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3D printing is missing the third dimension

3D printing is missing the third dimension

Written by David

January 23, 2019

Printing structures in three dimensions Composites manufacturing is inherently an additive process and has always been about structural efficiency in our three-dimensional world 1 . However, the 3D printing community has been slow to catch on. For more than 30 years, 3D printing has been stuck in 2.5D, building parts a layer at a time on a flat (2D) base to form a 3D structure with little strength in the third dimension. This Z direction weakness has been known since the 1980s, but little has been done to address it. However, 3D printing has caught the public’s imagination and grown to a US$7 billion/year industry. This success is primarily due to incredibly resourceful young minds that have leapt over many of the hurdles presented by these early 2.5D technologies. But they neglected the third dimension. Enter composites These early rapid prototyping technologies have evolved into additive manufacturing (AM) — […]


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