3D Printing, a patented MIT process, refers to the process of using an ink-jet print head to lay down a liquid adhesive on a layer of powder, binding the powder particles together. First, a thin distribution of powder is spread over the surface of a powder bed. From a computer model of the desired part, a slicing algorithm computes information for the layer. Using a technology similar to ink-jet printing, a binder material joins particles where the object is to be formed.
A piston then lowers so that the next powder layer can be spread and selectively joined. This layer-by-layer process repeats until the part is completed. Following a heat treatment, the loose powder is removed, leaving the fabricated part.
Some of the applications of this process include —
|Part made by Z Corp’s 3D Printing Process|
- Soligen is using ceramic powders to directly produce investment castings.
Extrude Hone uses it for direct metal tooling.
Z Corporation uses the process to create conceptual models out of cellulose, engineered plaster and other types of powders. The company also has machines capable of producing color models.