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Last edited 18 Dec 2020
At a glance - 3D printing
In August 2017, BSRIA launched an At a glance - 3D Printing Guide to highlight the accuracy and speed benefits, in addition to offering quick facts and answers to key issues on a myriad of 'need to know' issues.
- What is 3D printing?
- 3D design tools.
- 3D printing process.
- Methods of 3D printing.
- 3D printing applications – in construction.
- Advantages and disadvantages.
- How can 3D printing be used in the real world?
“There’s a new kind of printer that prints three-dimensional objects. The technology has developed significantly in the past 20 years and 3D printing now has a whole host of uses. The aim of this topic guide is to give a background to 3D printing technology and show what 3D printing can offer the construction industry in general and building services in particular.
"3D printing is mainly used in the manufacturing sector for prototyping, helping new products go to market faster. It is also increasingly being used for one-off bespoke components. These can range from the microscopic scale to large structures weighing tens of kilograms.”
What is 3D printing?
The 3D printer uses a model design created in CAD (computer aided design) as its template which is broken down into individual layers by the 3D printer’s software. Material is then deposited, usually via a nozzle device layer by layer until the 3D product is complete. There are other methods of 3D printing that vary the method from this example.
What has put 3D printing at the forefront of product development and opened up new markets are the increases in speed and accuracy and the increased range of materials that can be used. Improvements in technology, especially CAD have aided this – a manually controlled 3D printer would almost be impossible to use accurately.
Who is the topic guide for?
- Building surveyors.
- Building designers.
- System Integrators (SIs).
- HVAC engineers.
- Building Services engineers.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BSRIA articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- 3D printing in construction.
- 3D concrete printer.
- 3D concrete printing market.
- 3D printed bridge.
- 3D printing Michelangelo's David in concrete.
- Advanced construction technology.
- At a glance - Indoor air quality.
- BSRIA launch smart technology topic guide.
- Printing 3D models of buildings.
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