Everything you need to know about 3D Printing

Annette K. Brown

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All about 3D printing

Cooksongold have revolutionised 3D printing with a modern approach combining technology with the art of precious metal printing.

View their incredible new service here: www.cooksongold.com/3dprinting

But let’s get started with the journey of 3D Printing….

What is 3D Printing?

Polymer 3D printing

In simple terms 3D printing is an additive technology used to manufacture parts. By ‘additive’ we add material to create the geometry. Most traditional manufacturing methods such as milling and machining will involve removing materials to reveal the geometry.

3D printing is known to be quick and has the possibility to create complex geometries over ‘traditional’ technologies, with an extensive list of growing materials.

It is heavily used in many areas, such as medical, aerospace, dentistry and Jewellery, especially for prototyping.

History of 3D Printing:

There is a fascinating history of 3D printing and how we got to where we are today. Dr Kodama attributed to the first attempts of 3D printing where he printed photopolymers preceding stereolithography using a layer by layer approach to form a 3D object. However he unfortunately missed the deadline to file for a patent so it was never given to him.

Move forward to 3 years later and 3 French engineers named Alain le Méhauté, Olivier de Witte, and Jean Claude André who did manage to file for a stereolithography process patent. So close to being the new revolutionary pioneers to 3D printing later abandoned the patent shortly after due to ‘a lack of business perspective’. Bet they have their regrets now.

Another 3 weeks later a man named Charles ‘Chuck’ Hull filed his patent for Stereolithograph. He included new features for example digital slicing and the STL file format. Gaining his patents by 1986 Chuck Hull released the first ever 3D printer the SLA-1, in 1987 and 3D printing was born.

So, In the 1980’s when 3D printing was first invented, 3D Printers were referred to as rapid prototyping technologies because back then the technology was only suitable for prototypes, not production parts.

Modern Day 3D Printing

Modern Day 3d printing

Recently however, 3D printing has developed into an incredible resolution for several types of production parts and is becoming more accessible and cheaper for prototyping. The phrase ‘rapid prototyping’ thus is evolving to refer to very fast prototyping in all forms.

From the late 1980s to the early 1990s the industry underwent very rapid commercialization. The first machines were big and expensive and their makers competed for industrial prototyping contracts with mass-market manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, health, and consumer goods industries.

In the early 2000s the severe competition to gain profits, the expansion in material science, and the ending of several patents established an environment in which 3D printing had finally become accessible and affordable for the masses. It was in this decade that 3D printing soared within all industries of manufacturing, when it had always been the realm of heavy industry and big money, it began to widespread.

From 2018 the excitement around 3D printing had hugely decreased from mass media, however the interest in commercial use for several types of businesses has never been greater. Today there are thousands of companies producing printers and offering all sorts of services leveraging 3D printing technology.

Modern day 3D printing is extraordinary, with the evolution of 3D printing moving quickly, 3D printing went from plastics and metals to expanding industries and introducing itself to bioprinting, architecture and now precious metal printing objects with Cooksongold!

How is 3D printing used in jewellery:

The most common way jewellers use 3D- printing is by creating 3D designs in their preferred CAD software and then using a high-resolution 3D printer to produce the 3D printed wax or resin that can either be used as a model or can be cast using the lost wax casting method.

Here at Cooksongold we have revolutionized the process with modern technology by creating an instant online portal so you can easily order your 3D printed precious metal piece in just THREE steps. Create. Upload. Print is our quick and easy process.

Head over to www.Cooksongold.com/3Dprinting to read about our new 3D printing service and stay tuned for our next blog on ‘how to order your 3D printed piece’.

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Author: Cooksongold

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