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For most businesses, a perfect product deserves to be captured at a perfect angle and perspective. That is why, with the onset of technological advancement, 3D printing is used to create a prototype of the product. Creating 3D images bring more wonders than simply creating aesthetic manipulation of a product or item. 3D printing brings a myriad of benefits, particularly in the manufacturing industry. One of the greatest values 3D printing provides is the amount of time saved in manufacturing. The reduction of time consumed during the manufacturing process gives more opportunity to deal with the other areas in production and increase productivity and efficiency.
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Material jetting is a process that creates objects in a similar way to a 2D inkjet printer. It works by jetting material onto a build platform, which can be done through a continuous flow or a drop-on-demand method. The material is then solidified on the build surface, and the object is constructed layer by layer.
We center our business practice around a sustainable future. We ensure lesser carbon footprint through, 3D Printing materials made out of Corn Starch (80% Bio degradable), lower material waste, reduced energy consumption, and lesser need for space. 3D Hub offers to Recycle and Reuse materials in its subsequent projects.
3D design engineering has come a long way since its inception and the last five years have witnessed rapid technological advancements and increasing sophistication. From the early days of hand-drawn blueprints and physical prototypes to the sophisticated computer-aided design (CAD) software and 3D printing technology of today, this industry has evolved significantly. Let us explore the evolution of 3D design engineering and how it has changed the way we design, prototype, and manufacture products.
The Beginning of Design Engineering
The earliest form of 3D design engineering was done by hand, where engineers and architects would create blueprints and models using pencils, rulers, and other essential tools. There was a high potential for inaccuracy in these designs as even the slightest mistake in measurement could result in a flawed prototype. However, despite limitations, hand-drawn blueprints and physical models were the only means of visualizing and testing designs.
The advent of computer-aided design (CAD) technology in the 1960s marked a significant turning point in the field of 3D design engineering. It dramatically improved the accuracy and efficiency of the design process. Engineers and architects could now create detailed and accurate designs using specialized software. This made it possible to create virtual prototypes that could be tested and modified without needing expensive physical models.
The Intervening Years
As technology progressed, 3D CAD software became more advanced, allowing for realistic and detailed designs. The introduction of parametric modeling in the 1980s enabled designers to create complex shapes and assemblies using a set of parametric equations. This enabled quick changes in design parameters and one could see its effects in real-time, greatly reducing the time and cost required to create and test prototypes.
In the 1990s, solid modeling software, such as SolidWorks and Pro/Engineer, introduced a new level of precision and functionality to 3D design engineering. These software programs could work with complex shapes and had the ability to simulate the behavior of a design in different conditions.
The next significant development in the field of 3D design engineering was the introduction of 3D printing technology in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 3D printing allowed for the creation of physical prototypes directly from digital models, eliminating the need for manual fabrication. This has greatly reduced the time and cost to create prototypes and has made it possible to create highly detailed and accurate models.
In recent years, there has been a growing focus on sustainability in the field of 3D design engineering. As the world is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of industrial production, there has been an increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly design solutions. This has led to the development of new software and tools that allow designers to evaluate their designs' environmental impact and make better decisions about the materials and manufacturing processes used.
An example of this is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software, which allows designers to evaluate the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle, from raw materials to disposal. This can help designers identify areas where they can make significant reductions in environmental impact and make more sustainable choices.
Another example is the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) software. BIM is a process that uses a digital model to manage and share information about a building throughout its lifecycle. This allows for a more efficient and collaborative design process and improved communication between different stakeholders. Architects and engineers are also enabled to make more sustainable design decisions.
The emerging area of focus in the field of 3D design engineering is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. These technologies can revolutionize the design process, allowing for greater efficiency and accuracy and enabling the automation of many tasks. For example, AI-based software can be used to optimize designs for weight, strength, and energy efficiency, which can significantly improve the performance of products and reduce their environmental impact.
The software allows engineers to set certain design constraints and let the computer generate multiple design options that meet those constraints. This allows engineers to explore more possibilities than ever before. AI-based tools that can learn from existing designs and automatically generate innovations that meet specific requirements have also been developed.
