This week’s selection is “3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing” by Chee Kai Hua and Kai Fai Leong.
There are plenty of introductory books on 3D printing on the market — some of which are actually fraudulent — but this book is definitely not one of them. In fact, it’s a very good book providing a comprehensive overview of the process.
While the book was published in 2019, I wouldn’t say that it is old; in fact, the material presented is effectively timeless. They provide very general overviews of the entire additive space.
The book begins with brief history of the technology, and then breaks down the technology in a way I have not seen other texts use.
Their first section, “Additive Manufacturing Processes Chain”, describes in only a dozen pages the entire workflow required to accomplish 3D printing, from modeling and support design to post processing activities. This is fundamental knowledge that all 3D printers operators should know.
The next three sections review basically all of the technologies used in additive manufacturing, smartly categorizing them as “Liquid-based”, “Solid-based” and “Powder-based”. I have not seen this breakdown previously, and it makes a lot of sense to do so.
Because of their breakdown, the specifics of the machines they describe don’t matter, hence the timeless nature of the material: if you understand powder-based 3D printing here, you can understand it for today’s or even tomorrow’s machines.
They follow that with the software aspects, focusing first on the several data formats currently used in the space, as well as the concepts behind them. Finally, they review potential applications for 3D printing in a wide variety of industries.
This book is quite different from other introductory 3D printers that assume you’re a hobbyist seeking to operate a desktop device. Instead, this book takes a much higher-level view and describes the entire system of 3D printing across all activities.
While this book would not be the best for a hobbyist seeking a way to start in the technology, it very much would be suitable for anyone in industry contemplating the additive world, particularly for someone with no existing knowledge of the space.
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