Originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993, the 3D printing process creates physical models by solidifying layers of composite powder using a liquid binder. These printers use standard inkjet printing technology to create parts layer by layer. Instead of feeding paper under the print heads like a 2D paper printer, this 3D printer moves the print heads over a bed of powder, upon which it jets, or “prints”, a single two-dimensional layer by depositing liquid into the powdered substrate. Next, a new layer of powder is rolled across the top of the layer just completed and again the print heads jet out liquid into the powder, solidifying the next sequential layer. When the manufacturing process is complete, the solidified model is removed from the powder bed and infiltrated for strength. 3D printing is one of very few full-color processes, which makes it possible to print objects in full color. This can be useful for color mapping, labeling and highlighting anatomic structures.
3D Printing Technical Details: