3D Printing: How it works, Advantages, Award Ideas
Why is 3D printing important today, and how is it changing the world? Creating prosthetics and homes, this cutting-edge manufacturing process has endless capabilities and applications. In the world of recognition, trophies and awards can also be fabricated from printing machines. Although it’s been around for decades, this technology continues to evolve and prove itself invaluable. By capturing unique designs and unparalleled shapes, this one-of-a-kind process revamps recognition and modern designs.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is a manufacturing process that prints a 3-dimensional design layer by layer. This creative tool is used to bring models and ideas to life. At Cristaux International, we use 3D printers for modeling, lasering, and scanning custom awards.
Additionally, we use 3D printing for rapid prototyping. We can test concepts before committing to a whole production run. This way, we can look for potential design flaws and possibly reconfigure. The sampling process saves manufacturers and clients time and money in the long run. They can evaluate a rough draft before making the real thing.
Uses in different industries
3D printing is extremely versatile and used in many fields. Whether for aesthetic or functional purposes, this process can create a wide array of products. Examples include parts for tools, dental veneers, and jewelry. As technology evolves, capabilities and designs expand.
How does 3D printing work?
It’s important to understand how 3D-printed awards are created. Gaining this knowledge helps promote transparency and confidence in trophy manufacturing. Let’s walk through 3D printing step by step and learn the basics.
- Create a 3D model. This model is an electronic file of the 3-dimensional concept.
- Send the model through a slicer, or software the prepares the file for printing. Also, consider adding supports to the model during this step. These additions act like pillars to stabilize the piece during printing and prevent the design from shifting.
- Begin operating a 3D printing machine. One model may be printed in one to five hours. Printing time depends on the piece’s height, size of the layers, and material used.
- Evaluate the finished product. Take a moment to possibly remove any supports and to see if any changes need to be made to the design.
3D printing advantages
Known for its flexibility, 3D printing comes with many perks and benefits. This state-of-the-art technology can realize complex designs, test unique concepts, and more. This form of manufacturing allows designers, engineers, and clients to be confident and curious during the creation process.
- Achieve organic shapes
- Mimic different materials and textures
- Quickly create and test prototypes
- Manufacture lightweight pieces
3D printing disadvantages
Due to the knowledge needed to understand and practice this process, problems may arise without the proper experience. Flawless execution cannot be achieved without prior training. Before jumping into printing, consider the following issues to avoid.
- When using materials like resin, avoid modeling designs that are too thin. They may snap.
- Certain concepts may take up to ten hours to complete.
- Select finishes may tarnish 3D-printed pieces.
- Some machines may expel fumes, and this may bother some people. Other machines come with filters to eliminate or diminish fumes.
3D printing ideas
When designing 3D-printed gifts and trophies, there are limitless possibilities to explore. Below are a few ideas and examples to inspire brainstorming. This process can bring any story to life.
While other materials can’t be machined or cut too much, 3D-printed elements can achieve organic and intricate shapes. For example, animals and curved concepts can be easily modeled and printed.
Logo and product replicas lend well to 3D printing. Also, the accuracy of printed components is unparalleled because of the software used. This precision and uniqueness will make any piece stand out.
3D lasering crystal
A similar method can be used to laser 3-dimensional designs into blocks of clear crystal. This achieves a floating, shadowy, and ghost-like effect.
3D printing examples
A great way to understand what 3D printing can do is to browse examples of creations. The following programs feature modern and refined pieces meant to inspire.
- 3D-printed coffee bag for Death Wish Coffee
- Custom deal toy featuring a fighter jet replica for ReavesColey
- Metal-covered award for Sur La Table
- 3D-printed DNA double helix for Andelyn Biosciences
Find more design ideas in our portfolio.
Innovation Meets Design
3D printing leads the way for recognition programs wanting to reinvent concepts. Driven by excellence and specialty, this process helps give unique shape to award designs.
Contact Cristaux today to begin creating your 3D-printed award.