Did you know that you could find useful 3D prints online and print a wide range of three-dimensional objects at home? This technology is making manufacturing more accessible than it has ever been and has a wide range of uses, both at home and in industries such as healthcare or architecture.
HOW 3D PRINTING IS REVOLUTIONIZING HEALTHCARE
The use of 3D printing in healthcare isn’t new. This technology has been mostly used to create customized dental devices and hearing aids so far. Healthcare providers can get access to useful 3D prints and customize them for each patient.
These implants are cheaper to produce and can be designed to fit each patient more precisely than with other methods.
This same approach is allowing healthcare providers to create 3D printed bone implants. Getting a precise result is essential for a short recovery and to reduce discomfort.
Researchers are currently working on using 3D printing for more complex implants. Princeton University researchers have managed to create a 3D-printed ear that can pick up radio frequencies the human ear can’t hear. It is possible that this type of project will result in 3D-printed implants designed for blind or deaf patients.
A company is currently working on creating 3D-printed organs. The bio-ink used to make these organs is extracted from seaweed, and each organ can be printed to be an exact fit for the patient. This is a significant innovation that could replace organ transplants in the future.
There are other uses for 3D printing in the field of healthcare, such as synthesizing chemicals. An advanced 3D printer could be used to reproduce chemical reactions and manufacture prescription drugs in a safer and more affordable manner.
HOW 3D PRINTS ARE CHANGING ARCHITECTURE
Technology has had a significant impact on the field of architecture by making it possible to use software to create designs. Almost all professionals rely on software to create architectural prints and robots are already playing a part in the construction process.
Combining these tools with 3D printing is the next logical step. The plans designed on a computer can be turned into files for a 3D printer.
Architects are already using 3D printers to create models. This is a quick and efficient way to show their design and the models created are durable. The models also show a greater range of details.
There is a new generation of 3D printers designed to work with a wide range of materials such as steel or concrete. These large 3D printers can be used to create entire buildings or homes or to print building blocks that will then be assembled to create a structure.
This technology could disrupt the construction industry in the future. A handful of projects have been completed so far, but being able to create customized designs and to build a structure with very little manpower needed make this technology interesting.
Printing techniques also allow architects to create different types of structures. Architectural designs are often limited by the constraints created by the materials used or by the substructure needed to support the weight of the building.
With 3D printing, architects can create buildings that require a lighter substructure. They can also work with new shapes. A 3D printer can, for instance, create curved shapes with concrete, which isn’t possible with traditional casting methods.
It is possible that 3D printing will make construction a lot more affordable, and will allow architects to combine different materials to create lightweight structures. Some 3D-printed structures could even use materials that react to temperatures and weather conditions.
PRINTING PARTS AND TOOLS FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
There are a few different uses for 3D printing in the automotive industry at the design and manufacturing stages. 3D printing automotive technology is already in use, and more automakers will probably adopt it soon.
Car parts are typically made with molds. This is an approach that makes sense for mass production, but it is time-consuming and expensive when engineers work on developing a new design for a vehicle.
Using 3D printers allow engineers to quickly create the parts they need for a prototype. They can create slightly different versions of the same part and correct flaws within hours instead of having to create several molds. This approach reduces the cost and time needed to create a prototype.
Volkswagen is already using 3D printing during its manufacturing process. The Portuguese Volkswagen plant relies on 3D printers to make tools onsite.
Every time an auto plant starts manufacturing a different model, a few adjustments have to be made. This typically requires the automaker to ship new tools to the plant. By being able to print tools onsite, this auto plant is saving time and money and can quickly adapt to manufacturing a new model with very little downtime.
Customization is another area that holds a huge potential for useful 3D prints. Small auto shops can print customized parts and create the spare parts needed to restore older vehicles instead of having to order expensive parts that might be difficult to find.
Having access to this technology considerably reduces costs and opens up more possibilities when it comes to customizing vehicles. It is possible that automakers will offer more customization options for their vehicles and even let consumers play an active part in the design process thanks to 3D printing.
We are still a long way from seeing automakers use 3D printing to manufacture cars. This technology isn’t ideal for mass production, but it is possible that a few parts could be printed rather than manufactured in the future. This would allow manufacturers to use larger more resistant parts made from lightweight materials rather than assembling several smaller components.
3D Printing and Fashion
Fashion prints are becoming more common in the world of luxury fashion. This is an industry that has often adopted new technologies to create art and deliver more customization options to its customers.
Using 3D printing in fashion gives customers the possibility to play a part in designing an item. This is a business model that has already been adopted by a few high-end jewelry companies.
The use of 3D printers allows designers to work with new structures and new materials. This technology can create clothes, accessories, and jewelry with a complex design. It also makes it possible for designers to create a finished product without the help of craftsmen.
So far, 3D printing has mostly been used in combination with other traditional techniques. This technology could become more commonplace in the world of fashion as designers work with software to create new clothes and accessories.
It is also interesting to note that 3D printing is opening up new possibilities for artists. The technology used to print buildings and structures could be used to create complex sculptures and other art installations.
In fact, artists can start experimenting with this technology by getting a home 3D printer. There are plenty of online tutorials and useful 3D prints you can use to make your prototypes and figurines at home. The 3D Doodler Pen is an interesting alternative to a printer if you want to get started with creating three-dimensional objects.
Manufacturing And Design
Using 3D printing reduces manufacturing costs and makes manufacturing more accessible. This technology can be used to create complex components that will be assembled.
This is an interesting approach that allows manufacturers to create more durable components, to use lightweight materials, or to incorporate customized parts in the manufacturing process.
Designers are also relying on 3D printing to create prototypes. This technology allows them to create a detailed prototype in a matter of hours and to run some tests before printing a new iteration of the prototype.
Being able to run low volumes is another advantage of 3D printing. Some prototypes couldn’t be manufactured without a significant investment due to the high cost of producing small volumes.
With 3D printing, more small businesses will be able to start producing their products, sometimes onsite. This technology also makes it possible to create complex objects without having to use a wide range of machines.
It is possible that 3D printers will change how we fix products. In the future, you could use a 3D printer to create spare parts or the parts needed to upgrade an old appliance instead of throwing it away. You would also be able to customize a wide range of products by printing the parts or accessories you need.
This technology is also making manufacturing more accessible. Researchers are already looking into using 3D printing for space exploration since this technology could be used to print the tools and spare parts needed during the mission. These printers are also bringing manufacturing capabilities to schools and remote areas.
These are only a few examples of how 3D printing is changing manufacturing and the objects we use every day. We could soon see buildings created with 3D printers and live in a world where design standards and trends have changed thanks to the new possibilities created by 3D printing.