3D Printing or Rapid Prototyping is often described as the process of transforming a virtual 3D CAD geometry into a solid object. Parts are built by sequential stacks of thin 2D layers, which thickness depends on the process adopted. Each 2D layer is generated by either bonding (through the use of chemicals such as glues), sintering or solidification (by means of lasers), resulting in different minimum wall thickness, minimum feature size, accuracy and resolution achievable for each process.
Some 3D Printing processes require the incorporation of support structures to hold up overhangs and undercuts of the part. Those supports are usually in the form of thin, column-like structures, which can be made using either the same material as the part or a different one. The removal of these support structures varies from process to process, and can be either manual or semi-automated.
Rapid Prototyping processes available at 3D Plast
At 3D Plast we have a full range of the latest Rapid Prototyping technologies, including:
1) Selective Laser Sintering for Metals (Stainless Steel, Bronze, Silver, Gold) and Plastics (PA, ABS, PP)
2) Stereolithography for high resolution plastic prototypes from UV sensitive epoxy resins.
3) Full colour 3D printing in plaster and ceramics, with a colour range up to 64-bit
4) Fused Deposition Modelling for Thermoplastics (ABS)
5) Vacuum Casting with a wide range of polyurethane and epoxy resins, as well as lead-free metals