Only a few years ago, we were quite afraid that our office printer would soon turn to be a relic from the bygone era. The same is true for the floppy discs, trying hard to remain relevant in the digital era. Then â€˜3D' came into being. Today, printers are one of the fastest and the hottest technologies; courtesy, the third dimension or 3D.
We are well aware of 3D printing as well as its potential for improving manufacturing processes and medical treatments. According to a specialist of digital revolution as well as disruptive technologies, 3D printing will transform everything within only a few years' time. According to Steve Sammartino, a technology entrepreneur, 3D printing will cast a significant impact on the society and economies around the world.
For better or worse, 3D printing is all set to transform nearly each and every sector in life and jumpstart another industrial revolution. Sounds like an exaggeration?
We have listed a few ways in which 3D printing is influencing the way we live.
The traditional modes of manufacturing leave behind a lot of waste. 3D printing brings down the waste as well as the carbon footprint that manufacturing products have on Earth.
- Lesser Waste Materials
Just the raw materials necessary to create an object are made use of. It can be metal powder, plastic filament as well as carbon fibre.
- Longer life Span
If a part of the product gets lost or is not functioning properly, there are options to replace that part, thereby increasing the lifespan substantially. As the product parts are possible to replace, the product need not be thrown away each time it begins to malfunction.
- Lesser Transportation
The products are often required to travel far to reach the final destination. With 3D printing, the products will not need to travel for long distances and everything will be possible to get manufactured locally. In case the raw materials are not available, they can be shipped.
- Lesser Unsold Products
There are several instances when we see companies running at a loss as they are not being able to sell the products. This will be rare with 3D printing. The companies can make only the products that have a demand in the market. Thus, there will be lesser unsold products, bringing down the number of companies running at a loss, substantially.
All these things sound great theoretically. Research needs to be undertaken to improve the 3D printers since presently, they have inefficiencies that make them significantly less environment-friendly. The inkjet 3D printers waste around 40 to 45% of the ink.
Why will you buy office supplies if you can make them yourself?
The commercial 3D printers with all the relevant 3D files will allow you to deck your workplace. While the small printers will help you to handle the smaller essentials like pencil holders and staplers, the larger models can help you print anything from the desks to the office chairs.
3D Printed Buildings
The dream to 3D print entire buildings will soon be a reality. It is now possible to build walls of virtually any shape using the conventional materials.
The 3D printed structures provide a better scope for architectural design. The denser materials can, later on, be added for enhancing the integrity and the strength of the structure.
This process is faster as well as significantly more cost-effective as compared with the traditional brick building processes.
3D printing is making its presence felt in multiple industries and aerospace is not an exception either. There is a strong potential for the astronauts to use the 3D printers on long range missions. If we can ever see the colonisation of a planet or a natural satellite, we can safely assume that 3D printing will play a significant role.
The way we experience situations and moments, live or have fun will be affected by 3D print. 3D printing is marching towards the sports industry with steady strides. The users can expect to get custom protective gears that ensure added safety. Moreover, the personalised sports equipment will perfectly cater to the specific needs of the users.
Customisation revolution will soon be a reality.
3D printing is evolving fast though there are a few technologies that will take 5 to 10 more years to come mainstream. There are also discussions about the emergence of 4D printing technology. This will allow people to print objects that reshape themselves or self-assemble. Keeping fingers crossed, let's wait and watch.