In a series of articles, we try to familiarize you with the specifics of 3D printing and the possibilities it offers. After getting acquainted with the formats for 3D printing, we decided to have a look at the most popular myths related to this technology.

Like many other topics, 3D printing is the subject of speculation and myths. You may have heard the claim that along with traditional household appliances, there will be a 3D printer in every home. Or, for example, that printed products are of lower quality than traditionally manufactured parts. Or even that printing is done without human intervention.

Therefore, we decided to collect three of the most common myths about 3D printing in one article. So, get ready to start busting!

Myth #1: 3D Printed Parts are More Fragile than Components Produced by Traditional Technology

Some people believe that 3D-printed parts are weaker and more fragile compared to components produced by traditional manufacturing methods. However, this isn't entirely accurate. The strength of a 3D-printed part depends on the printing technology, design, and geometry used.

This prevalent misconception stems from the fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique - the most widely used 3D printing method. It is true that models printed using FDM are comparatively weaker in the Z-axis direction.

While some 3D printing techniques may result in weaker parts, other techniques can produce parts with comparable or even superior strength to traditionally manufactured components.

Nevertheless, by optimizing the geometry and design of your model, many of these weak points can be eliminated.

In contrast, if we compare FDM with other layer-based 3D printing methods such as stereolithography (SL), powder laser sintering, or multi-jet fusion (MJF), we will discover that models produced with these methods tend to be stronger.

Debunking this myth is complicated by the fact that FDM technology is more mainstream than highly specialized processes using professional-grade machines with optimized processes that are not as well-known.

In that case, what should we do to make sure that our projects will give a good end result? We can summarize three golden rules:

1. Think about the purpose of the part you want to produce. What will it be used for, is it a functional element or does it have purely aesthetic functions? This will also determine the materials to use to print it.

2. Determine if the part will be subjected to force. You must determine whether the layers will be subjected to tensile or compressive forces.

3. Use the right material to suit your design. Many hobbyists prefer to use materials such as thermoplastic polyester (PLA) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

Myth #2: 3D-Printed Parts are More Expensive

The primary technique for manufacturing parts in substantial quantities is injection molding. This method is highly beneficial for generating large volumes of a specific item.

Producing larger quantities requires significant resources and investment in equipment and production process management. For smaller-scale production or limited series of parts, 3D printing is best suited. It is also the most cost-effective.

In this case, you will only have to pay for the 3D printer and the materials. In fact, you don't even need to invest in equipment, but order production from companies that specialize in 3D printing. Here the possibilities are even greater, as you can review the price offers and choose the most suitable one for you.

This option is suitable for smaller mines that are looking for cost optimization without the need to buy equipment and are looking for a smaller quantity for their product. 3D printing reduces risks and also makes it possible to change the design of your product easily, quickly, and cheaply.
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Myth #3: Every Household Will Have a 3D Printer in the Near Future

We can often hear that 3D printers will become a staple in every household, just like furniture. While this scenario is possible, it may not be likely in the near future due to the technical skills required to operate and design 3D printed objects. Not to mention the high cost of some 3D printers.

To use a 3D printer, one must possess technical knowledge, such as designing 3D objects, working with various formats, and mastering the intricacies of 3D printing. Despite the rapid integration of technology into our daily lives, it is improbable that this scenario will become commonplace anytime soon.

That's why it's still important to trust experienced professionals if you need something designed, scanned, or prototyped as a high-quality model.

For Further Information and Expert Opinion...

If you have any questions about 3D printing and the possibilities it presents, or about the services we offer and their prices, do not hesitate to contact us. Follow us on Facebook and reach out for more information.
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