How 3D printers are changing the way we work

From better prototyping to smarter design …

There are many ways that 3D printers have changed the way the world does things. Applications include rapid prototyping, architectural scale models & maquettes, 3d printed prosthetics and printing with human tissue as well as film props in entertainment.

Other examples of 3D printing would include reconstructing fossils in paleontology, replicating ancient artifacts in archaeology, reconstructing bones and body parts in forensic pathology and reconstructing heavily damaged evidence acquired from crime scene investigations.

As it evolves, 3D printing technology is destined to transform almost every major industry and change the way we live, work, and play in the future.

Aerospace and defence

Design problems need creative solutions

The aerospace and defence industries are a great match for 3d printing and additive manufacturing. These are both industries that need to:

  • reduce the cost of manufacturing,
  • prototype ideas rapidly, and
  • explore solutions to overcome tough environmental conditions.

This is backed up by the fact that these industries have a history of being pioneers and early adopters of new technology. 3d printing and additive manufacturing help these industries by bringing efficiencies in the following areas:

  • Design complexity
  • Weight reduction
  • Part strength and durability
  • Production cost savings

Design complexity

Because any shape can be manufactured using 3d printing, additive manufacturing means companies can explore geometries and parts that were either impossible or extremely expensive to manufacture previously. This frees up engineers to explore new and more efficient designs.

Weight reduction

In any circumstance but more so in flight, these industries are always looking for stronger and lighter designs. 3d printing or additive manufacturing allows engineers to find new ways to reduce weight of manufactured parts. Lighter and stronger parts have a direct impact because they can reduce the amount of fuel needed to power the craft as well as reducing CO2 emissions too.

Part strength and durability

The advances in additive manufacturing have meant the new and stronger materials can be used in the manufacturing process. Certain metal powders that can be used in Direct Energy Deposition additive manufacturing mean parts are simply stronger and more durable.

Production cost savings

3d printing can make prototyping and manufacturing parts less expensive than traditional design to manufacture cycles. The manufacturing process itself also tends to generate less waste than conventional manufacturing processes too.

3D Printers help Atlas V Rocket take off

Aerialtronics UAVs fly faster thanks to 3D printers

Stratasys print an aircraft interior in 3D

Stratasys 3D printers

Stratasys 3D printers and the aerospace and defence industries

Over the last decade, aerospace innovators have pushed 3D printing beyond the realm of prototyping into advanced tooling and production applications. Stratasys has partnered with them along the way to develop the materials and processes that are making 3D printed parts commonplace on aircraft and spacecraft – and cementing the technology as an engineering mainstay.

Have a look at the following case studies:

DemaPlasTech are agents for Stratasys 3D printers in South Africa

Whether you are looking to purchase a new Stratasys 3D printer or need support and maintenance for your existing printer, get in touch and we will see how we can help.

Contact us

Architecture

From being able to explore 3d models of designs through to building houses out of 3d printed parts, 3d printing is changing the way the architecture industry works. As opposed to conventional architectural models, 3d printed models can be built using materials that make them extremely strong and durable. The models can also be built in a fraction of the time it takes to build a detailed architectural model by hand.

Piet Meijs, Senior Associate from Rietveld Architects in New York talks about 3D printing and the architectural industry.

3D printers help with the redesign of Fenway Park

The automotive industry

Again, like the other industries, 3d printers and additive manufacturing help by making prototyping and design more efficient as well as making the production of low-run and specialist parts more affordable.

Here are just a few ways additive manufacturing and 3d printing have affected the automotive industry:

  • Building vehicles can take less time
  • New and innovative designs can be explored
  • The risk in developing new parts or vehicles can be reduced
  • Manufacturing cars can have less impact on the environment

Bentley uses 3D printers in its design process

Stratasys 3D printers

Stratasys 3D printers and the automotive industry

Stratasys is shaping more than tomorrow’s automobiles. We are helping shape the innovation, creativity and manufacturing capabilities of those who drive the industry forward. Automakers and suppliers of all types have realized the benefits of Stratasys 3D printing solutions. We’ve seen our technology go from the design studio to the factory floor, with the adoption of custom 3D printed tools, jigs and fixtures and manufacturing aids.

Have a look at the following case studies:

DemaPlasTech are agents for Stratasys 3D printers in South Africa

Whether you are looking to purchase a new Stratasys 3D printer or need support and maintenance for your existing printer, get in touch and we will see how we can help.

Contact us

Commercial and consumer products

Over the past 10 years, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have meant the way we design, develop and manufacture new products has changed. Although most 3d printers are used for rapid prototyping and exploring new designs, they are also starting to be used to manufacture parts and products too.

When it comes to prototyping ideas, 3d printing can create working models that can be:

  • very detailed
  • made from a variety of materials
  • refined at a low cost
  • iterated quickly

When it comes to manufacturing products and parts for use, 3d printers can print products from highly effective and high-performance thermoplastics.