The use of virtual reality (VR) technology is also on the rise in the field of 3D design engineering. VR technology allows users to interact with digital models in a realistic, immersive environment. This can be used for design review, construction planning, and maintenance. With the help of VR technology, architects, engineers, and contractors can better visualize and understand a building project, which leads to better decision-making, fewer errors, and less rework.
In addition, 3D scanning technology is also becoming increasingly popular and widely used in the industry. It enables the creation of a digital replica of an existing object or structure, which can be used for various purposes, such as restoration or maintenance.
Advancements in technology have driven the evolution of 3D design engineering and in recent years, it has undergone a tremendous transformation. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more advanced and sophisticated tools that will allow us to design, prototype, and manufacture products more efficiently and effectively. The ability to design and create more complex and functional products will continue to improve, and the field will evolve to meet the needs of the industries it serves.
The future of 3D design engineering is promising, and it will continue to shape how we create and innovate. At 3DHUB , we are dedicated to staying at the forefront of these developments and providing our clients with the latest and most advanced 3D design and engineering solutions.
In 2021, the global 3D printing market reached a staggering valuation of 13,84 billion dollars. Experts and economists are predicting the industry to grow by 20.8% CAGR from 2022 to 2030. This rise is the result of the rapidly growing applications of 3D printing technology. Many countries like the US, Germany, and Japan are already jumping on the bandwagon.
In the same vein, Dubai, too, has carefully evaluated 3D printing and has developed strategies and visions to implement these. Dubai not only aims to be a serious competitor but also intends to become a market leader in the evolving industry. The upper echelons of Dubai Royalty aim to use 3D technologies for humanity's betterment while uplifting the UAE's global status.
Dubai royalty and bureaucrats have always prided themselves as proactive leaders and visionaries. They identified that the upcoming 3D printing industry would slowly but surely extend its tendrils into other sectors and significantly improve the manufacturing processes. Consequently, they are aiming to become a 3D manufacturing hub that is innovative and ushers the global manufacturing industry into an economic upturn.
In addition, they have already identified opportunities within their nation and beyond. So, the technology will be developed with a highly flexible template that can be applied by other nations as well. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum along with the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’ to catapult its 3D printing market to the zenith.
The Dubai Future Agenda aims to achieve global leadership by adopting future innovations by the year 2030. The 3D printing trend will grow massively in the manufacturing and housing industry before becoming relevant in other fields, like art and culinary delights. These strategies aim to restructure global economies and add value upwards of billions of dollars. And taking the earlier proactive measure will enable Dubai to enjoy the lion’s share of this economy.
To begin with, 3D printing plans aim to reduce the construction time of buildings by great margins. 3D printing is already more efficient than traditional manufacturing processes. And, now, with improving technology, it will only enhance greater productivity.
Next, there will be a decrease in demand for unskilled labor. While it may sound counter-productive for the economy, it will save countless people from construction and manufacturing-related injuries.
One of the biggest goals of the agenda is to involve 3D printing in 25% of the buildings in Dubai by 2030. Gradually, the number will increase as global demand increases. Apart from decreasing construction costs and time, and boosting the overall profit margins, the waste generated from traditional construction processes will also reduce. This will, in turn, reduce the impact of toxic chemicals on the environment.
Beyond Construction and Manufacturing
While construction and manufacturing are the initial target sectors, the future of 3D printing is not limited to that. The benefits will soon be widened to the medical sector and consumer products. Growth cells will be utilized to create tissues for surgical uses. The advanced technology will be used to create hearing aids, polymer teeth, bones, and other surgical devices. The medical sector should see an influx of 3D-printed products by 2025, and the processes should be optimized by 2030.
Finally, the consumer will be targeted by household items, toys, and electronics. These will be comparatively easy to manufacture and distribute. They already have established distribution lines and factories; only the processes need to change. The consumer sector is expected to reach around Dh 3 billion by 2025.
The Foundational Pillars for 3D Printing Economy
The Dubai Agenda outlines the five pillars that will play a crucial role in upholding the 3D printing economy in the future.
