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3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is nothing more than a process useful for creating three-dimensional objects without any constructive constraints starting from a digital file called an STL file.

The realization of an object thanks to 3D printing takes place through the use of additive processes as the object is created by arranging overlapping layers of material until the final completion.

Each of these layers can be seen as a horizontal cross-section of the object

3D printing allows you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods, as there is no waste as was the case with subtractive manufacturing.

 

What are the advantages of printers?

  • They reduce the time to market that is the time that passes between the phase of planning of the object
  • They make it possible to produce extremely complex geometries that are difficult to achieve with traditional production systems
  • On demand production without wasting material
  • Realization of lighter and at the same time performing parts
  • Customization on request, almost without constraints

How does it work?

The principle of operation of a 3D printer is similar to that of inkjet printers, or almost, and consists of three phases:

  • design
  • press
  • post-production

First of all it is necessary to create a 3D model using special programs, thus obtaining a three-dimensional file which will then be “sent” to the printer…

… Then the printer will create a model by transforming a 3D CAD drawing into many two-dimensional and transversal layers by depositing layers of filament.

One layer at a time, from bottom to top, the printer deposits filaments (so-called layers) by repeatedly printing on the same area with a method known as fused deposition modelling.

In English this technique is called FDM, Fused deposition modelling or FFF Fused Filament Fabrication.

 

The material used in 3D printing

The material used for 3D printing is commonly and trivially defined plastic, but there are many types of plastic materials.

3D printers specifically use thermoplastic polymers, which are plastic materials that melt when heated and become solid when cooled.

Thanks to continuous research and the presence of increasingly professional materials, it is now possible to find molded parts in FDM and destined for final use in the production equipment of many automotive plants and even in airplanes.

We at NXT SPEED are always looking for new materials, and we study their textures and characteristics to satisfy the requests of our customers…. run to see the FDM materials section on our site!