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What is 3d Printing and How Does it Work?

3D printing is the new selfie – it’s completely revolutionizing the way we look at imaging. 3D printing is a process that creates photorealistic models or representations of real objects or people. It can also be used to make custom designs and drawings come to life, in tangible 3d objects. A revolutionary scanner is wed to a full colour 3d-printer, and voila! 2016 is here.

Although 3D printing is a relatively new technology, it is rapidly evolving, and will continue to do so for years to come. 3D printing is a cost effective and practical solution that it will substitute many manufacturing processes. The amazing thing about 3D printing is that we can make almost anything-any shape, size, and colour. Thousands of people are using 3D printing to make hundreds of different objects ranging from prosthetic body parts and toys, to full sized buildings and miniature versions of themselves .

The 3D printing method is quite technical, but easy to understand. The main and important part of 3D printing is to make a scalable and proportionate virtual design for the object you want to print. Artists have been making scalable 3D renderings of objects for years; this part of the process isn’t anything new or different. An in-house designer will model the item to be printed, much like they would model an item for a 3D video game, movie, or advertisement. Another great way to create a 3D model is to scan the item using a special handheld scanner. This method allows us to scan an item in 3D while saving proportions and other important data. A great example of a modern day scanner (although used for a different purpose) is the Xbox Kinect- it uses the same technology to track and monitor movement.

After rendering object’s structure and colour digitally, we’re ready to send it to our 3D printer. The object has to be digitally sliced into tiny horizontal layers. This allows the printer to create the 3D product by horizontal layers that will be stacked vertically. If this seems a little confusing, think of it like a clock; the printer starts at point A (0/12) and goes all the way around and back to point A. Once this cycle is completed the printer will run another cycle vertically on top, attaching the two layers while seamlessly creating the second one. This continues until the product is finished. Although most printers are similar, not all of them use the same process when merging layers; some melt the layers together while others use softening material that will harden and merge the layers. Once the 3D model is complete it goes through post-processing steps and we finally have our 3D print!

The best way to learn more about 3D printing is to book an appointment at MY3D Agency, the best Toronto printing and scanning service, and be a part of the process yourself! Our 3D printing figurines will help you immortalize any moment by making a 3D print of yourself, a friend or family member. Give us a call at 416-909-4961 or contact us online to book an appointment.