HWM (Singapore) - - Learn -

Be­fore you can print an ob­ject, you need a dig­i­tal model of that ob­ject to work from. An ob­ject can be scanned in real life and then im­ported into the com­puter, or an en­tirely new ob­ject can be cre­ated with the help of CAD (com­puter-aided de­sign) soft­ware. The dig­i­tal model ef­fec­tively serves as a blue­print for the printer, show­ing the ex­act size and di­men­sions of each part of the ob­ject. When fin­ished, the de­sign will be con­verted into an .STL file (for “stere­olithog­ra­phy” or “Stan­dard Tes­sel­la­tion Lan­guage”). Con­vert­ing the ob­ject to .STL will di­vide it into cross-sec­tional slices, which are used by the printer to build up the ob­ject, layer by layer.

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