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Agriculture 3D Printing Service

3D printing opens the gate to ample possibilities through its customization of products and production process

What is 3D printing?

3D printing opens the gate to ample possibilities through its customization of products and production process. It mainly follows additive manufacturing that goes through a five-step process. First, a sample of a 3D model is generated with the help of computer-aided design (CAD) software. The model then has to be converted into a standard tessellation language (.STL) file; this helps the 3D printer in learning surface geometry. The model is later sliced into multiple layers to feed printing instructions to the printer. In the next step, objects are formed through an extrusion process following the exact path of the design. Finally, a quality check is done to enhance the printing quality after the formation.

3D Printing in Agriculture and Farming

3D printing is gathering increasing attention in many industries now. The development is not very far from becoming essential for most industries like manufacturing, construction, automotive, electronics, military, safety equipment, medical, automotive, gadgets, and many others.

The agriculture sector always looks for new technological advancements to improve efficiency and productivity. Moreover, this sector is highly responsible for feeding the ever-increasing population. Therefore, agriculture is crucial for an individual farmer and society. Today, agriculture is the most adaptive industry that can benefit from 3D printing.

Many 3D printing solutions are already applicable and used extensively in the farming sector, and they will undoubtedly keep evolving every day. The technique is helpful in both prototyping and production. Materials used in a 3D printer can give a range of possibilities to make the products more durable and versatile. On-demand service will be significantly used in remote areas where mobilization is lesser than in cities.

Application of 3D Printing in the Agriculture Sector

Plants have different water requirements depending on size, season, soil, and weather. With the high versatility of designs possible, different types of structures can be made specific to the requirements of the farm. The equipment design can be modified in such a way that it gives multidirectional flow. For example, polymer pipes can be manufactured with a 3D printer. These pipes form a honeycomb structure which will help reduce wastage of water and replace costly parts. The 3D printer can produce parts for drip irrigation systems, garden hose splitters, pipes, sprinklers, nozzles, valves, and many other durable and long-lasting components.

Creating customized tools is easy with a 3D printer. Components of the tools and even the entire instrument can be printed and then fit together. Different sizes can be manufactured with varying attachments like screws, springs, handles, and extensions. The best part about 3D printing is that it uses fused deposition modeling, which helps recycle the material, making it more feasible and biodegradable. If any part of the machinery breaks or malfunctions, 3D printing alleviates such issues. 3D printing helps conserve time and money so farmers can minimize their downtime while waiting for spare parts and installation. 3D printing for the agriculture industry promotes a higher level of sustainable farming. A few examples of tools and equipment that can be printed are; a tri-claw fruit picker, shovel, handle, seed dispenser, gears, corn auger, etc. 3D printing can create tools and equipment quickly and inexpensively.

A modern method of farming that doesn’t need soil. It uses a specialized system where the water is infused with essential minerals and nutrients required by the plants to grow. In areas with extremely high or low temperatures, soil-based farming is nearly impossible because of infertility and harsh conditions. Hydroponics helps in growing food without soil in much lesser time. The containers and equipment required for hydroponic farming can be printed easily with a 3D printer, and the whole farm can be set up with a printer, water, and saplings. It can be attached to the wall or suspended from the roof, saving a lot of space and resources and making it an efficient way of growing food. People can fit gardens into small spaces in urban apartments. This will help gardening enthusiasts and people who wish to grow their own food. Eventually, this will lead to a decreased carbon footprint.

Every once in a while, farms require new buildings or structures, which are an essential investment. A design like storage facilities for grains, spare parts, or other farming-related goods requires careful planning. This ensures the construction process goes smoothly and stays within the budget. 3D printing helps build a scale model of the structure one wishes to build, making the process more comprehensive. Farmers can create 3D models of their farmland using accurate technology to understand the terrain better. This formation can help understand corrosion and catchment points, which are areas where the water gets collected from surrounding land.

Benefits of 3D printing

3D printing improves farm operation efficiency as customized parts can be locally manufactured and distributed. This saves a lot of time and cost invested in labor, transportation, and installation.

3D printing can be adapted to small and large farms for the smallest and biggest tasks. Its tremendous potential can provide alternative solutions to many traditional farming tools and techniques.

At ARL we aim to provide a one-stop shop for all our client’s 3D printing requirements, and with Solidworks we can cover a wide range of industrial and domestic needs covering both large-scale and low-volume manufacturing.

Conclusion

3D printing can be widely used in various agricultural applications. From labor to the creation of tools, spare parts, and equipment for practical usage. A significant chunk of time and capital can be saved, which can be more otherwise. Not only in agriculture but 3D printing can also be applied in food processing, monitoring the farming process, environment protection, and restoration.

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