Industrial Robots: 3D printers

3D printing is a new emerging robot that may change the way we live and obtain material products. 3D printing is also referred to as additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing is the process of adding material layers to on top of each other to create the three dimensional object. Controlled by computers these printers allow for precise creation and not much deviation from the 3D model.  3D printers are considered a type of Industrial Robot. An industrial robot is defined as ‘ an automatically controlled, re programmable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes. ‘ These robots assist many individuals and corporations by reducing production and manufacturing costs. These 3D printers provide faster product arrival time; make shipping costs obsolete and personal consumer items in general cheaper. 3D printing is a relatively new technology, so its full potential has yet to be tapped. It will provide a lot of progress in the technological fields. 3D printers allow anyone the ability to create 3D models and schematics to print and create objects. These individuals can then sell their schematics or if they are very generous people bent on advancing expansion of the field make it open source. Open sourcing is one of the most important and exciting features of computing. It allows for people to come together as a group and create something just to help others. They are not seeking profit or control or fame. They just want to create something that makes life easier for someone else. This open source architecture could pose a big threat to corporations that create and profit off products that could be easily created by a 3D printer. The initial cost of a personal 3D printer is currently very expensive. The price is upwards of a couple thousand dollars for a decent 3D printer. There are more cost efficient printers but they do poor work. The industrial 3D printers cost around two hundred thousand dollars. The printers range so widely in price because of the wide range of things they are able to create. Some of the personal, cheaper printers are smaller and have a max size object they can replicate. The larger industrial printers print larger objects than the personal ones and allow for a wider diversity of materials. Currently the majority of personal printers use plastic as their material of choice for creating objects. Other more advanced printers allow for printing in materials such as polished nickel steel or glass fiber-filled dyed nylon. There are environmentally friendly 3D printers as well. These environmentally friendly printers greatly reduce the waste produced by plastic bottles and other plastic products. These environmentally friendly 3D printers are termed RecycleBots and recycle wasteful plastics into 3D printer filament. This is one of the most energetically efficient ways of recycling. These RecycleBots help reduce landfill waste substantially. These robots are not only helpful to the environment but also to our pockets. Recycling allows for individuals to create their own filament and do not require that individual to go out and buy the materials necessary for printing items. This type of recycling is termed distributed recycling.

 

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