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Detailed analysis of 3D printing, rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology
Dec 23, 2017

Detailed analysis of 3D printing, rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology

3D printing, rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology analysis At present, 3D printing, 3D printers, 3D printing, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, digital manufacturing these terms, like a whirlwind, as if overnight in academia, politicians, , The financial sector, the manufacturing sector set off a giant Lan. However, so far there is no one article can be comprehensive and complete analysis of these terms, so that people really understand and understand "what is 3D printing", "What is the rapid manufacturing."

Resolution 1: Concepts

Rapid Prototyping (RP), which was born in the late 1980s, is a new technology based on the material

 stacking method. It is considered as a significant achievement in the manufacturing field in the 

past 20 years. It combines mechanical engineering, CAD, reverse engineering technology,

 hierarchical manufacturing technology, numerical control technology, materials science, laser 

technology in one, can automatically, directly, quickly and accurately design ideas into a certain

 function of the prototype or direct manufacturing parts , So as to provide a high-efficient and 

low-cost realization means for prototypes of parts and verification of new design ideas. At present

, the domestic media industry is accustomed to the rapid prototyping technology called "3D printing

" or "three-dimensional printing" appears more vivid, but in fact, "3D printing" or "

three-dimensional printing" is only a rapid prototyping branch, Molding.

Rapid Manufacturing (Rapid Manufacturing, referred to as RM), a narrow sense and broad sense of

 the points, in the narrow sense is based on laser powder sintering rapid prototyping technology,

 a new manufacturing concept, in fact belongs to RP rapid prototyping technology, which is a branch

, it is from electronic data Directly and automatically for fast, flexible and low-cost

 manufacturing methods. Rapid manufacturing It is compared with the general rapid prototyping 

technology, is that you can directly produce the final product that can adapt to from 

single-product manufacturing to bulk personalized product manufacturing; and broadly, RM rapid

 manufacturing can include "rapid tooling" technology and CNC CNC machining technology, including,

 so you can RP rapid prototyping technology rival, the good wins.

International like to use "Additive Manufacturing" (referred to as AM) to include RP and RM 

technology, the domestic translation for the incremental manufacturing, incremental material 

manufacturing or add manufacturing. In 2009, ASTM established the F42 Committee to define AM as

 "Process of joining mat-erials to make objects from 3d model data, usua-lly layer upon layer, as

 opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies." The manufacturing method of the 

three-dimensional physical solid model, which is exactly the same as the corresponding mathematical

 model, is directly produced by layer-by-layer manufacturing based on the 3D CAD model data.

Analysis of two: several mainstream rapid prototyping process of forming principle and advantages

 and disadvantages

1. Laser-curing (SLA - Stereolithography)

The technology uses the photosensitive resin as the raw material, computer-controlled ultraviolet

 laser according to the predetermined part of the profile of the profile of the trajectory of the

 liquid resin scanning, the scanning area resin thin layer photopolymerization reaction, thus 

forming parts A thin section. When the layer is cured, move the table, in the original cured resin

 surface and then apply a new layer of liquid resin in order to scan the next layer of curing. The

 newly cured layer is firmly adhered to the previous layer and is repeated until the entire part

 prototype is completed. United States 3DSYSTEMS company is the first to introduce this technology

 company. The technical characteristics of high precision and finish, but the material is more 

brittle, running costs are too high, post-processing complex, demanding on the operator. Suitable 

for verification of assembly design process.

2. 3D printing (3DP - 3Dimension Printer)

Its biggest feature is the miniaturization and easy operation, used for business, office, research

 and personal studio environment. According to the different printing methods, 3DP 

three-dimensional printing technology can be divided into thermal explosion-type three-dimensional

 printing (on behalf of: the United States 3D Systems Zprinter series - the original ZCorporation,

 has been 3D Systems acquisition), piezoelectric three-dimensional printing 

(Representative: 3DSystems ProJet series of the United States and the recent acquisition of 

Stratasys Israel Objet's three-dimensional printing equipment), DLP projection type of 

three-dimensional printing (on behalf of: Germany Envisiontec's Ultra, Perfactory series) and so on


Thermal explosion-type three-dimensional printing process principle is to send a certain amount of

 powder from the storage barrel, and then the drum will be sent out of the powder in the processing

 platform covered with a thin layer of raw materials, print head in accordance with 3D computer

 model slices obtained after the two- Layers of information emitted from the station agent, stick

 powder. After finishing a layer, the processing platform automatically drops a little, the storage

 bucket rises a little, the scraper pushes the powder to the working platform by the raised storage

 barrel and pushes the powder, so the cycle can get the desired shape. The technology is 

characterized by fast (6 times that of other processes), low cost (other processes 1/6). The 

disadvantage is the low accuracy and surface finish. The Zprinter series is the world's only 3D

 printing device capable of printing full-color parts.

