In recent years 3D printing technology fire, the whole society is discussing it, many universities take this east wind to open a related professional, many local governments in financial subsidies, land supply, loan subsidies, water and electricity prices and other aspects have introduced a very generous policy. In addition, many private capital is also moving, want to quickly buy the ticket, afraid to miss the train, intends to take a share of the pie. The beautiful blueprint has just been drawn, suddenly a jolt over, the dream was awakened. 3D printing of this boom gradually cooled, in all kinds of media exposure is very little, which inevitably let everyone re-examine, it is how?
First, what is 3D printing?
3D printing technology, sprouted at the end of the last century, developed at the beginning of this century. It is a digital model file as the basis, the use of powdered metal or plastic and other bondable materials, through the layer-by-layer printing to construct objects of technology.
The basic principle is this: 3D modeling software is used to generate STL or STP model files (they are the standard triangle language for 3D printers). 3D molding machines read and parse the received STL files to construct a 3D model consisting of a mesh of a series of triangles, and then output instructions to print and make a physical model, and some people call this technology "additive manufacturing". (It may be a bit complicated for the general public to understand, and specific examples will be shown below)
The first to realize it was an American. on March 9, 1983, Charles W. Hull invented the world's first 3D printer. in 1986, Charles W. Hull established a company that produced 3D printing equipment worldwide, 3D Systems. it developed the now common stl file format.
In 1988, the company introduced a 3D industrial printer based on SL (stereo lithography) technology. In the many years since, the world has introduced 3D printing and molding technologies such as SLA (selective curing of photosensitive resins), SLS (selective laser sintering of powder materials), FDM (fused deposition), 3DP (3D jet printing), and PUG (vacuum injection molding).
In real life, it is more commonly used in production. In 2011, a Dutch doctor fitted an 83-year-old man with a metal jawbone printed with 3D printing technology.
In March 2017, in the presence of the King of Saudi Arabia, China's construction 3D printing company Yingchuang signed a ten billion RMB contract with Saudi Al Mobty Contracting Company, which will build thirty million square meters of 3D printed buildings in Saudi Arabia to solve the country's continuously growing housing crisis.
Second, the popularity and importance of 3D printing technology is not without reason.
1. Compared with traditional manufacturing methods, it brings a revolutionary change in the concept of production and processing. It not only can shorten the processing and manufacturing cycle, but also can significantly reduce the production cost, especially the breakthrough of the traditional processing and manufacturing methods of complex shape processing restrictions, so that human beings in the field of processing to achieve freedom.
In fact, the invention of 3D printing technology is the result of Charles W. Hull's efforts to shorten the long time needed to create product prototypes.
2. The widespread use of 3D printing technology in specific fields is a remarkable feature of 3D printing technology. In the medical field, especially in bone reconstruction, 3D printing technology is used particularly much. For example, a patient's pelvis had been necrotic, and the Ninth People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University 3D printed a pelvis with artificial bone material and successfully transplanted it into the patient, who eventually recovered successfully.
Of course, there are also a wide range of applications in the aerospace sector. in April 2016, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus received the LEAP-1A engine for their next-generation Airbus A320neo airliner, which is their official use of 3D printed alloy fuel nozzles for their aircraft engines.
3. High printing accuracy. Because the 3D printing finished product is very plastic, from two-dimensional to three-dimensional can be implemented, and because it is generated by the principle of layer-by-layer printing, that is, the completion of a layer and then into the next layer of printing processing, according to the processing accuracy and characteristics of the printer, can be accurate to 600dpi, each layer only 0.01 error, this precision is quite high.
4. Personalization is its great advantage. Traditional industrial manufacturing, are produced in large quantities, which can ensure that the cost of the product is low enough; otherwise, the people can not afford it, the production of things can not be sold, there is no market. But the emergence of 3D printing technology makes personalization possible.
On the one hand, the modeling and printing technology makes it possible to have lower cost, on the other hand, the cost is directly proportional to the size and volume of the customized parts. This means that the difference in cost for the same volume of the same material is not very large.
From the perspective of mass production, the equal share is nothing but the cost of modeling, which makes the cost of mass production and single-piece production not very relevant.
5. It is an important part of the "Made in China 2025" plan. In order to build a manufacturing industry with international competitiveness, improve China's comprehensive national power, guarantee national security and build a world power, our government launched the action plan for the first decade of implementing the strategy of manufacturing power, namely "Made in China 2025" plan, which determines the main direction of intelligent manufacturing, covering various industries such as robotics, logistics network based on modern information technology and Internet technology.
Among them, 3D printing is the top priority of the plan, appearing six times in the full text of the plan, throughout the important paragraphs of background introduction, national manufacturing innovation capacity enhancement, deep integration of information technology and industrialization, breakthrough development in key areas, and integrated into the main line of promoting intelligent manufacturing, reflecting the importance China attaches to 3D printing, highlighting the strategic level of China's situation and environment facing the development of manufacturing Deep understanding.
Third, although "3D printing" has the unparalleled advantages of traditional manufacturing methods, but it has some defects, but it is really restricting its development.
1. The cost is high. High precision 3D printers are relatively large and expensive, technology patents are basically in the hands of foreign companies, to buy and obtain technology licenses need to spend a lot of money. From the field of 3D printing applications, it is mainly used in aerospace, human organs, medical, antique accessories and other industries, these are high-end manufacturing. Usually, traditional processing and manufacturing can not complete the task, and, in themselves, they are quite specialized, high cost, high value-added industries, high processing threshold, only very strong companies can get involved.
2. Material barrier is the key. China's 3D printing technology after decades of development, technology gradually mature, the practical application of significant results, but the core technology, the core components are still subject to limitations, especially the key printing material technology is still relatively lacking, the basic dependence on imported situation has not been effectively changed, the sustainable development of the 3D printing industry has a fatal impact. Because for any kind of manufacturing technology, materials are the most important, are the foundation of the foundation. If you can not make a breakthrough in the materials end of the research, then the subsequent development of technology is difficult to achieve.
3. Low product level. In addition to a few large state-owned enterprises, in the participation and development of 3D technology are smaller private enterprises. In order to survive, they often do not invest much, and the ability to resist risks is not enough, especially in research and development funds are stretched to the limit. The REPRAP open source project was started by Adrian Bowyer and others at the University of Bath in the UK, with the main goal of independently designing and producing a 3D printer for all common users. After years of development three versions have now been developed. Suffice to say, they have been spec'd out, are quick to get started, and are so low cost that even an average person can follow the instructions and save one for themselves. This has led to fierce competition for simple desktop-level 3D printing equipment kits and a low level of product. But the future of this industry is in the industrial grade market.
In particular, the lack of investment in cutting-edge areas and the lack of core technology are very serious problems. For example, in nano 3D printing technology, China's research and development is not strong enough, and there is not much basic research to create future superior technology.
If 3D technology is applied to the construction industry, of course, it can greatly improve the efficiency. However, it is difficult in the quality inspection and project acceptance because, at present, there is no corresponding technical standard to complete the acceptance in China, but only the traditional construction industry standards. But with traditional standards, it is obviously impossible to complete the work, because, 3D printed buildings are printed with fiber materials, may not even have steel, but the current national standards are never allowed to happen.
In fact, the strength of fiber material is 3 to 5 times stronger than reinforced concrete, but it will be rated as a substandard building by the old standard, which is obviously not very reasonable. Focusing on breakthroughs in the research and development of high-performance materials, improving the quality of special materials for additive manufacturing, conducting research on the characteristics of special materials for additive manufacturing, and encouraging advantageous material production enterprises to engage in special materials for additive manufacturing and the transformation of research results are the top priorities at present.