Rapid prototyping (RP) is a revolutionary process that has changed how companies create products and market them. This technology allows businesses to quickly design and build physical products, saving time, cost, and effort. It can be used in any industry—from automotive, aerospace, medical to consumer goods—to develop products with a faster turnaround time without committing to extensive financial or other resources.
What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is a process through which a product prototype can be created quickly and economically. It saves both time and money by reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming trial-and-error methods of product development.
There are several RP methods, but the most common is 3D printing. With 3D printing, a three-dimensional model of the product is created using a computer-aided design (CAD) file. This model can then be used to create a prototype of the product. It allows for the creation of complex designs that would be difficult or even impossible otherwise.
RP allows for multiple iterations of the prototype so that designers can test different versions before committing to one for manufacturing. It is an essential tool for any company looking to develop new products quickly and efficiently while ensuring that their products meet the needs of their customers.
RP applications include visual prototypes, concept models, functional prototypes, pre-production prototypes, production tools prototypes, and production molds for prototypes.
In 2021, the market for RP was worth US $8.8 billion, and the market forecast predicts industry growth at a CAGR of 14.9% from 2022 to 2031. By 2031, it is anticipated that globally, the industry will be worth US$ 32.4 billion. The market for RP materials is also expected to expand due to rising demand from end-use sectors using 3D printing technology.
Types of Rapid Prototypes
Understanding the various kinds of prototypes is crucial before using RP for a design. Generally, it is used for individual parts rather than assemblies. Depending on what the product designer wants to achieve from the prototype, they may not even resemble the final product. The prototype parts may be tested individually or may be assembled to form the entire model for evaluation.
A prototype can be classified according to its accuracy requirement, product development stage, and purpose. In terms of functionality, appearance, user interface, and size, prototype accuracy can vary from low to high. RP can produce ‘low-fidelity’ prototypes to test a broader concept, for example, a paper sketch to a cardboard mock-up. On the other end, a ‘high-fidelity’ prototype resembles and functions like the final product as closely as possible.
Five Benefits of Rapid Prototyping
1. Increased Efficiency: Rapid prototyping allows developers to iterate on the design quickly and efficiently, making it easier to identify flaws and make adjustments. Design teams can go beyond simple product visualization, which helps them evaluate the product's features and designs effortlessly. By eliminating steps like creating molds, expensive tooling, and trial-and-error adjustments, the technology enables companies to get their products to the market faster.
2. Cost Savings: It reduces the cost of product development by eliminating the need for expensive materials and labor associated with traditional manufacturing methods like tooling.
3. Improved Quality: Creating prototypes easily allows developers to spot potential design flaws and rectify them at a much earlier stage. This ensures quality management from the early levels, which in turn elevates the quality of the final product.
4. Reduced Risk: With RP, developers can test their ideas without risking significant investments in materials or manufacturing processes that may not work. The process allows designers to create multiple iterations of a product, enabling them to adjust or alter designs. Prototypes promote cooperation and helpful criticism from essential stakeholders. RP transforms thoughts, ideas, and pictures into tangible goods so customers, co-workers, and partners can see them in action. Companies can construct a high-fidelity prototype for users and stakeholders to examine after creating a low to medium-fidelity prototype that satisfies their internal requirements. This approach helps in getting insightful opinions on the finished product and ensures the support of various stakeholders.
5. Simpler Testing Process: With RP, a developer need not take apart an existing prototype or create a new one from scratch in case of any adjustments or improvements. This simplifies the testing of the products significantly.
Why Choose 3DHUB for Rapid Prototyping
3DHUB was formed in response to the demand of this century's requirements for 3D printing services and solutions. At 3DHUB, we focus on modernity and professionalism, creating the most functional and effective technological solutions. High quality and customer satisfaction are key tenets for us. We strive to provide our customers with the highest quality products and services in the fastest, most economical way possible along with making sure that the start-to-end experience with 3DHUB is smooth and efficient.
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Whenever you learn about the creation of the latest, life-changing product, your brain pivots to exactly one word when thinking about how these products were made: engineering. Indeed, if necessity is invention’s matriarch, then engineering is the lifeblood coursing through its veins, providing the necessary processes and functions to the right people to make the right objects.