Piezo-dimensional printing, similar to the traditional two-dimensional inkjet printing, you can

 print high-precision sample, for small parts of the rapid prototyping. Relative SLA, equipment 

maintenance is more simple; surface quality, Z-axis high precision.

DLP projection type three-dimensional printing process molding principle is the use of direct light

 lamp forming technology (DLPR) photosensitive resin molding, CAD data from the computer software 

layer and the establishment of support, and then output the black and white Bitmap file. Each layer

 of the Bitmap file will be DLPR projector projected onto the photosensitive resin on the table, so

 that curing molding. DLP projection type three-dimensional printing of the advantages: the use of 

machinery factory equipped with software that can automatically generate the support structure and 

print out the perfect three-dimensional components. Compared to other devices in the field of rapid

 prototyping, the unique voxelisation patented technology guarantees the precision and surface 

finish of molded products.

3. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

FDM process, also known as extrusion molding, the key is to keep the semi-flow molding material

 just above the melting point (usually controlled at about 1C higher than the melting point). FDM

 nozzle controlled by the CAD layer data to semi-flow state of the fuse material (wire diameter as

 in the 1.5mm or more) squeezed out from the Tau, solidified to form a profile of the thin layer,

 a layer of the final formation of the entire part model. 3DSYSTEMS company's BFB series and Rapman

 series products all use FDM technology, its process is characterized by the direct use of 

engineering materials ABS, PC and other materials for production, suitable for different stages of

 design. Drawback is poor surface finish.

Melt extruded 3D printer samples

4. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

The method uses C02 laser for energy, the current use of modeling materials for a variety of powder

 materials. A thin (100μ-200μ) powder was evenly laid on the workbench. The laser beam was

 selectively sintered under the control of the computer according to the layering profile of the

 part, and the next layer was sintered after one layer was completed. After all the sintering 

finished, remove the excess powder, and then polished, dried and other processing will be parts. 

At present, the process materials for the nylon powder and plastic powder, as well as the use of 

metal powder for sintering. Germany EOS's P series of plastic molding machines and M series of

 metal forming machine products, is the world's best SLS technology equipment.

SLS technology can be included in the scope of rapid prototyping, can also be included in the area

 of rapid manufacturing, because the use of SLS technology can directly manufacture the final 

product quickly.

4. Multi-layer laser cladding (DED, Direct Metal Deposition)

The equivalent of multi-layer laser cladding, the use of laser or other energy in the material from

 the nozzle when the sync melting material, after solidification to form a physical layer, layer by

 layer stack, and ultimately the formation of three-dimensional solid parts. DED molding accuracy 

is low, but the molding space is not restricted, which is often used in the production of large

 metal parts of the rough.

5. Sheet Laminating (LOM, Layered Object Manufacturing)

Basic principles: the use of laser and other tools layer by layer cutting, stacking sheet material,

 the final formation of three-dimensional entities. The use of cardboard, plastic plates and metal

 plates can be made of wood-like parts, plastic parts and metal parts. The bonding between the 

layers of paperboard or plastic sheet is usually achieved by means of an adhesive, which is 

directly bonded to each layer of sheet metal by conventional welding (such as hot brazing, fusion 

welding or ultrasonic welding) and bolting. The biggest drawback: can not do too complicated parts

, material range is very narrow, each layer thickness can not be adjusted, precision is limited.

Analysis of three: several mainstream rapid manufacturing process of the principles and advantages 

and disadvantages

1. Selective laser sintering (SLS - Se1ected Laser Sintering)

Using SLS equipment, can directly manufacture metal molds and injection molds shaped hot runner

 system, its hardness can reach high Rockwell hardness, performance to forging level, can also 

directly manufacture special, complex functional parts. It is precisely because of SLS technology,

 small batch special, complex features of the rapid manufacturing capacity, and can be a number of

 parts forming a one-time manufacturing, to achieve more variety, personalized small batch rapid

 manufacturing, the technology in the aerospace, Automotive engine testing and development, the 

medical field has been widely recognized and applied.

