Way back in the 1980s 3D printing techniques may not have been considered suitable for industrial-production. However, as of 2019, the technology has gained considerable advances in precision, material ranges, and repeatability, which has opened the doors for producing otherwise impossible constructs.
There are a variety of processes available where the material is deposited and solidified through a computer to create a three-dimensional object using a digital or CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model. Hence the possibilities for 3D printing have been expanded substantially in recent years.
According to a recent study by 3D Insider, the 3D Printing Industry could be worth up to $3.1 billion by the end of 2020. Furthermore, from 2017 to 2018, there was a genuine decline of 88% to 65% in the use of plastic in 3D printers.
If this trend continues, there is no doubt that metal use will eventually overtake plastics by 2021. In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the ways through which 3D printing technology is impacting the world around us.
· Architecture Industry & 3D Printing
Architecture as anyone would know deals in the process of constructing, designing, and planning of buildings and structures. When utilized for architectural purposes, 3D printing can offer tremendous breakthroughs when it comes to pitching new designs for clients to examine.
Not only can this reduce the time and resources taken to develop a working model, but it can also help architects to study intricate issues and concerns related to their designs.
Hence it could lead to terrific improvements in the stability of the structure without letting go of their aesthetic appeal. In short, more functional and practical designs can be accomplished, which can be nothing less than a magnificent piece of art as well as a wonder of scientific knowledge all mashed into one design.
A great example is that of Bercy Chen Studio LP, located in Austin, Texas, that uses 3D modeling to provide tangible structures using in-house resources.
· Benefits to the Environment
While 3D printing at the moment uses a tremendous amount of energy to melt building materials to be used, however with progress in technology, hopefully, these matters can be resolved.
However, there is no doubt that with its surgical precision, 3D printing definitely requires less material than traditional methods, and there is also less wastage produce through the process. Furthermore, 3D-printed objects often utilize thermoplastics which can be recycled.
Other technological interventions are also along the way to make biodegradable and renewable plant-based sources such as PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid) that comes from corn.
However, it is to be noted the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are released into the environment can be a concern for workers and that their safety should be addressed through proper guidelines and precautionary support.
· Clothing, Fashion, & Wearable Accessories
From wearable accessories to clothing items, 3D printing has the potential to change fashion forever. Apart from various customizations that can resolve to find the right size for customers and to provide them with personalized apparel goods, 3D printing can induce some newfound designs into the mix.
This can include wearable constructs that can add further appeal to designer clothing as well as playing with new materials that combine clothing and 3D printing together.
Some notable examples include collection by Julia Daviy, Stratasys Partnership with Designers threeASFOUR & Travis Fitch, and the Spider Dress of Anouk Wipprecht.
· Dynamic Mechanical Locks
There are several concerns regarding 3D printed networks which can be hacked, and they need further protection from those who can compromise security and alter the process to damage reputations.
However, at the same time, 3D printing can be used to deliver stupendous designs to fortify security controls in the form of dynamic locking mechanisms that can be developed in secrecy.
We all love to solve puzzles with moving objects and shifting the force of impact to create openings in a structure designed to test our wits. Imagine people buying 3D printed designs to secure their belongings through locking mechanisms that even Albert Einstein couldn’t figure out in time.
Some noteworthy examples include Devin Montes’ Lock Pick Puzzle, Ford Motors’ custom made wheel locks, and The Lion Lock by Gigi1970.
· Ergonomic Designs for Everything
Ergonomics plays a huge role as a scientific discipline that seeks to bring optimum interactions for humans with systems, professional applications, principles, theory, and so much more.
However, a lot of us know ergonomics through its design applications which makes it possible for workplace items, tools, equipment, furniture, and various other objects to fit and match the need of workers.
These designs are not only comfortable to use even prolonged periods of time but also delivered a tremendous boost to productivity and operations. Imagine the possibilities of developing easier to use items and astounding amounts of customizations made available for those who are disabled.
Companies like FARO® and Proto Labs Inc. are already offering world-class solutions for businesses through 3D metallurgy and prototyping applications.
· Health, Fitness, and Sports Industry Applications
These days there is an ongoing trend in the masses where physical fitness and being aware of healthcare issues matter. No wonder athleisure, yoga, and meditation are seeing an increase in popularity that has continuously been increasing in recent years.
Through 3D printing in the mix and what you get are some of the most ridiculous yet cutting edge solutions for the health and fitness industry.
Not only can you achieve tremendous designs for equipment, tools, and wearable accessories, but you can also achieve unprecedented performance improvements.
Some notable examples include 3D printed midsoles by ECCO, a Danish shoe manufacturer, and 3D printed gym equipment by Yeggi.
· Innovation in the Manufacturing Industry
When it comes to applying 3D printing in manufacturing and industrial equipment, probably the first thing that comes in mind is prototyping and creating mock designs. These can later be approved by clients, and then shifted to full-fledge production on assembly lines.
According to a Harvard Business Review post, companies using 3D-printing for mass production include GE for home appliances, Google for consumer electronics, and LUXeXcel, a Dutch company that manufactures LEDs.
As time progresses, more companies are expected to invest in 3D production of materials and amplify their capacities.
This is also supported by the fact that 3D printing while can be expensive but with greater flexibility can make additive manufacturing’s total cost to be substantially lower.
· Fulfilling Outrageous Design Requirements
There is no question that with 3D printing capabilities, some of the most sophisticated designs and concepts can be materialized into the real world. Nova Meat which is a food-tech startup based in Barcelona, Spain, has been reported by Business Insider to have developed synthetic 3D-printed meat that can mimic the texture of beef or chicken.
On the other hand, we have the example of Apis Cor, a Russian company founded in 2014, which is offering housing solutions by offering 3D printed homes. Taking things up a notch, Divergent Microfactories, a San Francisco-based startup developed their own 3D printed hypercar called The Blade.
Students at present requesting professionals to do my assignment for me are also interested these days as to just what range of things can be accomplished through 3D printing capacities.
· Medical 3D Printing, Bionics, & Biotech Applications
Advancement in 3D printing technologies regarding repeatability and accuracy of outputs and results has also captured the interest of healthcare and medical professions such as bionics and biotech sciences. Open Bionics is a UK based company that is offering next-generation bionic limbs for disabled people.
On the other hand, when it comes to biotechnology companies like the TheWell Bioscience in New Jersey, USA offer bioinks for 3D printing. Then we also have the example of Prometheus, an Italian startup, that develops Ematik Ready, which is personalized medicine for the treatment of animal wounds.
· Satisfying Local Demands
A lot of the times we find businesses reaching out to overseas companies to help them with their local demand and overcoming the deficit in manufacturing capabilities or capacities.
With 3D printing, all of these hassles can be overcome, and as we move forward, these technologies will become easier to access.
For instance, you are selling office chairs, or any other physical product, you can design a 3D model to show it to your target audience. It will provide them with a better vision and visualization of your product.
So rather than outsourcing your projects to other ventures, businesses can invest for –in-house production in the future.
There is so much more to 3D printing that I simply couldn’t include in this post due to time and space limitations. However, I do hope that this post helped you in understanding how 3D printing is revolutionizing the world around us. For any further questions related to the topic, please feel free to mention your query in the comment section below.
Amanda Jerelyn currently works as a Senior Content Executive at Dissertation Assistance. This is where higher education students can acquire the best essay writing service from professionals specializing in their field of study. During her free time, she likes to binge-watch popular TV series online.