Why 3D Printing is the Future

in StemSociallast month

3D technology, though now gaining traction, it has been around over the last 50 years. 3D printing, as the name implies is a form of printing that is done to reproduce a 3D material from a digital system. 3D printers provide quick and cheap solutions. It also translates people's digital fantasies into real-life objects they can touch. It is also known as Additive material technology, this is because materials are arranged on top of each other through a small feeding point that is being rotated by the computer.

The arranged material is allowed to dry after which the next layer of the material is printed on top of the existing one. This is how this process continues till the desired object size is attained. Definitely, the material with which the models are printed is key in the whole process. 3D printers make the production of complex shapes using less material possible, traditional manufacturing methods make this impossible.


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3D printed foods. By Kārlis Dambrāns on flickr

Since the invention of 3D printers over 50 years ago, this technology has progressed at a really fast rate, strides in this technology have touched most industries. Stereolithography, selective laser sintering, and fused deposition modeling were among the first most widely successful innovations of 3D printing. They were originally meant to be applied in industrial prototyping.

Over time, 3D printing technology was adapted for use in a variety of fields, for large-scale production, engineering of highly complex designs and parts, and also for personal use. Fields that have adopted 3D printing into their operations and working include space science, engineering, food science, medicine, and entertainment.

Unlike back in the days, now 3D printers are very available and cheap to purchase. This commercial adoption though it looks good, it also comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Just as Cannabis enjoys usage by both the medical community and those who abuse it, the same can be said of 3D, it has its good and dark sides.

The benefits and advantages are limitless, below are a few of the crop of benefits that have come to be as a result of the technology.

Helps to reduce production costs

3D printing does not have to be expensive as you can effortlessly print most objects you desire. 3D printing, also known as Additive material technologies is one that if it is used for your proof of concept, one's waste material would reduce. Just as the name says, proof of concept can be done with 3D printed models. With just a few models, one can be sure they have every proof they need and that it was effectively cost-efficient. 3D printing affords one the opportunity to make these models at a very cheap price.

Cost/Time Effectiveness

The amount of time and cost-cutting that 3D printing brings to the table is another advantage that sets it apart. Being a single-step manufacturing process, 3D printing has been able to save time and reduce (eliminate) costs brought about by using different traditional printing machines. They can be essentially used while concurrently doing other related or unrelated things, supervision of the printing process is not necessary. This all alludes to the fact that it reduces the time and cost that is normally spent on printing, it can only use the material sufficient for the object it's building.

Eco-friendly

A traditional printing/manufacturing firm would accrue a lot of wastes while trying to build a simple model. With 3D printing in mind, it reduces the number of materials that would be wasted due to the manufacturing of this body. More so, the eco-friendly benefits broaden when features like improved fuel efficiency from using lightweight 3D printed parts are considered.

Easy Accessibility

Now more than before, the prices of 3D printers now low has made them much cheaper than they were. Coming with various options of materials and technologies, from plastic to resins, 3D printers will produce your desired object for you. Though now easily accessible, many still do not want to go through this minimal stress. Your 3D jobs can be contracted to an online 3D printing service or even a local 3D printing service. With them, all you would have to do would be to upload your 3D file to this service provider and your model would be printed and sent to you in no time.

Variety of characteristics

From resin to plastics, these different materials also impart different characteristics on these models. As mentioned above, possibly your product might have to showcase some level of elasticity or other qualities you would like to see on your model. With those in mind, a mastery of how these qualities and characteristics work can help you create something marvelous and also unique.

With these characteristics, the boundaries will keep on getting pushed. Eventually, your printed model all boils down to these ideas and things that you have in your mind, your final product should reflect your idea. All of these can be done by tweaking the properties of these materials as one pleases in order to reflect what one wants.

Advances in food science and technology have created the possibility of 3D printable food materials, it should be noted that these are different from genetically modified foods though some similarities exist. Currently, It is already possible to 3D print steaks, shakes, and vegan steaks. A bit of these can be seen in most SciFi movies, they are true.

In respect to 3D meat printing, Giuseppe Scionti, worked on some bioprinting projects, such as the creation of artificial tissues, like artificial corneas and 3D printed synthetic skin. The existence of the working on regenerative medicine can help to create meat products. Giuseppe Scionti, in no time, will way to find a way to produce meat and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, at the same time.


3D printed artworks. By जाधव प्रियांका - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88240701

Chocolate 3D printing is fast gaining ground amongst chefs working in the pastry industry. 3D printers have been able to help with the creation of complex chocolate designs that are hard to design if they are to be done using hands.

Final Words

It is very difficult to overlook the benefits that 3D printing technology has to offer humanity as compared to other conventional forms of priting. Without any iota of doubts, the future belongs to innovative technologies, of which 3D printing represents a core aspect.

What do you think?

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Great article I never thought that you could 3d print chocolate. I have an FDM 3D printer ans its great for figurines and other ornaments, but when I print moving parts like gears ir just doesnt have the strength. I hear good printers can print in nylon and this is a lot stronger so in the future I cam see a world where you might be able to print your own hobby models that work.

What would be cooler is being able to buy online 3D models with STEM tokens.

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Hello @hadji your post gives us a walk through 3D printing technology which brings to bear it in mind to be involved in some production process in different fields and even prototypes. It is certainly growing and offering greater benefits, which must be put to good use. Without forgetting, everything that goes for and towards sustainable development, will be welcome. Thank you.