Hyphen use FDM and PolyJet-based Stratasys 3D Printers to optimise their rapid prototyping process

Dentistry

One of the more interesting and immediately practical uses of 3d printing is the ability to change how dentists help their clients. For example, Stratasys have an entire range of 3d printers focused on Dentistry – The Dental Series.

This range includes:

  • CrownWorx – This 3d printer can create artisan quality wax-ups for crowns, bridges, copings, and full contours.
  • FrameWorx – is a high precision 3D dental wax printer to create partial denture frameworks.
  • Objet30 OrthoDesk – This printer can accurately and rapidly produce crowns, bridges, stone models, retainers, partials, and delivery trays
  • Objet Eden 260V – This top of the range dental printer can create dental models that are more accurate, detailed produced more quickly than the other models in the range.

Another use of the dental printers is that a patient’s mouth can be scanned and a treatment refined on a 3D model before operating or committing to a dental solution.

See how 3D printers are revolutionising the orthodontic process

Stratasys 3D printers

Stratasys 3D printers and the dental industry

For a growing number of dental lab owners, digital dentistry is already here. With 3D printing as part of their business strategy, dental and orthodontic labs can speed production while improving quality and precision.

Have a look at the following case studies:

DemaPlasTech are agents for Stratasys 3D printers in South Africa

Whether you are looking to purchase a new Stratasys 3D printer or need support and maintenance for your existing printer, get in touch and we will see how we can help.

Contact us

Education

Another industry that is being changed by 3d printing is education. Although the cost of 3d printing has meant only a few educational institutions can make use of the technology, there have still been interesting developments:
3d models can be easily made to explain concepts more easily. Engineering, art and architecture students can use the rapid prototyping capabilities of 3d printers to test ideas and designs.

The Design, Research, and Education for Additive Manufacturing Systems (DREAMS) Laboratory is a part of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech and does research on additive manufacturing for 3-D printing technologies.

Stratasys 3D printers

How Stratasys 3D printers have helped education

Tomorrow’s engineers, designers and problem solvers deserve every tool available to build a brilliant future. 3D printing fuels limitless creativity when students get to see, hold and test their ideas in real space.

Bringing 3D printing into the classroom exposes learners to the same cutting-edge technologies they’ll encounter in their careers. It gives them a jump-start on tomorrow’s challenges. For researchers, Stratasys 3D Printing breaks barriers with unmatched material capabilities, including impressive detail, precision and durability.

Have a look at the following case studies:

DemaPlasTech are agents for Stratasys 3D printers in South Africa

Whether you are looking to purchase a new Stratasys 3D printer or need support and maintenance for your existing printer, get in touch and we will see how we can help.

Contact us

Entertainment and Art

The film industry

In recent years computer generated graphics in movies play an ever-increasing role. Special effects and computerised modelling helping make the dreams of special effects artists a reality. 3d printing and is helping these people taking props and model making to a new level by making:

  • the process of taking a design to finished model simpler and faster
  • increasingly detailed and realistic designs achievable
  • prototyping and testing of 3d model ideas easier and more affordable

The world of art

Because 3d printing is a relatively new and unexplored field, artists are well-suited to push the boundaries of both their own imaginations and the possibilities of 3d printing and additive manufacturing.

Have a look at some of the more interesting examples of how artists are using 3D printers to create art:

Xuedi Chen and Pedro Oliveira are pushing the boundaries of art and fashion with a dress that exposed the wearer whenever they tweet. They say they are hoping to explore issues of privacy and social media through their work

French digital artist Gilles Azzaro uses 3d printing to turn sound waves into sculpture. @ project he has completed include a work inspired by the work of Joy Division and another by Barack Obama’s State of the Union address

Ji Lee created a project where tiny 3d printed sculptures are placed and photographed at locations throughout the world. He hopes that by having people place the little rabbit sculptures in spaces and photographing them makes people take notice of the world around them.

Ioan Florea, a Romanian-born artist, uses 3D printed plastic moulds to shape liquid nano-metals into massive sculptures, everything from a car to a covered wagon.

Stratasys 3D printers

How Stratasys printers are used in the entertainment industry

In a business where every product is custom and unprecedented, 3D printing offers quick, agile fabrication. Effects studios, filmmakers and game designers use it in some of their most demanding projects.

Hollywood special effects studio Legacy Effects uses 3D printing to make blockbuster movies. And remember the farm family in Chipotle’s award-winning 3D animation “Back to the Start”? They were 3D printed. Bono even swung from a 3D printed custom microphone during U2’s world tour.

Have a look at the following case studies:

DemaPlasTech are agents for Stratasys 3D printers in South Africa

Whether you are looking to purchase a new Stratasys 3D printer or need support and maintenance for your existing printer, get in touch and we will see how we can help.

Contact us
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