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The difference between 3D printing and rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping was born in the late 1980s. It is a new technology based on material accumulation and has been considered a major achievement in the manufacturing field in the past 20 years. Integrating mechanical engineering, CAD, reverse engineering technology, layered manufacturing technology, CNC technology, material science, and laser technology, it can automatically, directly, quickly and accurately transform design ideas into prototypes with certain functions or directly manufacture parts. This provides an efficient and low-cost means for parts prototype production and verification of new design ideas.

3D printing technology emerged in the mid-1990s, using the latest rapid prototyping devices and technologies such as light curing and paper lamination. Its working principle is basically the same as that of ordinary printing. The printer is filled with “printing materials,” such as liquid or powder. After being connected to the computer, the “printing materials” are superimposed layer by layer through computer control, and finally the blueprint in the computer is turned into a physical object.

At present, the domestic media circle is accustomed to calling rapid prototyping technology “3D printing” or “three-dimensional printing”, which seems more vivid. However, in fact, “3D printing” or “three-dimensional printing” is just a branch of rapid prototyping and can only represent part of the rapid prototyping technology. Molding. 3D printers are simple versions of rapid prototyping machines. Less losses, less ability. Rapid prototyping is a conventional method that has been used in the automotive and aircraft industries for many years.

Generally speaking, 3D printers are compact and smaller than RP machines. 3D printers are great for offices. They take up less energy and less space. They are designed for small volumes of real objects made of nylon or other materials. It also means that 3D printers can make smaller parts; rapid prototyping machines have at least 10 inches of construction chamber on one side, and 3D printers have less than 8 inches on the sides. Moreover, 3D printers can realize all the functions of rapid prototyping machines, such as verifying designs, creating prototypes, and remotely sharing information. 3D printers are also easy to handle and maintain. You can buy these DIY kits on the market and build your own 3D printer.

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