2. Vacuum injection molding rapid mold (VCM - Se1ected Laser Sintering)

Also known as "vacuum injection-type complex mode", that is, using the original model, in a vacuum

 to produce a silicone mold, and in the vacuum state using PU material for casting, cloning and the

 original copy of the same template, is a The most commonly used rapid tooling technology, through 

this technology, can produce a variety of functional properties to meet the similar engineering 

plastics products, while small batch production.

Generally a set of VCM silicone mold can copy 20 sets of products, especially for small and

 medium-sized, fine pieces of replication, such as instrumentation, auto parts manufacturing 

industry. This processing technology can meet the application process in the product trial, the 

time is short, low cost, fast.

The process is usually: 3DP / SLA rapid prototyping (hand, prototype) ----- VCM vacuum injection

 molding machine (rapid mold making) ------ small batch copy, production

3. Low-pressure reaction injection molding (Reaction Injection Molding, RIM)

It is a new technology used in the rapid molding process. It will be two-component polyurethane

 material after mixing, at room temperature, low pressure environment into the rapid mold, through 

the polymerization of materials, cross-linking, Curing and other chemical and physical processes to

 form products. Because the material used is liquid, with a small pressure that can quickly fill 

the cavity, so reducing the clamping force and mold cost, especially for the production of large 

size, large area parts, such as car bumper, instrument table, tail . A set of RIM mold can copy 200

 products, has been in the automotive R & D trial, instrumentation, sculpture creativity,

 architectural design and other fields to be used.

The general process is: SLS / CNC rapid prototyping (hand, prototype) ------ RIM rapid mold making

 ------ injection molding (small batch copy, production)

4. CNC machine tools (CNC Numerical Control, CNC)

CNC is an automatic machine tool controlled by a program. The control system can logically process

 the program with the control code or other symbol instruction, and decode it by the computer, so

 that the machine tool performs the specified action, and the rough material is processed into 

semi-finished product parts by the tool cutting. Since 1952, the United States Massachusetts 

Institute of Technology developed the world's first CNC machine tools, CNC machine tools in the 

manufacturing industry, especially in the automotive, aerospace, and military industries are widely

 used, both in terms of hardware and software technology , Have rapid development. 

(From Baidu Encyclopedia)

CNC compared to traditional machine tools, it has a digital, efficient, batch features, in addition

 to the complex shape of the workpiece, the basic can cope with, although not strictly in the sense

 of rapid prototyping technology, but the industry is usually classified as fast Manufacturing.

Analysis 4: Why domestic and foreign governments should vigorously promote the rapid prototyping 

and rapid manufacturing technology development

Obama at the end of 2011 and in April 2012, twice in the public lecture will strongly advocate 

rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology, the artificial intelligence, 3D printing, 

robotics as the United States to revive the three pillars of the manufacturing industry, that can 

be by virtue of These technologies, the manufacturing industry, "return to the United States." 

Then the US 3D printing industry to get government support. The US Department of Defense, the 

Department of Energy and the Ministry of Commerce and other five government departments will 

jointly contribute 45 million US dollars, from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia businesses, 

schools and non-profit organizations will form a joint group of 40 million Dollar, in Ohio,

 established a government department and the private sector co-financing Institute of manufacturing

 innovation - the United States National Material Manufacturing Innovation Institute 

(National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute), research and development of 3D printing 


June 11, 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Sixteenth Academy of 

Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Eleventh Academy Conference speech also shows

 the close attention of the Chinese government: US and European scholars recently predicted that a

 built on Internet and new materials, new energy, based on the combination of the third industrial

 revolution is imminent, it is "digital manufacturing" as the core, the global technology elements

 and market factors of revolutionary changes in the way configuration. Some experts believe that

 Germany and other countries have made breakthroughs in pilot technology, it is possible to occupy

 the commanding heights of the revolution, re-division of the global division of labor. To be sure,

 the new scientific and technological revolution will rely on the modernization process and the 

strong demand of international competition, and will also be more closely integrated with the

 development of new industries, promote each other.

Time magazine has listed the 3D printing industry as one of the "Top 10 Fastest Growing Industries 

in the United States," and the Economist magazine argues that it will work with other digital

 production models to drive the new industrial revolution.

