By: Patrick Szczecina
Additive Manufacturing, or 3D Printing is an upcoming way to design and engineer products ranging from automotive to medicinal. All disciplines have a use for 3D printing, for the reason that it is very customizable design. 3D printing allows for freedom of design and creation of prototypes of different objects. The 3D printer has a need for four main tools: A program for design (Rhinoceros, Sketch-Up, etc…), 3D printer program, the actual material (plastic or metal) and the 3D printer itself. By taking and allowing the computer to decide how the printer builds a model and then allowing the printer to build it, a higher quality product will be the outcome. Printing models uses only the materials necessary to complete the build as in other means material gets wasted because it cannot all be used through conventional means of model making. The Printer melts the plastic or material and builds it up layer by layer. When looking at Architecture, many use it for design of their buildings or site, but it may be used for many other means. Prototyping is just one aspect that can be used in Architecture, and this is by creating a new type of shading device, screen, joint system or even a building technique. Pertaining to Architecture, 3D printing is starting to create joints which allow components to come together. In the near future, buildings will be able to be 3D printed not in the meaning that the building will be fully built. Instead the creation of walls with windows and doors could be erect to fit into each other, in a way like a puzzle. The conventional method of built on site takes time and costs can be high due to material usage, while 3D printing cuts the built time (Since the building can be created at the warehouse or put together on site) and costs can be cut due to material usage (not wasting) and uses the exact amount that is needed. “It’s all about rapid prototyping and customization these days,” according to Subject Coordinator Dr. Steven Harvey a UOW “While traditional manufacturing involves processes such as machining, casting and forging where material is removed to reveal the final design, 3D printing builds a computer-generated design layer-by-layer,”.1
There are different types of 3D printing which consist of the tradional layer by layer built by melting material and letting it harder, CLIP (Continuous Light Interface Production) which is a water feature way printing (Pulls the material of liquid while its being formed[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpH1zhUQY0c]) and multi-jet fusion where powder is taken and formed by a chemical under UV light. With these three main methods of 3D printing, the CLIP and Tradional method are the way to go when it comes to creating small scale models, prototypes and later life-scale components.