serves both to make models and to create exclusive pieces.Printing by stereolithography or SLA
This system uses resin sensitive to light that is usually in liquid form. Through the application of ultraviolet light the material becomes solidified. Apply layer by layer to form an object. It allows to make small and very detailed pieces, so it is used in jewelry or medicine. The cost of the machine and the materials is quite high.
Selective sintering by laser or SLS
Uses various powder materials such as ceramics, glass, polystyrene, nylon, etc .; which are compacted by a laser. It is a system that is used in the industry because it is versatile and offers high quality parts. Its disadvantage is that it has a very high price, but it is believed that in the future it will be possible to simplify the process to reduce costs and that will end up being the type of 3D printing that transcends over time.In the clinical field, the use of 3D printing has been developed in fronts such as the manufacture of surgical instruments and their respective support elements and the development of implants and prostheses made to measure for each patient, among others. But perhaps the most disruptive use is the manufacture of models of human parts (bones, organs and even blood vessels) with an extraordinary detail, which are used for training of doctors or for pre-surgery planning. At the University of Malaya, Dr. Vickens Waran, professor of Neurosurgery and director of Surgery at the university hospital, leads the Center for the Integration of Biomedicine and Technology (CBMTI). This organization is a pioneer in the use of 3D printing, for neurosurgery training for medical professionals around the world. This already exists in the world and is a tremendous technological advance that is due to the discovery of 3D printing. The company StrataSys is the world leader in the development of 3D printers, as well as the special materials used for these processes. In Peru this technology also exists, but it is still not very used for pre-surgery planning.It is difficult to predict exactly when that first transplant will occur and which organ will be chosen, although experiments with animals (kidneys and thyroid gland) have already been carried out successfully. One of the fields, as Nieves Cubo explains (a researcher at the Carlos III University of Madrid and a specialist in Bioengineering), in which bioprinting can be very useful in the short term, is that of skin and bones. The skin is the largest organ of the human body (can occupy approximately 2m2 and weigh up to five kilos) and is of great importance as a protective and to preserve the structure of the body. Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service. Our printing centers are exclusively equipped with professional high-performance 3D printers. We offer several materials and finishes. Our service is available to all, whether you are a freelancer, a small business, a large institution that does not have professional 3D printers or a private individual with some creative ideas.