3D PRINTING (rapid prototyping)

Tanzeela Kousar

3D means three-dimensional. Printing is a process for reproducing text and images, typically with ink on paper using a print press. 3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model.
A 3D model is built up layer by layer. Therefore the whole process is called rapid prototyping, or 3D printing. RAPID PROTOTYPING a common process of rapid prototyping is to apply a fine powder (plaster, bioplastic, polyurethane, polyester, epoxy, metal, etc.) in such a 3D inkjet printers. Printer prints out the layer of powder and form a fixed object. 3D printing technology has been around since the 1980s. The first working 3D printer was created in 1984 by chuck Hull. Since the start of the 21st century there has been a large growth in the sales of these machines and their price has dropped substantially.
3D printing works in different stages. The first method uses a pool of chemicals that turns solid when light, typically a UV laser, is shone on to it. The laser moves across a thin layer of liquid, drawing the required design. Once the first layer is finished the resulting solid is lowered to allow a second thin layer of liquid to be deposited on its surface.
The laser is then used to outline and solidify the design. More and more layers are built up until the final product is finished. A second method uses molten ink that becomes solid when it emerges from the printer head. Designs are drawn out by the ink and again built up layer by layer until the final product is complete. A final method uses layers of powdered material, held together with glue or heated to fuse the powder together, to translate the design into reality.
Now a day’s 3D printers are widely used in different fields like in Architecture, Mechanical, Medical and many others.Scientists now Use 3D printing to create artificial organs that can be used in transplants to help needy patients.
3D printing can immensely improve defense systems by helping to create complex weaponry.
Defense experts claim that the technology can for example be used to create weapons so small that are almost impossible to detect.
The Photonic Professional GT is a 3D printer that can create objects of widths as small as a human hair. This 3D printer has extended the applications of 3D printing into fabrication of micro and nano structures.
The biggest possible disadvantage of 3D printing is counterfeiting or production of “fake” stuff. It is difficult to trace the source of fake items. If you give technology in the hands of people, there will always be a few who would use it for the wrong purposes, and 3D printing is no exception. With everything being created with a click of the mouse, this technology can be easily used to create guns and other dangerous weapons.