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3D Printing is Changing Your World

 Nanomedicine, tricorders, 3D printed dentures – technology is changing our world every day, particularly in the field of manufacturing and construction.  New and innovative ways to create are emerging all the time and the human family’s capacity to imagine, design and invent continues to grow. With this expansion of imagination comes the expansion of technology needed to support it, and 3D printing is one example of a computer-controlled process that is shaping the future as we speak.

3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

In essence, 3D printing is the construction of a 3D object based on a model designed on a computer. It can implement a variety of processes that vary the way in which the material is deposited, joined, or solidified as well as the material being used. The material (such as plastic) is usually transformed into such an object by adding layer upon layer of the material together until it forms the desired shape, such as 3D printed dentures, as designed and controlled by the connected computer. In the past, 3D printing techniques were limited by people’s implementation of them as they were considered only suitable for producing prototypes – an item defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the first example of something.” As a result, during this time, the process was referred to as rapid prototyping. However, in more recent years, the precision, repeatability, and material range of 3D printing have developed significantly to the point where this technology is considered a viable process as an industrial production technology. A big advantage that 3D printing has over other forms of construction is the ease with which it can produce very complex and intricate models that would otherwise be impossible to create. Hollow parts or parts with internal truss structures are now able to be created easily, opening up the potential of design and construction considerably. As the technology continues to develop and advance, it’s only natural that this potential would begin to expand as a result. 

A Booming and Thriving Industry

Recent data shows that the worldwide industrial 3D printing market is expected to grow from 2.1 billion dollars in 2021 up to a record-breaking 5.2 billion dollars by the year 2026. As the software improves, so do its capabilities and as a result, 3D printing services are expanding. Likewise, there is a growing demand for these services as it reduces manufacturing costs in both the areas of staffing and materials. Fewer people are needed to work the manufacturing process and less material is wasted when 3D printing services are implemented.

This boom is happening in 3D printing services across a wide range of industries. Healthcare, aerospace, education, construction – all these industries are benefiting from 3D printing and supporting the increase in usage and capabilities. Let’s look at a few of these fields in more detail to see how 3D printing is causing a revolution around the world.

1) Aerospace. Modern aircraft consists of several complex parts which are hard to design and even more challenging to build. These unique components need specialised tooling equipment which can be very expensive. This is where 3D printing lends a hand – it allows engineers the ability to design and make the parts a lot faster and a lot cheaper. Furthermore, these items can be made a lot lighter which plays a massive role in the design of aircraft. 

2) Automotive. Luxury can be taken to the max by creating unique, bespoke, one-off components to manufacture amazingly personalised vehicles for clients.  A custom steering wheel can easily be printed according to the buyer’s preference. Repairs can also be done easily as replacement parts can be printed quickly to suit the needs of the customer. 

3) Medical. Medicine is forever changing due to developments in the technological tools and services at hand. Implants and prosthetics can be created using a lot less time and a lot less money and things like dentures and crowns can be printed to accurately match a patient’s body. Organs can be replicated flawlessly, replacement hips can be developed seamlessly, and medicines can be tested on thin layers of bioprinted tissue. 

4) Consumer goods. To make the best products, they need to be put under thorough testing and manufacturing methods. With the assistance of 3D printing technology, making prototypes is easier than ever as engineers and designers can test and evaluate multiple versions of a product without the time and expense involved in traditional methods. 

5) Industrial goods. A great deal of industrial production involved electronic components and 3D printing can play a large part in helping to design and create these. 

6) Education. With the help of 3D printing, schools can provide enhanced learning opportunities to bring the subject of a class to life. Instead of simple pictures of the internal machinery of a car, a teacher could print a replica of each part for the students to hold, examine and therefore better understand. Furthermore, creativity is involved as students have the opportunity to use 3D printing technology and build on that foundation as they develop skills and interests that will be part of their future careers. 

Manufacturing methods are speeding up to meet an ever-increasing demand for instantaneous results. Products that once took months to manufacture can be completed in a matter of days with greater accuracy and intricacy than has ever been achieved before. Gone are the days when 3D printers were a commodity of the mega-wealthy. The technology is becoming more and more affordable – your first personal 3D printer could cost as little as $200. Accessibility is improving all the time so more and more companies can share in the benefits that come from implementing 3D printing methods in their procedures. Depending on the printer, 3D printing can even be transported as you travel to become a business opportunity regardless of your location or the set-up of your company. Before you make the commitment to buy your own printer, you can test out the results by paying another company to print your computer-aided design. Evidently, 3D printing is a revolutionary concept that is changing the world as we know it.

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