India’s first 3D-printed post office unveiled in Bengaluru
Recently, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav has inaugurated India’s first 3D-printed post office in Cambridge Layout, Bengaluru.
The post office was constructed in just 43 days ahead of schedule by multinational company Larsen & Toubro Limited with technical support from IIT Madras and guidance of Professor Manu Santhanam.
- 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process that uses computer-generated designs to create three-dimensional objects layer by layer.
- It is an additive process in which layers of materials such as plastics, composites or bio-materials are created to produce objects of varying shape, size, hardness and colour.
- 3-D printing was invented by Chuck Hull in the 1980s.
- To do 3D printing, one needs a personal computer connected to a 3D printer. All they have to do is design a 3D model of the required item on computer-aided design (CAD) software and press ‘print’. The 3D printer does the rest.
- 3D printers build up the desired object using a layering method, which is the complete opposite of subtractive manufacturing processes.
- 3D printers build from the bottom up by depositing layer by layer until the object looks exactly as envisioned.
Examples of 3D Printing:
- 3D printing is being used in various industries such as healthcare, automobile and aerospace. Relativity Space, an aerospace manufacturing company, launched a test rocket made entirely of 3D-printed parts that measured 100 feet in length and 7.5 feet in width.
- At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the healthcare industry used 3D printers to make much-needed medical equipment such as swabs, face shields and masks, as well as parts to repair their ventilators.
Benefits of 3D Printing:
- Economical: 3D printing is able to streamline the manufacturing process of complex parts due to software programming which makes it an economical option in some industries. In addition, since 3D printing does not require a mold, it saves cost.
- Fast: 3D printing is ideal for rapid prototyping of products as it can be done at home in a short amount of time. Through CAD, products can be easily modified while manufacturing costs remain the same.
- Environment friendly: Since this technology minimizes the amount of wastage of the material used, the process is inherently environment friendly.
Disadvantages of 3D Printing:
- Can’t Provide Enough Strength: Building an object layer by layer can affect the durability and strength of the object.
- Accuracy issues: Although CAD is often an accessible and accurate way to design, it can contain errors. The accuracy of 3D printing depends on the printer used and the techniques used.
Source – Indian Express