Startups & 3D Printing Technology
3D printing is one of the most popular and widely used production methods in the current generation because of its simplicity and its economic value. The term 3D printing itself covers the idea of this technology which is the capability to produce different types of parts using different materials with different methods. 3D printing was introduced in the early 1980’s in the name of Additive Manufacturing or rapid prototyping. They were first used for producing the prototypes and were found to be cost effective production technology. With advancements in technology and new inventions, several methods of 3D printing was emerging which includes Stereo lithography (SLA), Fused Deposited Modeling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), single jet and multi jet fusion and so on.
Liberty Acoustics have made 3d printing the prime source of the manufacturing method starting from prototyping to the end product as it holds various advantages both economically and environmentally. The main advantage for our startup is that products can be printed on demand from the customers and the customizability that is possible with this production method. The prime motive of Liberty Acoustics is delivering customers with eco-friendly innovative lean products which is possible with 3d printing.
How it works?
3D printing is one of the Additive Manufacturing technologies, which is nothing but producing the product layer by layer. Initially the part that has to be manufactured has to be designed in CAD software based on the design considerations for 3D printing including the dimensional tolerances, material selection and so on. This designed CAD file has to be saved in a STL format for the 3D printer to read and print accordingly. 3D printer has to be calibrated according to the material such as Nozzle temperature, Print Bed temperature and fan speed. The 3d printing characteristics such as layer thickness, wall thickness, infill density makes the print quality better. And support material has to set for parts that are inclined over 50 degrees. With advancements in technology dissolving support material has been found which saves time and energy. After feeding the STL file into the 3D printer it gets printed in X and Y axis over which it gets printed again as a layer by layer formation to achieve 3D part.
The working principle of the 3D printer depends on each type, for example: in FDM, material extrusion process is followed. The material is fed into the nozzle where it gets heated to the required temperature, melts and gets printed on to the build plate. In laser sintering it works with the powdered material the laser is traced towards the tight compacted powdered material which sinters and fuses to form a 3d product.
Why 3D printing is important?
3d printing is especially much needed for startups because of its ability to do things with fewer amounts of work and money. One main benefit is the customization that is possible with 3d printing, products can be made according to the individual needs which help companies to attract the users. With the simplicity in its working principle it does not require more people and also it is a Tool-less operation which saves space and money for the manufacturer. And as in Liberty-Acoustics, 3d printing helps the company in the Product development department in the industrial field of Smart Home Entertainment finding its use in making prototypes of multimedia controller, control panel, acoustics lens and so on. For startups it is important to attract customers, so with the help of 3d printing customization of the product according to the customers can be done.
To begin with the importance, materials that are available plays a key role as it is wide spread and is found in different states such as filament, powders, resins etc. For any product to be manufactured, type and properties of the material in which it is to be produced is very important. Each material has its properties such as PLA has good visual quality, easy printability but low impact strength and ABS has good strength, good temperature resistance but it tends to warp. And also materials can be used in a combined form such as PLA can be mixed with wooden filament or metal filament to get wooden or metal composites. Even ceramics can be used for 3d printing technology with post printing such as firing and glazing as in case of traditional production methods.
As mentioned its use in Smart Home entertainment earlier it is popularized because of its reduced complexity. With interest and need reaching the sky limit, 3d printing has made advancements to make 3d printing a widely used production system. Prototyping is the most important applications using this technology. Often 3d printing can bring production closer to the end user reducing the supply chain. Every major industry including Medical, dental, automotive, aerospace and even food industry has made 3d printing an important asset to their line of work. Cloud based additive manufacturing is also possible now reducing the transporting time.
Apart from the important it has in Startup industries, materials and applications; it has its role in the field of production technology based on the product that is required for the customer which can be made using following technologies FDM, SLA, and Binder Jetting. Each production method is different in its working principle and has different properties.
Thus, after seeing the wide range if its applications, capability to make rapid prototypes, its economical point of view, its eco-friendly nature, simple working principle, customization that can be implanted according to various ideas it is evident that 3d is playing and will play a huge role in future production system without any doubt.