3D printing

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
The creation of objects printed in 3D is achieved by placing successive horizontal layers of certain material, such as plastic, to create the object. Each of these layers is like a horizontal cross section arranged in thin slices of the final object. Let’s look at the process of printing in 3D.
Understanding 3D printing
To create an object using 3D printing, the first thing to do is to create a computer file with the virtual design of the object to be created, using computerized 3D modeling applications, or with a 3D Scanner. A 3D scanner can create a 3D digital copy of an object.
3D Scanner
The 3D Scanner uses different technologies to generate 3D models, such as flight time, structured / modulated light, volumetric scanning among others.
In the near future the digitization of real objects in 3D models will become as easy as taking a photo, because companies like Microsoft and Google have enabled their hardware to allow 3D scans. Future versions of Smartphones are likely to come with integrated 3D Scanners.
3D Modeling Software
3D modeling software is also available in various forms. There is industrial grade software that is usually expensive, but there is also free software such as Blender. An excellent option to start in the world of 3D modeling is the Tinkercad program, which offers a free license that works in browsers such as Google Chrome. It includes lessons for beginners and has a built-in option for printing 3D objects using various 3D printing media.
Once you have ready your digital file of the 3D object you want to print, the next step is to prepare it to make it suitable for 3D printing.
Preparing a 3D model to make it suitable for 3D printing
The process of preparing a 3D model of an object to make it ready for 3D printing is called Slicing or slicing. The slicing consists of dividing the 3D model of the object to be printed in hundreds of thousands of horizontal layers, which is done from the software with which the digital model was created, or sometimes a specific slicing software must be used for certain printers .
When the object has already been sliced, it is ready to be fed into the 3D printer. This can be done via USB, SD or WiFi depending on the brand of available 3D printer.
When a file is uploaded to the 3D printer the object is ready for 3D printing layer by layer. The 3D printer reads each layer (2D image) and creates a three-dimensional object.
Airplane food printed in 3D
Plane food is not considered the tastiest food in the world. It is quite obvious that planes do not have enough room for a kitchen. Because of this, cooks prepare meals in their kitchens on land, before they are taken to the plane. The consequence of this is that these foods are never fresh enough. A group of design students at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, wants to change that with the use of 3D food printing technology.
This group, designed a system where travelers can design their own food on a screen, after which their food is printed in 3D. The benefit of this approach is that you can always get fresh food, rather than pre-cooked dishes.