When anyone first hears about 3D printing and what it can do, they’ll be inclined to believe that these printers came from the future. What many don’t know is that modern 3D printing has been around 39 years. The first patent was given to Dr. Hideo Kodama in 1980; his idea was revolutionary, using a technique called photopolymer rapid prototyping. He used this technique to harden a material using UV rays, unfortunately, it was only for research, and he never introduced it to the market.
A major key patent on 3D printing technology has expired in 2009, MakerBot took advantage of this and managed to bring 3D technology out to the masses. They started with open-source DIY kits since this was the best way for people to design their own 3D printers with specific properties in mind. After Makerbot’s introduction, 3D printing technology skyrocketed and started developing rapidly. It’s never easy to figure out what kind of 3D printer you may be needing and what size, and of course what brand.
Pros and cons of 3D printing materials
While the plastic is still dominating the 3D printing material world, many fall under the false impression that it’s the only one used. Any material in its solid state can be used in 3D printing, many are being developed and the list is growing more interesting every day.
This is a tougher material to substitute for silk, which has a high yield point; this means that the material can withstand high strengths keeping its original properties without breaking.
While this filament is not made entirely out of wood, it gives a beautiful wood-like finish which looks expensive when it actually isn’t. The look depends on using wood particles with polymers like polylactic acid and a gluing polymer.
Like the wood filament, this mainly is made out of metal particles bound by PLA and a polymer to glue them together.
There are many other filaments varies from flexible to rigid, cheap and expensive, filaments that will dissolve in water or other solutions, and even conductive filaments that the market is still experimenting with. Likewise, there are different printing techniques that depend on the material, printer, and awaited outcome. Direct metal laser sintering is a technique that falls far away from plastic printing yet is heavily used in the making of prototypes or industrial products.