A couple of years ago, 3D printers were all over the headlines, with people imagining everything from robots to artificial meat being made in these machines. Of course, like with any new technology, the initial hype explored possibilities that are still a long way down the line. However, despite not being all over the headlines, this technology has been steadily making strides in multiple industries.
Of course, you’ll still see people talking about various aspects of 3D printing in tech shows on your Cox cable. Scientists and engineers have really made 3D printing a practical and useful part of a number of industries, such as prosthetic engineering and architecture. Therefore, it is absolutely something you should know about and do your research on. Here are a few key facts you should know.
It’s Not as Expensive as You’d Think
Initially, people hesitated to use 3D printers because they started out quite expensive. However, this is true for any new device, and once they hit commercially, prices were much more reasonable. Now, many game hobbyists use these printers to sculpt their game figurines using the appropriate materials.
These materials were quite expensive and hard to find at first too. However, they are now more easily available, so anyone can use 3D printers. There are a number of models in a large price range, depending on the size and use cases you want to go for.
It Doesn’t Just Include Plastic
Most in-home 3D printers use plastic of some sort, with eco-friendly versions as well. However, when you look at laboratories and other alternatives, you’ll see that people are using all sorts of materials. There are labs using metal, glass, and even organic matter in their specialized 3D printers. This has a lot of implications for the future, particularly when it comes to eco-friendly manufacturing and healthcare.
In addition, the 3D printing sector is already working on artificial materials which do not have the environmental or medical impact regular plastic does.
3D Printers Are Already In Use In Many Industries
Even though this technology may seem a bit elusive at times, it is already well in use across many industries. Architecture firms use 3D printers to create renders of their designs. In addition, they are changing how avant-garde fashion works.
Iris Van Herpen is one of the biggest examples of using 3D printing in fashion. She uses the technology to create structures and shapes never seen before on the runway. Therefore, 3D printers are not only contributing to industries, they also have the potential to revolutionize them.
They Are Much Easier to Use Than Expected
Many people believe that 3D printers are best left to the experts. The truth couldn’t be further from that. Commercial 3D printers are extremely user-friendly and come with apps which let you choose premade designs or create your own. These apps are quite intuitive and let you customize designs as much as you want.
You don’t even need to be computer-savvy to use these printers. You just need to refill the material cartridges, choose a design from the app, and then the printer will do the rest of the work.
They Could Revolutionize Construction
The construction industry has really adopted 3D printing as its own. Its engineers realized that this technology has the potential to reduce construction times and costs significantly. This is extremely important due to the lack of cheap housing all over the world, especially in developing countries.
Currently, Dubai is home to the largest 3D printed building in the world, called the Dubai Municipality, which spans over 6,900 square feet. It is an example of how this technology will basically allow firms to reduce a large number of labor and time costs. Once this becomes more common, sustainable architecture will be more a norm than the exception. Therefore, it has the potential to completely revolutionize the construction industry and make affordable housing a more achievable reality.
In conclusion, while 3D printing may not be as hyped up as it used to be, it is still making its mark on the world. It is bringing up conversations like sustainability, affordable prosthetics, and unique design, showing how widespread its impact can be.