3D printing is on its way to become the new standard in product manufacturing. It is increasingly being used in healthcare, automotive, and other industries. But why is 3D printing incorporated in these global markets? In this article we’ll give you 5 reasons why 3d printing is the future.
With a 3D printer, you can almost print any product, whether it is the product as a whole or separate parts that are later assembled to create the finished product. 3D printing or “additive manufacturing” allows us to produce products with very complex designs, this is a big contrast when compared to the traditional manufacturing industry. The main limitations we usually experience are typically the maximum size of a product or how long it takes to finish the print.
Another reason 3D printing is the future, is that it allows us to customize and adjust our products with ease. It’s easier than ever to make some quick changes to a design and deliver products that are perfectly tailored to the customers’ needs. This flexibility also makes 3D printing very usable in rapid prototyping, where you can quickly test multiple versions of a product without having to commit to one version.
3D printing used to be overly sensitive to errors, so it was difficult to use it on a large scale. In the beginning, it was more for the hobbyist. But since 3D printing was introduced, it has developed and matured rapidly. When you compare 3D printing now with 10 years ago, you’ll see everything became smarter and more fault-proof, from the printer itself to the 3D modelling software.
In addition to the rapid development, 3D printing is also far from settled. There are already so many new capabilities like material extrusion, fused deposition modeling (FDM), vat polymerization, stereolithography (SLA) and many more. All these techniques offer it’s own benefits. But we also see new applications: earlier this year a 3D printed house in the Netherlands got its first resident.
In the future we also see a lot of potential for a broader adaption of the 3D printer. There has been a lot of development in the food industry, world hunger could potentially be decreased by 3D printed foods. Another rapidly developing industry is the health and medicine industry. For instance, a number of biomedical engineering researchers are developing 3D temporary organ structures that may help regenerate damaged tissues. And don’t forget about the creation of prosthetics and 3D printed implants, perfectly tailored to the users’ needs.