Workshops are increasingly faced with a challenging situation where conflicting factors are combined in a way that is difficult to reconcile:
In the case of special profiles, how can we bring all these factors together? One solution comes from 3D printing, an innovative process that is already revolutionizing many sectors of industry. 3D printing is able to produce complex shaped objects in a short time and with extremely low costs.
In this article we will refer to the three main methods of printing plastics: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), Stereolitography Apparatus (SLA) and Digital Light Processing (DLP).
The first process starts with a plastic filament that is heated in an extruder mounted on a motorized carriage. The extruder deposits the molten plastic in superimposed layers until the finished object is obtained.
DLP and SLA are based on a liquid resin that hardens under the effect of light. The first projects a laser beam that causes the resin to polymerize point by point, while the second uses a sort of video projector to solidify a complete layer in a single step. While the FFF is widely used both at a hobby and professional level, DLP and SLA are typically intended for high-precision uses such as jewelry and dental technology.
As for the filaments, various types of materials are available for every need. The most common are:
Filaments are available in a wide variety of colors and effects, such as translucent, transparent, metallic, phosphorescent. PLA is also available with the inclusion of wood fibres for an effect similar to MDF, or filled with carbon fibre for greater strength.
Let’s now see what the advantages of using 3D-printed bending tools can be.
Like any other technology, 3D printing of folding tools is not a cure-all. Some limitations restrict its use to certain applications.
3D-printed components find many other uses in a factory. For example, we can produce objects like: