We here at TriTech are very excited to tell you that we’re partnering with 3D Systems (3DS) to bring 3D printing to the Milwaukee metropolitan area. We’re building on our decades of expertise with printers of all types. We’re now authorized resellers of the 3DS Cube 3 and 3DS CubePro.
3D printing is still an under-used and under-appreciated technology, even though it’s been gaining in popularity over the past half-decade.
It’s not just for the hobbyists and the big companies anymore.
3D printing is an integral part of the future of business.
3D printers make objects from digital files. It’s like having a printer that automatically builds in real life what you draw on a blueprint.
3D printing was first developed in the 1980s, when companies like 3D Systems built the first machines and wrote the file formats that enabled objects to be printed. It’s been used extensively in manufacturing for quite some time—it’s an excellent way to make prototypes—and now it’s moving into the home market.
It’s quite different from the forms of printing that we use everyday, like inkjet or laser printing. The biggest difference, of course, is that 3D printing builds up as it prints, a process they call additive manufacturing.
3D printers lay down layer after layer of material to create objects. Because they are adding layers, the process is called additive manufacturing.
There are a few methods that are used to lay down material. Among the most widely used are:
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). A laser fuses powders into the desired 3D shape.
- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), or Plastic Jet Printing (PJP). Different names for layers of melted material being squeezed out according to the desired pattern.
- Stereolithography (SLA). A laser traces a pattern over liquid resin, hardening layers of resin as it goes along.
The 3DS Cube 3 and 3DS CubePro work by Plastic Jet Printing.
One of the most revolutionary aspects of 3D printing is that you can use a wide variety of materials in the printing process, not just ink or toner.
3D printers are not limited in what materials can be used. It seems like every week there’s a new story about some amazing material. For example, researchers at Wake Forest University recently printed beating heart cells! You can print edible materials, you can print glass, you can print all kinds of materials.
Most commonly, 3D printers use thermoplastics, plastics that become pliable when they’re heated. Some of these plastics are good enough that selling what you print has become a viable option.
The Future of 3D Printing
The most exciting quality about 3D printing is that it’s a technology whose uses are still being discovered.
By moving into 3D printing, TriTech is continuing to lead the way when it comes to Milwaukee-area printing technology. We’re always learning, always expanding our capabilities, to bring incomparable IT services to our local community. Our philosophy is that integrating business technology support saves customers time and headache.
Just like 3D printing saves time and headache for prototyping and a widely expanding realm of other applications.
Give us a call at (262) 717-0037 to learn more about our 3D printing support.