FORM'D - 3D Printing & Design

3D Printing is Additive Manufacturing

Brock SpainComment

Form'd is a young company embarking on a journey that has been traveled by few before us.  Let's face it, 3D Printing is just starting to pick up momentum in mainstream consumer markets and their isn't a clear understanding of what it is yet.  Most of us have heard about it, some of us have read about it and few have actually seen the technology working in person.  Whatever experience level, I've found that people desire to learn more.  So let us explain 3D Printing, how we us it and shed some light on the next industrial revolution.

3D Printing is the popular reference to a technology that is referred to nerds like me as "additive manufacturing".  Additive Manufacturing is the process that a 3D Printer uses to create an object by "adding" material layer-by-layer.  This successive process of "adding" material is best explained as growing an object.  Yes!  Growing an object from nothing until it is completely Form'd... sorry formed.  I am a picture book fanatic so a visual is always helpful for me.  Check out the following video to see a 3D Printer growing an object.

In the video you see the 3D Printer growing an object layer-by-layer.  Which means that the object had to be divided into layers.  The complex process of slicing an object into layers is controlled by extremely advanced computer software.  The width of these slices are adjustable depending on the desired surface resolution; smaller layers equals slower printing times but smoother products.

Additive Manufacturing is the most popular form of 3D Printing and is used to grow materials in steel, wax, acrylic, etc.  The advantage of this method is in each layer.  Because we are dividing an object into complex layers we are able to manufacture objects that couldn't be built by traditional methods.  For example, the handle of the Elk Horn Shaver Brush would be time consuming and extremely tedious to carve because the elk and his horns are contoured in the shape of the brush.  To make things more difficult it is also hollowed in the center, at the bulb (where the badger bristles sit) and at the end (where the cap rests).  If that's confusing, check out this interactive 3D Model to get a better idea of what I mean.

Try to carve that!  Manufacturing the shaver brush traditionally would be a headache but growing it layer-by-layer simplifies the process.  It also pushes the envelope of design, which we are all about at Form'd.  Ultimately, the goal of using 3D Printing Technology is to open the door for designers to develop product that we have never seen before and make it customizable for the masses.  What Henry Ford and his assembly line gave the world during the industrial revolution of was a product that reinvented the way we lived life.  3D Printing promises a similar revolution that is just beginning to evolve. 

So for now, that is a basic introduction into the world of additive manufacturing.  Please feel encouraged to share this post and leave your comments or questions.  We do have a Facebook and Twitter so please like or follow us to see more.  We will be posting more information about "additive manufacturing" as the weeks progress.  In the meantime, check out our 3D Store to buy your first 3D Printed Product and click on our Design Community to learn more about growing and selling your own design work.