The Chinese government and the US government so much attention to 3D printing, the reason, no more

 than the following:

1. Changes in consumption patterns have led to changes in industrial manufacturing patterns

The original human consumption patterns are affected by the way of industrial manufacturing, what

 the market to sell, what human consumption, no think; first and second industrial manufacturing

 revolution, so that mankind from the earliest full-manual, self-sufficiency Of production and 

consumption patterns jumped to the product of the rapid and rich, global circulation stage, and 

now is the supply exceeds demand, people's consumption in turn can affect the manufacturing; and 

now people are beginning to abandon the high-volume, no personality out of manufacturing 

Traditional and time-consuming open-mold manufacturing is unable to adapt to this new trend of 

consumption, and therefore, rapid prototyping (Figure 1), the rapid prototyping of products, And

 rapid manufacturing technology came into being. Compared to the production of large-scale 

standardization of mold manufacturing, 3D printing can be produced in a certain constraint free 

production of personalized products, can be called "mass customization manufacturing model", is 

the Internet as the support of intelligent mass customization , Or "decentralized production, 

local sales" approach, marking the arrival of personalized consumer era.

In the past, consumers are in the store selection, purchase of goods already produced good, and 

now you can according to their needs in the "3D print shop" custom, while production side 

experience, timely access to their favorite products.

2. Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing compared to traditional mold manufacturing obvious 


Rapid prototyping technology is not subject to product structure and shape constraints, any 

complex shape and structure, as long as the CAD data, can be easily completed, so give personalized

, customization provides the possibility; and the use of rapid prototyping technology and Rapid 

manufacturing technology, do not need to open the mold, to achieve a modelless manufacturing, new

 product development costs can be reduced to the traditional way of 1 / 3-1 / 5, the cycle is 

shortened to 1 / 5-1 / 10. Coupled with the rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing equipment can

 achieve unattended, 24-hour uninterrupted processing, also for manufacturers to save labor costs,

 improve production efficiency.

Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology can be used throughout the product design,

 development, trial production, small batch production and other sectors, and whether it is 

industrial manufacturing, education, health care, cultural relics protection or other areas, up to 

an aircraft, small To a ring, as long as the need for physical proofing or trial production, you 

can use rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology, a wide range of applications.

Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing of post-processing greatly reduced the amount of

 processing to avoid outsourcing of data leakage and time span, especially for some 

high-confidentiality of the industry, such as military, nuclear power.

3D printing technology "Print" products are naturally seamless, one piece molding, the stability 

between the structure and the connection strength is much higher than the traditional method.

3. The future manufacturing industry must take the road of low-carbon environmental protection

"The Third Industrial Revolution" concept of the real rise and spread of globalization, and global

 sustainable development is closely related to the pressure. Specifically: First, to the 20th 

century, 80 years, oil and other fossil energy depletion, and the ensuing global climate change to

 the survival of mankind has brought a crisis. Second, the fossil fuel-driven industrial economy 

model can no longer support the global sustainable development, the need to seek a human into the

 "post-carbon" era of the new model. Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology to meet 

its will to green, energy saving, low carbon, environmental protection, the new attitude quickly by

 the global government and institutions recognized and trusted.

Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing is the use of additive manufacturing technology, the 

difference between the traditional subtraction, milling manufacturing methods, is basically how 

much weight of the production of things that cost the same weight of the material, so the material

 consumed significantly Reduce; personalized customization does not produce product inventory, can

 reduce carbon emissions and raw material consumption under the premise of maintaining a higher 

production efficiency. 3D printing of raw materials used in traditional production methods only

 1/10, which is now in the era of precious resources will undoubtedly have a huge advantage.

4. The future of global manufacturing competition lies in high value-added design

In the global economy today is towards the third industrial revolution and the background of 

economic weakness, Europe and the United States began to develop "re-industrialization" 

strategy - to remove low value-added processing and manufacturing sectors, the manufacturing

 industry chain reconstruction, focusing on strengthening High value-added links, through 

technological innovation, design innovation, change the traditional manufacturing manufacturing 

model, reduce unit labor costs, improve its international competitiveness, while providing a large

 number of employment opportunities. Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacture of the increasingly 

mature for this strategy provides a real condition.

The original manufacturing industry is the production and processing aspects of R & D design 

constraints, the development of new products from the outset need to consider whether the final can

 be produced; and rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology for product design without

 restrictions, as long as the design can Out, complete the CAD modeling, any structure and shape

 can be produced, so that the industrial design creativity and energy will be unlimited release,

 who has outstanding industrial design capabilities, who will become the future of the global 

manufacturing industry Leader, to create high profits.

