ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 3D – PRINTING | Ar. Mohsin Sheikh

Technology has played a major role in human evolution. Any task today is being more optimum than a decade ago. Now, this is only possible when a CHANGE is brought. This change is particularly what we need, which makes human effort simpler. Let’s take an example of Architecture (because why not, we discuss Architecture here & things around it), earlier we use to HAND DRAFT our sheets for the drawing process. Then one fine day AutoCAD came and it changed the whole industry. And then there were successors of AutoCAD. Now this is evolving every single day, and this can’t stop and so as humans, we also keep learning new software’s to achieve more in terms of goals which we couldn’t achieve earlier.

Now in 2020, we have achieved a great deal in the construction industry yet we are having limitations.  There will always be some or the other limitation. Talking about limitation in Architecture there are different kinds of design approaches. One of it is Form based design. Even if you’re a 2nd year student of architecture you’ll realize you’ll still be able to make plan, section and elevation of the organic shape but what about the PHYSICAL MODEL.

There are many times when we get stuck in design because we’re not confident about the proportions getting it right. Or a certain part of a space of which we want a physical model so that we get an accurate understanding of it. “Prototyping” –  we don’t go there as a task of a single design becomes so hectic, we don’t explore other options and hence losing the new project.

The solution to all these problems is 3D – PRINTING. You might have heard it but today I want all your myths busted about it. We have a detailed blog covering mostly every aspect of this process so if you have wanted to learn this read the blog till the end and Leave a like if you learned something or just enjoyed reading.

What is 3D printing?

It is basically a process of converting a 3d software model into a 3d physical model done by mechanically depositing material layer by layer, so it is called as an Additive Manufacturing method. (meaning nothing gets waste)

The scope of 3D printing is not just limited to Architecture and Interior design, but also used in engineering field, automobile and Aerospace, product design, jewelry design and even in Medical field.

Talking about the BENEFITS of 3d printing it allows you to make unique or customized shapes quickly without start-up costs. As we mentioned earlier it’s an additive process so NO MATERIAL WASTAGE. Desktop printers are getting common where you can print your own design at your home.

You’ll be thinking that’s okay but we don’t know different types of 3D printers and what all materials it uses to make the object. I have got your back.

TYPES OF 3D PRINTING and MATERIALS normally used in 3d printing are FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) is the technology where we can use materials like Nylon, PLA and other kind of plastic material. This is the most common type of 3d printer.

Other techniques are:

– Stereolithography (SLA) material use is Resin

– Electronic Beam Melting (EBM) works with a directed beam of electrons.

– Direct Metal Laser Sintering with titanium powder.

– Flexible material – Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)

If it’s not sturdy it is not worth the time and energy. So, let’s discuss the STRENGTH OF THE 3D PRINTED MODEL. There are different varieties of products as mentioned in the above section from which, according to your requirement and convenience you can select one of them which ever suites your design. We can print a high density solid object to a flexible rubber-based model. The difference is the type of material and density of the model.

– PLA (Polylactic Acid) and Resin for tough models and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) for flexible models

These two topics can be merged but kept away for technical reasons. One aspect of STRENGTH is remaining which we’ll cover in HOW SMALL OR BIG can the MODEL be made??

So, to understand this we need to understand that there are different type of PRINTERS and different sizes of printers. While using we can make the model at once, or if there’s a big model you can join it as per your design. Commonly used printers are desktop printers, which can vary in size but can generally print volume of 25cm x 25cm x 30cm.

But one can make big models like houses, bridges and cycles as well, using different printers which can use concrete, clay and metals to print. For now, the biggest 3d printed building is in Dubai of 640sq.m area. Again, getting back to the topic of strength and scale of the model, if a house can be made, your model can surely be made and it will be strong enough.

The density of the model decides how much time the model will take to finish. A model with low infill density will be completed faster than the one with higher density. Here are a few examples to get an idea of what scale of models takes how much time. Now here in the figure you can see 3 objects. A Pawn, a dice and a Vase.

The pawn took 55 mins, the dice took 2 hours 37 minutes and the vase took 5 hours 49 minutes.

You don’t need to learn a new software for 3d printing. So, the question arises ‘Which software’s 3d model soft copy do I need to provide to get the model?’ You need to generate a 3d software model using any 3d modelling software like Sketchup, Rhinoceros, Blender, Maya, etc. or if you want a replication of any kind of model you just need to 3d scan the model and get the design for printing.

You guys might be thinking that how do I know so much about 3D – printing in such a small time period. Because some of the things which are mentioned here, are such that one can get them, only when one has experienced the process. These are two super Awesome dudes from my college, who are now completely involved in this segment. They have been aware of these technologies for 4-5 years and they got the opportunity to work on this from past 1 year. They have also explored Robotics, Virtual Reality, Laser Crafting. They have their practice named as NASCENCE and they provide solution in the field of Architecture and Product design using 3d softwares and tools like 3d printing and Laser Crafting

Abhishek (L) 7 Pankaj (R)

They believe 3d printing can make a change in Architecture in 2 ways in this field. One is enabling a designer and architecture play around with different ideas and identify design problems in complex geometrical models by printing small scale prototypes for presentation and design development purposes. For example, imagine an architect proposes a special kind of wall tile. You can 3d print the mould for the tile. Secondly, 3d printing the entire building which is happening in china, Dubai, USA, etc. NASA had also conducted a competition of building structures on planet Mars. The winning competition was a design proposal of a modular 3d printed structure.

A creative process where students have the freedom to explore should be incorporated at a very basic level in our educational system, which when introduced at an early age, where they should be aware about this new technology and also that enables the physical manifestation of someone’s thoughts and ideas. The early introduction of students to the new technology will make them fit for the future, when 3d printing will become more and more important for the workplace and everyday life.

SACRED HEART SCHOOL, KALYAN

The school has taken the initiative to introduce to students of 5th standard onwards to technologies like 3d printing, Robotics, Virtual Reality etc and give bright young minds the exposure to these futuristic technologies.

Lastly discussing the limitations of 3d printing. Since a model is printed layer by layer it takes a lot of time to print the whole model. Every new technology when released in market is expensive as not many people know about it and not many are using it, that’s the reason for it being expensive. Same is happening with 3d printing. I agree it is expensive but when it will be common then the cost of machines will come down which is happening with every new technology.

I hope you enjoyed this informative blog. It was a fun collaboration with Pankaj & Abhishek. If you have learnt anything from this, I’ll request you guys to go follow ‘NASCENCE’ on Instagram. Or just thank them for this fascinating information. Except one,  all the images are made of 3d printing and examples of what you can make through this process. If you have any requirements for 3d printing, you can surely get in touch with NASCENCE.

Nascence’s Instagram handle: https://www.instagram.com/nascence.3d/


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UNTIL THEN, STAY TUNED & STAY SAFE.

10 thoughts on “ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 3D – PRINTING | Ar. Mohsin Sheikh

  1. I appreciate you for giving us this opportunity. It was great collaborating with you, hope this blog helps people understand 3d printing and realize the potential of this technology.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey thanks Ayesha. You should check their Instagram handle they have more cool stuff which they did by 3D printing. I couldn’t include all pictures as the blog would have been filled with their amazing products and less of data.

      Liked by 1 person

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