The impact of 3D printing’s explosion as a mainstream manufacturing technology has been felt worldwide in the past decade, with its benefits being leveraged in a variety of industries.
Here is a look at the revolutionary effects of 3D printing and what changes are occurring to bring it to a wider audience.
Image Source: Pixabay
Accessibility & affordability are introducing it to more industries
As with any new technology, it took some time for 3D printing to move from a costly, somewhat niche concern to a solution that the majority of organizations could access. Thankfully today it is more cost-effective and accessible than ever before, with the investments made by early adopters helping to lower the barrier to entry for others.
Initially it was the aerospace industry and the medical sector that catalyzed the 3D printing market, but now almost any firm can make use of the tech. This is in part because you do not need to buy the equipment outright, but can instead outsource the printing to a dedicated service provider. From companies in Seattle to 3D printing in San Jose, businesses can use these services as a more affordable long-term solution.
Large scale printers are changing the game in construction
The construction industry might not seem like the obvious area in which 3D printing would bring about a revolution, yet thanks to the ever-increasing scale of the printing equipment being produced and the diversity of materials that can be used for additive manufacturing, this is where some of the most exciting developments are happening.
The concept of entire houses being 3D printed from scratch might seem like something from science fiction, but it has already been put into practice in the real world. Furthermore this technology could prove to be key as humanity continues its efforts to build on the moon and eventually explore other planets over the coming centuries.
3D printing is ideal for construction for a few reasons, first of which is the speed enhancement that it offers over traditional techniques. It can also create structures that are stronger and better insulated than brick-built residences, further increasing its desirability in this industry.
Manufacturing is changing forever
For most of human history, in order to make useful objects it has been necessary to take large pieces of material and hone them down until they are the right size and shape for the task at hand. This is labor-intensive and requires a great deal of manual skill.
3D printing takes the opposite approach, with complex components and structures being created almost out of thin air, using only the exact amounts of material that are needed, thus keeping waste to a minimum.
From the rapid prototyping of automotive parts to the remote creation of components without the need for complex and costly production lines, 3D printing has shaken up manufacturing more than any other industry.
Even with all the progress that has been made in this area, we are still really only just at the beginning of 3D printing’s story, and it will be exciting to see where it takes us going forward.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!