What is difference between 3DPrinting, AM, & Rapid prototype

Although the technology is about 30 years old, 3D Printing, has been well documented and defined during the past couple of years. We are frequently asked by people new to the industry if there is any difference in terminology between 3D printing, additive manufacturing(AM), and rapid prototyping.

Between the terms 3D printing and additive manufacturing, there is no difference. 3D printing and additive manufacturing are synonyms for the same process. Both terms reference the process of building parts by joining material layer by layer from a CAD file. This is as opposed to a traditional manufacturing process, like CNC Machining, where a part is built by subtracting material from a block of material. 3D printing and additive manufacturing can be used regardless if the parts are fabricated in plastic, metal, or rubber. Rapid Prototyping in Tamil Nadu uttar pradesh uttarakhand chandigarh kochi punjab haryana india

Based off our general perception, it seems as though people who work in an industrial or manufacturing setting prefer additive manufacturing since it sounds more formal. In comparison, the media and hobbyists prefer the term 3D printing. The term 3D printing has been used more ever since inexpensive desktop printers became more popular.

The term rapid prototyping is different from 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Rapid prototyping is the technique of fabricating a prototype model from a CAD file. In other words, 3D printing/additive manufacturing is the process, and rapid prototyping is the end result. Rapid prototyping is one of many applications under the 3D printing/additive manufacturing umbrella.

Some industries include;

prototype architecture design

rapid prototyping products - Automotive/Autosport

Consumer- customize 3d printing

medical prototype design

jewelry prototype manufacturers

Types of rapid prototyping and their uses

While 3D inkjet printing is the newest technology and receives a lot of hype, older methods are still very commonly used. Different methods of rapid prototyping are employed, depending on the type of prototype created and the type of material worked with.

Selective laser sintering (SLS)

Fused deposition modelling (FDM)

S. Scott Crump introduced fused deposition modelling (FDM) through his Statasys Company in 1990. The FDM method creates a 3D object using thermoplastic beads. The beads begin to harden after extrusion, creating a solid form. A major advantage of FDM is that multiple nozzles can be used to extrude beads, making possible the creation of prototypes with multiple colours and differing materials.

Stereolithography (SLA) printing was introduced by Chuck Hull and 3D Systems Corp. in 1986. SLA printing is also sometimes referred to as solid imaging or optical fabrication. SLA printers create a solid object using thin layers of photopolymer resin. As each layer of resin is applied, a focused ultraviolet beam is used to cure it into a solid form.

In addition to patenting the SLA printing process, Chuck Hull also created a file format used by CAD designers to create 3D objects. This format, called STL, has become a widely adopted standard for computer-aided manufacturing and rapid prototyping.