1. 3D printer which has substantially lowered the cost



General Introduction

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3D printing is a process of making three-dimensional
solid object from a digital file. 3D printed objects are obtained by laying
down layers of additive materials (like plastics, rubber, sandstone, metals and
more varying from printer type) until the object is created. 3D printing
enables us to produce complex shapes using less materials than traditional
manufacturing methods.

Example: Architect uses 3D printer
to create their scale models by using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) data that is
used for developing blueprints. (3D Hubs, 2017) (3DPrinting, 2017)










Figure 1  3D Printing Basic Illustration (Ziff Davis, LLC.
PCMag Digital Group , 2018)


1.2     Current
Scenario (Worldwide)

Currently 3D printing in the industrial sector is
expected to grow from 3.07 billion US Dollars in revenue in 2013 to 12.8
billion US Dollars by 2018. The first half of 2017, 3D printing in the
industrial sector reported its uses as:

Table 1  Current
Scenario of 3D printing in Industrial Sector (3DPrinting, 2017)

Car Manufacturers: ‘Koenigsegg’
a Swedish car manufacturer uses 3D printing to manufacturer their variable
turbocharger for their one:1 model.

Doctors: Since hearing
aids have custom shapes it is nowadays made in a 3D printer which has
substantially lowered the cost and time of making it from hand.

Aircraft Manufacturers:
3D printed fuel nozzles for jet engines like Boeing 737MAX and the Airbus

Consumer Product
Makers: ‘Print+’ a Headphone company are shipped with electronics and ear
cushions and the rest of the parts are sent to the customer digitally, which they
can 3D print themselves or get 3D printed locally.

Shoe Manufacturer:
‘Adidas’ a famous shoe brand developed the first 3D printed midsole as a
component in a ready-to-wear shoe.

Few other areas where
3D printing is in use are dental, prosthetics, aerospace companies, prop
makers, architecture, students and education, design entrepreneurs,
engineering, drone enthusiast. (3D Hubs, 2017)


2.    Background


Elaboration of the Types of 3D Printers and its Features  

3D printing basically an object that is created by
starting with nothing and adding materials layer at a time until we have a
completed object. There are different types of 3D Printers because of the
following reasons: Cost, Quality, Speed, Capability, Practicality, User Expectation. (3DInsider,
2018) (Horvath,

2.1.1          Natural
3D Printing

We know that 3D Printing is a
modern technology but it is also carried out in the nature since the ancient
times like Molluscs (An invertebrate animal) which as they get bigger they
start adding CaCO3 to their outer shell that gives us seashells
which is a final product of the process. Also, many rock formations when
ancient oceans built up layers of slit resulting sandstone which have been
carved away by wind, rain and plant roots.    (Horvath, 2014)



Figure 2  Sea Shells (National Center for
Families Learning, 2018)

Figure 3  Cave Valley, Zion National Park (Peskin &
Peskin Yana, 2018)


     Stereolithography (SLA)

method was invented by Charles Hull in 1986. In this process a uniquely
designed 3D printing machine stereo lithograph apparatus (SLA) makes a solid 3d
object from a liquid plastic. After the layer of plastic hardens a platform,
the printer’s laser forms the next layer and then the final object is rinsed
with a solvent and placed in an ultraviolet oven to finish processing. Example:
3D printer Pegasus Touch SLA technology, XYZ printing Nobel 1.0 SLA. (3D Printing from scratch,

Figure 4  Stereolithography (SLA) Process (Pen and Plastic,

2.1.3          Digital
Light Processing (DLP)

This method was invented by Larry Hornbeck
in 1987. This process is similar to SLA but it uses digital micro mirrors laid
out on a semi-conductor chip and the source of light used is arc lamps. The
resin that is placed in transparent resin container hardens quickly in this
process so the printing speed is faster. Example: Makex M-one Desktop DLP 3D
Printer, LumiPocket – Miniature DLP. (3D Printing from scratch, 2018)

Figure 5 
Digital Light Processing (SLP) process (3D Printing from
scratch, 2018)

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

method was developed and invented by Scott Crump in 1980s. This is the only process
that builds parts with production-grade thermoplastics. Hence, the printed
models have excellent mechanical, thermal and chemical qualities. This
technology is widely used in industries nowadays such as automobile companies
like Hyundai and BMW. Example: Lulzbot Mini, FlashForge Creator Pro. (3D Printing from scratch,

Figure 6 
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDP) Process (3D Printing from
scratch, 2018)

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

method was developed by Carl Deckard and his professor Joe Beaman in the late
1980s. This process is similar to SLA process but it uses powered material in
the vat rather than liquid resin in a cube. These printers use high-powered
lasers which makes it more expensive than other printers. Example: DWS Lab
Xfab, SUNLU SLA Desktop 3D Printer.  (Pen and Plastic, 2017)

Figure 7 
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Process (Pen and Plastic,


These the
three types of printers are not so popular and have fallen out in the last two
decades. We cannot find these types of printer nowadays. (Pen and Plastic, 2017)


Binder Jetting (BJ)

method was invented in The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is
also known as Powder bed printing, Inkjet 3D printing and Drop-on-powder. It
uses two types of material to build object: A powder-based material (usually
gypsum) and a bonding agent. It allows us to print parts in full colour. It is
used in the aerospace, automotive and medical industries. Examples: Addwii
Unveils The X1, ExOne R2.                      
         (3DInsider, 2018)

Figure 8 
Binder Jetting (BJ) Process (3DInsider, 2018)




Jetting (MJ)
Polyjet and Wax Casting Technology

known as wax casting, this technology does not have a single inventor but it
has been more of a technique than an actual printing process. Traditional
process where user creates High Quality custom jewellery from wax casting is
now automated thanks to this process. MJ printers produce high quality parts
for dental and jewellery products. Examples: ABS 3D printer, PLA 3D printer. (3DInsider, 2018)



Current Scenario (In Nepal)

3D printing technology is still very much infancy in Nepal, and even worldwide
but people are continuously learning new things and finding new uses for it.
Some of the sector where 3D printing is currently being used in Nepal are:


2.2.1   3D Printing in
Medical and educational Sector (for disabled people).


Figure 9 
Sabita trying out her new prosthetic arm (Neve, 2017)

are many disabled people in Nepal and the number increased because of the 2015
earthquake, they need perfectly customised prosthetic to make their life easier.
But they are expensive and hard to make. A group of students in a small lab in
Kathmandu are on a project to 3D print an arm for a girls Sabita who had lost
both of her arm in an accident. For Sabita CMDN decided to print a new arm or at
least parts of it to make both comfortable and functional for Sabita and this
is possible only due to 3D printing. Matt Rockwell and his co-workers are
working on providing 3D printed limbs to those who need them throughout the
country by the help of volunteers and students. (Neve, 2017)





2.2.2   3D Printing in Household
Items (for rural areas).


New ideas come up in our mind
which can help people and the environment but to make a prototype for that
particular idea is complex to hand-make. This was the case for Madhukar KC
before he went to Field Ready and support in 3D printing. Mr. KC’s idea of a
cookstove air supply disk boosts efficiency by 26% and has won government
contract. His product is saving time, effort, the environment, money and lives
throughout the country. (Britton, 2017)

Figure 10 
Prototype Burner Heads (Britton, 2017)

Figure 11  
Madhukar KC with his designs possible through 3D printing (Britton, 2017)






3.    Implementation


3.1     Use of Technology in Nepal