Overview: How 3D Printing works?

How 3D Printing works

3D Printing — also known as additive manufacturing. 3D printers as machines fall under a couple different categories. They are controlled by a computer, making them CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machines. In this article we discuss 3D printing and how it works.

Actually 3D Printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. It brings a digital object (its CAD representation) into its physical form by adding layer by layer of materials.

Designers, Engineers and even Enthusiasts are elaborating innovative applications of this cutting-edge technology. 3D printing is a technique of additive manufacturing which builds objects layer by layer from a 3D file. Basically this process is literally giving you the ability to transform a digital version of an object, into a physical version. There are several different techniques available to 3D Print an object. Basically 3D Printing brings two fundamental innovations: the manipulation of objects in their digital format and the manufacturing of new shapes by addition of materials.

Digital + Additive Manufacturing

How to select the right 3D printing technology?

As we know 3D printing uses computer-aided design (CAD) to create three-dimensional objects through a layered method. We Import the files to the 3D printer, and then the 3D printer will complete the work. All The 3D printing process has its limitations and advantages. All projects have different requirements and the nature of your project will help you determine which process and which material will be perfectly adapted to your 3D printing idea. So Selection of right right process and material is very important. The mechanical properties of your object will depend on the mechanical properties of the material you chose to 3D print. From plastic to resin and metal, a lot of different manufacturing techniques are available for your projects.

According to different working principles, 3D printing technology can be divided into the following three types:

FDM(Fused Deposition Modeling)

FDM technology is to heat and melt the filamentous hot-melt material, and at the same time, under the control of the computer, the three-dimensional nozzle can selectively coat the material on the worktable according to the cross-sectional profile information, and form a layer after rapid cooling section. After the formation of one layer is completed, the machine table is lowered by the height of the one-layer thickness, then form the next layer, work repeatedly until the entire solid shape is formed.

SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)

This technology uses powder spreading to spread a layer of powder material on the upper surface of the molded part and heat it to a temperature just below the sintering point of the powder. The control system controls the laser beam to be on the powder layer according to the cross-sectional profile of the layer. After scanning, the temperature of the powder rises to the melting point, sintering and bonding with the molded part below. After one layer is completed, the workbench is lowered by the height of the one-layer thickness, and the spreading roller spreads a layer of uniform and dense powder on it, and sinters the section of the new layer until the entire model is completed.
SLA (Stereo Lithography Apparatus)

The liquid tank is filled with liquid photosensitive resin, which will quickly cure under the ultraviolet laser beam emitted by the laser (the laser used in SLA and SLS is different, SLA uses ultraviolet laser, and SLS uses infrared laser). At the beginning of forming, the lifting worktable is below the liquid level, exactly one section thick. The laser beam focused by the lens scans the cross-sectional profile along the liquid surface according to the machine instructions. The resin in the scanning area quickly solidifies to complete the processing of a layer of cross-section and obtain a layer of plastic sheet. Then, the workbench is lowered by the height of the one-layer thickness, and then the other layer is cured. Such layers are superimposed to construct a three-dimensional entity.

Advantages of 3D printing

  • Get faster product development with Rapid Prototyping
  • Working on better designs and products
  • Using 3D printing as a production process
  • Mass-customization made easier
  • Make the most of a great competitive advantage
  • Improve your tooling process
  • Rethink your supply chain
  • 3D printing is not that expensive

What are the differences between 3D printing and traditional manufacturing?

3D printing is now a real alternative to traditional manufacturing. Using 3D printers, CNC machines, injection molding or casting are all reliable manufacturing methods, with different advantages.  The additive process allows to create things or parts with complex geometries, impossible to manufacture with traditional manufacturing techniques. Mass customization is very easy with additive manufacturing because you can modify easily or print new iterations with the required modifications.

If you are working for small volumes, additive manufacturing will be the most efficient and low-cost solution. It is very useful when you are developing prototypes or starting to manufacture small batches. No need to create a mold to produce a few parts. You can print 1, 100, or 10K parts with only a few clicks on an online 3D printing service such as PCBWay CNC or 3D printing service.

You can use a mixture of traditional manufacturing and additive manufacturing techniques might be the perfect solution to benefit from these techniques. For example, if you are wondering how to use both metal 3D printing and metal casting, additive manufacturing and classical foundry is used to 3D print the replicas of the master objects. 3D printing allows a high level of details which was not reachable before the use of Additive Manufacturing methods. Additionally 3D printing is allowing to avoid material waste.

3D printing with PCBWay.com?

Whenever your project is clearly identified, you will have to create your 3D model and get an STL file. STL is the most common file format to 3D print, but there are some other file formats you can use. An STL file stores information about your 3D model.

For crating 3D model, you need a 3D modeling software. Let’s understand it with an example, if you need an engineering mechanical software, you can use Fusion 360 or Solid Edge, if you need architecture 3D software, you will use ArchiCAD, or Revit or any other available similar software.

Once you get the *.stl or other similar file then you can upload Design and configure parts to get a quote by visiting this link : https://www.pcbway.com/rapid-prototyping/manufacture/.

If you have any questions or doubts please email at [email protected].

A screenshot of 3D printing quote

PCBWay 3D printing capabilities

3d printing capabilities



Custom Sourced Materials

A variety of 3D Printing metal and plastic part options are available for an instant online quote. If you do not see the material stock you are looking for, please choose “Custom” under the material drop-down on your quote page and submit for an expert engineering review once you have specified features, tolerances, inspection needs, and quantities required.

Visit this link : https://www.pcbway.com/rapid-prototyping/ For more information of PCBWay 3D printing Rapid Prototyping.

What is the future of the 3D printing industry? The evolution of additive manufacturing will not stop there, and new applications will be found in the upcoming years to continue this manufacturing revolution. Join the innovation and start to 3D print now!

Hi, I'm Harshvardhan Mishra. Tech enthusiast and IT professional with a B.Tech in IT, PG Diploma in IoT from CDAC, and 6 years of industry experience. Founder of HVM Smart Solutions, blending technology for real-world solutions. As a passionate technical author, I simplify complex concepts for diverse audiences. Let's connect and explore the tech world together! If you want to help support me on my journey, consider sharing my articles, or Buy me a Coffee! Thank you for reading my blog! Happy learning! Linkedin

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