By and large, we identify engineering as the profession that helps in designing, manufacturing, constructing, and maintaining products, systems, and structures. However, there is an important distinction to be made between two very different sorts of engineering.
How Would One Classify Reverse Engineering?
Forward engineering is the more traditionally known process of formulating logical designs to make possible the physical creation of a system or object. These designs can exist in myriad dimensions - simple physical drawings that show where to sit on a seesaw, carpentry tools, and timber to create drawers and cabinets, or lines of code used to create the very website you’re currently on. Forward engineering creates, from previously provided instructions, the exact device that those instructions prescribe.
On the other hand, reverse engineering can be viewed as the process of analyzing a system or an object to identify its specific components and how they function together. By disassembling and studying an existing system one can replicate it without the aid of previously rendered drawings, documentation, or computer models. Lastly, of course, is the process of creating a physical system that draws from and builds upon the technology and functions observed in its predecessor.
Why Reverse Engineering?
Reverse engineering is used in sectors such as software engineering, automotive, consumer products, electronics, chemicals, and mechanical designs. Across these spheres, the commonality is the lack of availability of viable directives and models as stencils for your design processes. Meeting this availability is the precise niche that reverse engineering exists in.
For example, when a new product is introduced into the market, competing manufacturers often utilize it as a guideline. They dissemble it to learn how it was built and how it works. A chemical company can use reverse engineering to understand and emulate a competitor’s patented manufacturing process. In software engineering, good source code is almost always a minor variant of other source code - is it any surprise, considering how similar OS versions are on a fundamental level, and how they’re often built on decades of pre-existing code and the same language?
Blurring the Lines
A question often associated with reverse engineering is - how legal is it? Honestly, it depends and can differ greatly on a case-to-case basis.
As a general rule of thumb, reverse engineering is an accepted method to understand and emulate or improve a competitor’s product, especially for physical offerings that are publicly available on the market. However, this works rather as an unwritten edict in trade secret law than a rigorous guideline. This is because many definitions of reverse engineering can be in direct contradiction to the strictly upheld patent laws of the country/region.
For instance, in the case of proprietary software, while creating a viable alternative can certainly be one use of reverse engineering, unethical individuals and black-hat hackers can also utilize powerful tools to find weaknesses and blind spots in software to create vicious malware that can exploit these shortcomings.
What does this mean for regulators and lawmakers? It is essential to consider cases on an individual basis. A blanket ban on reverse engineering will curtail market competitiveness as smaller companies will no longer be able to catch up to the leaders. On the other hand, free reign will lead to a wild west scenario where a brand can simply copy the product of another without any punitive action.
How Reverse Engineering Can Help You
Reverse engineering can be crucial in the following scenarios - for one when the original manufacturer of a product no longer produces it and there is inadequate documentation of the original design (perhaps it was lost, or may never have existed). Maybe the original CAD model of the first generation of the product simply does not bear enough design similarities to be utilized anymore. In either case, reverse engineering can help you out.
Reverse engineering is also a great way to explore ways to improve product performance by identifying and supplementing the more functional features within a class of products based on their long-term usage over generations. Similarly, sub-optimal features or extraneous material can be eliminated. Further, some products may still be quite in demand from end consumers but may not be viable to produce as they utilize obsolete materials or antiquated manufacturing processes. In such cases, the product can be updated with more current, less-expensive technologies via reverse engineering.
The potential of reverse engineering is huge. However, it is essential to use the right products for the process. If you are looking for solutions regarding reverse engineering then 3DHUBhas your back! Founded in 2012, 3DHUB has already grown to be the largest platform for everything related to 3D in the Middle East. We focus on modernity and professionalism while delivering the most effective technological solutions.
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Even though 3D printing sounds like a sci-fi movie trope, it is very much real, and now, it has become more accessible than ever. Believe it when we say you can have a 3D printer in your office alongside a regular 2D paper printer. Operating the printer is also relatively easy. All you have to do is enter the dimensions of the object you want to print and select the printing material. The printer will create the object within a few hours, ready for you to use.
