Few people foresaw the tremendous impact 3D printing would have in the world. Several industries now reap the benefits of advancements in this field. Yet, we still don’t understand the future of custom 3D printing.
3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing. This is where people create things by adding new materials or components. The opposite is subtractive manufacturing. This involves removing materials from an object by cutting or shaping to end with a final item.
The printing process works in different ways. First, it can work by layering a special liquid polymer to create the desired three-dimensional object. Secondly, it can use a laser to melt substances such as plastic and metal. Another way it works is by spraying a special binding glue onto nylon powder layers.
Since its inception in the 1980s, it has brought many changes in the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, its growth was not quick enough. Most of its advancements into the 2000s were in industrial applications.
Diversification into both personal and industrial 3D printers changed everything in 2007. The public was looking forward to getting their hands on small printers for their home. This great demand brought more awareness and innovation in the industry.
Now that we know the origins of custom 3D printing, we can discover what the future holds for it. Before we get to that, we need to know its benefits. Read on to learn more.
Advantages of Custom 3D Printing
Custom 3D printing is now in use in many industries. They include the automotive industry, medical, architectural, packaging, and many others. Here are some of its advantages:
1, Customization of items
Manufacturers can customize any one of their products to suit the needs of the consumer. It allows people to show their creativity in making different styles of the same product.
That’s why there are new styles of shoes, jewelry, furniture, car parts, and many more items. Designers can come up with anything and make it a reality.
2, Saves time, money, and manpower
With a 3D printer, it is easy to do a lot of things at once. This makes it time-efficient for use. It also lowers the cost of production and saves money in hiring extra manpower. One person can take charge of the printing process.
Printing creates cheaper tools for use in the manufacturing process. Otherwise, the only solution is to buy the expensive parts and tools in a store. Materials used in printing are also affordable.
3, Risk mitigation
It is better to use custom 3D printing to create a prototype of a tool. This test helps to mitigate the risk of investing in tools that don’t suit the project at hand. Testing can save money as well because you can modify a 3D printed tool to get the right tool.
4, Fast and Easy Production
The old ways of manufacturing involved designing and redesigning prototypes until they find the right one. This took a long time. With 3D printing, prototypes are available in a matter of hours.
Getting everything done faster will boost productivity.
5, Easy Access to diverse materials
Raw materials for custom 3D printing are easy to access. The high demand, consistent supply, and increased competitiveness in the industry make the materials affordable.
Manufacturers can combine different materials to create the object they desire. Examples include glass, paper, ceramics, metal, plastics, and precious metals.
3D printing is energy-efficient. Unlike subtractive manufacturing, it creates fewer waste materials. It also reduces the need to transport products to factories. That’s because the factories can use the printer to create whatever they need.
The Future of Custom 3D Printing
There are companies which believe in a future where humans achieve great things using machines. Custom 3D printing makes these visions seem closer than ever to being reality.
We know the impact of smartphones in the society today. 3D printing is thus far opening up new possibilities for humanity. Here are some of the things we should expect to see in the future:
By far the most exciting thing about custom 3D printing is bioprinting. It involves the printing of human organs to replace damaged ones in a patient. Many people in the world are suffering from tissue and organ damage, and deterioration of blood vessels.
If researchers are successful, it will revolutionize the medical industry. People will no longer have to wait for months and years to get transplants.
Some of the techniques currently in use are innovative. One company is using bioink to create cells. They are then put on an organ or vessel and nature does the rest of the healing work.
Another company is using biomaterials made from biodegradable polymers and ceramics. Their use is in creating artificial bones.
In the future, the expectation is for bioprinting companies to have better biomaterials. Doctors will be able to use a patient’s cells to heal wounds. They will also have advanced printing devices that create essential organ replacements.
For now, researchers are looking into using 3D printers to spray skin cell tissues on burn victims. This ability to heal damaged skin cells can have an impact in the lucrative cosmetic surgery industry.
Space Exploration Printing
Astronauts in the International Space Station are experimenting with 3D printers. This could have a great impact in the future of space exploration. They can print all the tools they need in space.
Second, the advancements in 3D printed food can also save costs of transporting food supplies to space. With the current desire of scientists to ‘conquer’ Mars, having tools and food supplies at the touch of a button will be essential.
It takes many months for constructors to finish building. There are companies experimenting with 3D construction of homes. In the future, construction companies will likely make use of this technology to complete new homes on demand.
This type of printing can also fix damaged walls in a few hours. Another possible element will be the use of biodegradable materials. That means a reduction in waste in our environment.
Use of Conductive Ink
Companies are producing better conductive digital inks. These are useful in antennas, electronic devices, and circuit boards. They are cost-efficient and manufacturers can use them for mass production. Improving the conductive inks will help electrical engineers.
Replacement Parts Production
In the future, people won’t go out to buy replacement parts. If something in the house is broken, the 3D printer will produce an identical replacement. If a car doesn’t have a specific part available, a mechanic can print one.
Learn More about 3D Printing
Every day, custom 3D printing is revolutionizing how people in different industries are working. Despite the information provided above, there is still much to discover about this technology.
Contact us to learn more about 3D printing.