3D Printing Terms | Central Scanning | 3D Printing and Scanning Technologies

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Understanding the World of 3D Printing and Scanning with Central Scanning

3D printing has evolved significantly since its inception in the early 1990s, with its impact spanning across industries from gaming to medicine over the past two decades. While the term ‘3D printing’ is widely recognised, many of its associated terms and technologies remain unfamiliar to many. Central Scanning aims to demystify these terms, enhancing your understanding of 3D printing and introducing you to innovative ways it is used globally.

CAD: The Foundation of 3D Printing

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is a cornerstone in the world of 3D printing. It involves using computers to create, modify, optimise, and analyse designs. CAD plays a vital role in designing products, often starting with an initial creation using a 3D object scanner, followed by refinement in CAD software, and finally, realisation through 3D printing.

STL: Simplifying Geometry for 3D Printing

Stereolithography (STL) is a key file format in 3D printing, derived from stereolithographic CAD software. Known as the ‘Standard Triangle Language’, STL simplifies the surface geometry of a 3D object, focusing on the shape without the details like texture or colour found in CAD models. This format is crucial in accurately representing the foundational structure of a product in 3D printing.

PLA and ABS: Popular Materials in 3D Printing

PLA (Polylactic Acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) are popular thermoplastic materials in 3D printing. PLA, derived from renewable resources like cornstarch, is biodegradable and ideal for detailed aesthetic products. ABS, commonly used in injection moulding, is favoured for producing large volumes of durable items, from car bumpers to Lego blocks.

FDM and PolyJet: Versatile 3D Printing Technologies

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) and PolyJet are two diverse 3D printing methods. FDM, where a design is processed in a CAD program before being printed, is widely used across various industries. PolyJet technology works similarly to an inkjet printer, using photopolymer resins to create layers that form the final product.

Central Scanning | Your 3D Printing and Scanning Specialists

At Central Scanning, we don’t just sell 3D printers and scanners; we offer expertise. Whether you need a portable 3D scanner for on-site projects, a professional 3D scanner for high-precision tasks, or guidance on the best 3D printing solutions, our team of experts is here to assist. If you’re uncertain about your 3D printing or scanning needs, talk to us, the specialists in the field.