China's manufacturing industry, if you stay in the foreign design, domestic manufacturing or

 processing stage, then the future can only be in the low value-added processing and manufacturing

 sectors struggling, therefore, the Chinese government and manufacturing of insight are Has begun 

to actively call for and vigorously spread rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology, 

the domestic industrial design education and industry has also been more and more attention and 


Analysis 5: Currently restricting rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology in China, 

some of the difficulties spread

In China, in addition to the Chinese government in advocating rapid prototyping and rapid

 manufacturing technology, there are already a number of visionary industry in rapid prototyping 

and rapid manufacturing equipment sales, promotion, most of them are Europe and the United States

 rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing Equipment agents in China, such as Hangzhou, the first

 Pro three-dimensional, Germany, the United States a number of the world's leading rapid

 prototyping and rapid manufacturing equipment authorized dealers, and their own rapid

 manufacturing service center built for those in need Providing a variety of 3D printing and small

 batch manufacturing services, can be said that China is currently the most professional, the 

largest 3D printing technology integration service providers.

However, rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology to be popular in China, take some

 time. Summarized for:

1. Core technology mainly in Europe and the United States

Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing of the core technology in Germany, the United States and

 other developed countries in the hands of the domestic research and development in the field of 

business is still very little, the main force is a number of universities and research institutions

, many of the latest research results from the industrialization of distance .

2. Professional-grade equipment prices high

It is precisely because most of the rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing is imported equipment

, resulting in high prices, easily hundreds of thousands, millions, the average consumer unbearable

. At present, mainly high-end manufacturing, medical, college buyers mostly.

3. Understanding and awareness is not enough

People for rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technology awareness and understanding of the

 basic in the initial stage, generally have a concept only, although there may be demand, but do 

not know what type of equipment should be purchased, which type of equipment, and had to be

 cautious to wait and see.

In fact, this should not be a rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing barriers to universal, 

because as the first Pro Hangzhou 3D Pro professional equipment providers, they can be tailored 

according to customer demand for a suitable equipment and materials program, and provide Complete 

after-sales installation, training and maintenance services.

4. Material type is not rich enough

Rapid prototyping machine and rapid manufacturing equipment used in the material, compared to the 

past has been enriched a lot, from the photosensitive resin, ABS, ABS, wax type, glass fiber and 

other plastic materials to stainless steel, aluminum alloy, iron nickel alloy, cobalt Chromium 

molybdenum alloy and other metal materials, from monochrome to full color, from transparent to 

translucent to opaque, all kinds of colors. Nevertheless, there is still a gap compared to the 

materials used in our traditional manufacturing. Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing of 

materials development, the future potential of unlimited.

5. Molding most of the products can not be used as the final product

The use of rapid manufacturing methods can produce the final product, such as the use of the German

 EOS M series of metal powder sintering molding equipment, can quickly produce the final metal 

products, but the rapid prototyping things often only as prototypes or hand, not the end product.

Therefore, at present, we use rapid prototyping technology, are usually combined with traditional

 mold manufacturing technology, which is worth promoting a modern manufacturing methods: first in

 product development and product trial stage, the use of rapid prototyping technology product model

, Design communication, verification or assembly test; after several design changes, and then

 quickly prototyping out a prototype of the final product to support the development of mass 

production mold manufacturing.

This rapid prototyping and the combination of traditional mold technology, has many advantages:

1) to accelerate product design, research and development progress;

2) to improve internal and external communication, in advance to master the final product 

appearance and structure, so that the design is more reasonable;

3) a substantial increase in mold development and manufacturing success rate;

4) the quality of the final product is better, can increase customer satisfaction;

5) cost savings, reduce expenses, while increasing profits.

Compared to 2D print every year tens of billions of dollars or even hundreds of billions of

 dollars of the market, 3D printing is currently the annual market space is only a few hundred

 million to more than one billion US dollars, or a nurturing in the market. However, the February

 2011 edition of The Economist said, "3D printing technology can be cheap to shape from a single

 product to tens of thousands of products, thereby undermining economies of scale, as those

 3D printing companies do ... ... As the printing press of 1450, the steam engine of 1750, and the

 transistor of 1950, no one could correctly foresee their broad application prospects in the future

, no one can predict the long-term impact of 3D printing technology. , It may undermine every area

 it touches in the future. "

Add: No. 16, Road 3, Sanjiang Industry Zone, Shengzhou, Zhejiang, China

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