Printing 101 – How It All Works

If you’ve seen 3D printing in the news more and more recently, you’re probably wondering what all the hype is about. These days, it’s hard to scroll through your social media feeds without seeing cool 3D printing videos. But how does it work?

What’s 3D Printing?

For many years, the word ‘printing’ has been associated with sending an image from a computer onto a sheet of paper. For example, it could be an image of an elephant. The image is sent to the printer, and the printer projects this image onto a sheet of paper line by line. Well, 3D printers are precisely as the name describes – printers that take an image and create a three-dimensional object of this image.

Sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, the whole process has generated excitement worldwide because of the possibilities that come with 3D printing services from Amiga Engineering. Already, companies have invested billions into this technology. Like computers, artificial intelligence, smartphones, and all technology before it, 3D printers started as bulky and expensive. As more investment is made, the technology supporting the idea improves, and the units become more affordable.

How Does 3D Printing Work?

When thinking about 3D printing, it’s best to simplify, and this starts by taking a loaf of bread. Just a standard loaf of bread that you buy every week in the supermarket. People in the store bake the bread and then slice it before putting it into the bag. With 3D printing, it’s essentially the reverse of this process because it makes something in slices. Imagine the chef baking the ten different pieces of bread and then gluing each to the next to make a loaf – this is essentially what we’re doing with 3D printing.

To start, you’ll use particular software on a computer to develop a three-dimensional model of an object. Rather than printing as a whole object, 3D printing splits the object into tiny slices (just as we saw with the bread example). Then, it prints each of the thousands of slices, and they stick together as each is printed.

As well as simple objects, 3D printing is steadily improving to print more complex designs. For instance, it’s now possible to print wheels, hinges, and other features.

Is 3D Printing Useful?

At the moment, limitations exist with 3D printers, but they’re quickly disappearing. At first, artificial intelligence marketing models were only available to the biggest companies with the largest budgets. Now, tools are affordable for smaller businesses and even startups. It’s expected that the same will happen with 3D printing. Companies will continue to invest and develop better models, consumers will continue with their interests, and printers will soon be widely accessible.

In particular, this has opened many doors for engineers, designers, and similar industries. Could some companies soon manufacture their own products rather than outsourcing to another service with the right resources? Could 3D printers allow for a cheaper design and testing process for engineers and designers?

3D printers are already transforming industries of this nature, and it’s an emerging technology from a consumer perspective. Imagine being at home and printing something that you recently broke and is no longer available on the market. You aren’t chasing suppliers around the world, and you aren’t waiting six weeks for delivery. Everything happens in your own living room.

What’s more, it helps with personalisation in the home. Suddenly, you can print items designed for your home rather than having to make sacrifices. 3D printing continues to emerge, and we can’t wait to see what happens next as the technology improves!