Additive Manufacturing (AM) or commonly known as 3D printing is the process of making a 3D solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. It is a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing technologies, such as traditional manufacturing.
Early use of 3D printing in the form of Rapid Prototyping focused on preproduction visualization models. More recently, 3D printing is being used to fabricate end-use products in aircraft, dental restorations, medical implants, automobiles, and even fashion products.
With the 3D printing technology powered by Stratasys, it emphasize on design prototyping, functional testing or even directly manufacturing the part from 3D printer itself. The core concept behind 3D printing is the possibility of customization which reflects on high value, high complexity parts that traditional manufacturing is unable to cope with. Many manufacturers rely on AM technology for R&D purposes whereby entrepreneurs using it to create novel design, flourishing new innovative inventions to town.
Two main 3D printing technologies under IME:-
- FDM Technology (Fused Deposition Modeling), is known for its reliability and durable parts, extrudes fine lines of molten thermoplastic, which solidify as they are deposited.
- PolyJet Technology, known for its smooth, detailed surfaces and ability to combine multiple materials in one part, employs an inkjet-style method to build parts from liquid photopolymers in fine droplets immediately cured with ultraviolet light.