What is 3D printing?
As the name suggests, 3D printing is a manufacturing process that creates three-dimensional objects. The three-dimensional object is formed by continuously laying down the material and letting it dry. As a result of this creation procedure, 3D printing is considered an additive process, where objects are created layer by layer. Although the printing process is additive, you may need to remove excess support structures to get the finished product.
Depending on the type of 3D printer, you can use plastic, polymer, or metals to print the objects. For example, most smaller 3D printers use plastic in the creation process because they lack the equipment to heat and mold metal. On the other hand, industrial 3D printers are more than capable of printing robust objects using metals like titanium and aluminum.
Types of 3D printing technologies
Currently, there are nine different types of 3D printing technologies. The most popular ones are:
1. Stereolithography (SLA)
2. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
3. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
The other six methods of 3D printing are also relevant in the industry but not very popular. These include:
4. Digital Light Processing (DLP)
5. Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
6. Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
7. Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
8. Binder Jetting (BJ)
9. Wax Casting or Material Jetting
Let us understand the three most popular ones in detail.
1. Stereolithography (SLA)
The first 3D printers utilized this printing style. Instead of plastic or metals, the printers worked with photosensitive liquid resin. The resin was softened and hardened using a UV-laser beam. and layered until the object was formed. But the process does not end with printing. The finished object has to be washed with a special solvent. And in some cases, the product needs to be further exposed to UV light to cure the resin. Digital Light Processing also works in a similar fashion but uses a digital projector and light in place of UV beams.
2. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
FDM is the most common method of 3D printing, as most desktop printers can adopt it. Individuals and small businesses can easily use this type of printing to meet their requirements. The printer consists of a heating chamber that melts the plastic filament and a nozzle to deposit the melted plastic. This makes the printer size relatively small, making it appropriate for domestic use.
In FDM, the nozzle deposits the melted thermoplastic on a 2-dimensional plane and repeats the same process to build the object vertically. If any part of the object extends outward with an angle of more than 45 degrees, the printer creates a thin support structure for it which needs to be carefully removed after the printing is done.
3. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
SLS printing shares some of the core printing principles of the other two, but the process is slightly different. A nylon-based powder is melted and bonded together using lasers creating a strong plastic that is more durable than normal plastic or resin prints. The printed objects do not need any support. In addition, due to its particular layering process, you can print multiple parts simultaneously. However, most SLS prints have a rougher finish that needs to be sanded down.
Engineering schools and professional product designers rely on SLS printing to create product prototypes.
What are the main uses of 3D printing?
3D printing is primarily used in
Traditional injection molded prototypes are expensive and take weeks to produce a single prototype. With 3D printing, prototype manufacturing time has been reduced to a few days or even hours. The printing process is comparatively inexpensive as there is less wastage of resources.
3D printers can also be found in classrooms and public libraries to encourage students to experiment with their designs and learn to prototype. For STEM students, 3D printing has been revolutionary as they can now rapidly create prototypes for their test designs and equipment on a small scale.
3. Trinkets and Jewelry
Artists and designers have also hopped on the 3D printing trend to create jewelry designs and trinkets that are not possible with traditional methods. Museums, too, have started creating 3-dimensional structures of famous 2-dimensional paintings.
Architects and contractors use 3D printers to design mock-ups and tools for construction purposes. Civil engineers use concrete, cement, foam, wax, polymer bonds, and additive welding techniques to print full-scale houses. Some construction companies have started 3D printing building parts in factories and assembling them on-site.
In medicine, 3D printing uses biomaterials like growth cells to create artificial tissues for medical use. 3D printing tech is also actively used to manufacture prosthetics on a large scale for amputees. Some orthopedic implants and pacemakers are also being 3D printed on a large scale to reduce their overall cost.
In the past few years, the explosion of 3D printers has changed the way tech enthusiasts, artists, and designers work. However, the sheer amount of 3D printers available out there for different printing techniques can be overwhelming.
At 3DHUB , you can find printers and sort them according to your needs. Our offering ranges from desktop 3D printers to printers reserved for medical use. We also provide on-demand manufacturing and rapid prototyping services.
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