How 3D Printing Works

How does the process of 3D printing work? It is the combination of many different technologies, similar to end seals for flexo printing, that are applied together in order to form the physical side of the procedure. In order to understand how the process works it is necessary to take a look at the three different steps involved. This will give you a better understanding of how the process works.

Developing Digital Data

The first step in how 3d printing works is the development of the digital data, or the designs, from any one of the various manufacturing technologies. Most commonly, this happens to be using computer-aided design (CAD) programs. However, technology has moved on in recent years and now, some of the best quality CNC machines can also perform this function. Once the digital data has been extracted from the computer file, it is critical that it is successfully converted into a format that the typical 3D printer or CNC machine can understand. This is done by the manufacturing techniques which will be used for the final phases of the process, which will convert the data into usable figures.

Conversion to Solid Data

Next, once this conversion has been completed, the file is sent to a qualified sheet feeder for the final conversion into solid data. The cad file will then go to the fuser, which is typically a roll-forming machine, to form the mold. After this has been done the file is sent to the nozzle where the actual 3d printing process occurs. Typically, the fuser will hold the molten plastic in place while the roll-forming machine shapes it into the desired shape. It is common for several different prints to be made at once as each individual print requires a particular amount of plastic to be melted into the appropriate shape.


To get a grasp on how this all works, it is necessary to understand what the manufacturing methods are that are used for the creation of your final part. In most cases, you will begin with a CAD drawing which will be drawn onto a computer monitor and will describe the overall look of the part. Once this is complete, it will be copied over to a CNC machine or other type of digital production computer program, where it will be processed according to the exact specifications defined by the CAD design. Once this is completed, the end result will be a solid plastic part that can be manufactured into the specific model that was drawn.