In What Situations Are 3D Printing Most Valuable? And Why Use It!


3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) technology was first invented in the 1980s by Chuck Hull, who designed and printed the first small 3D printed cup. 3D printed objects are made from a designed digital file and a 3D printer that prints the object in successive layers. 

While 3D printing technology has been in existence for decades, it has grown in usage and popularity in recent years.

New developments in 3D printing applications have been rising in popularity due to their simplicity and flexibility compared to the early years.

3D printing material and 3D printer models were very expensive in the past. Today, with variations and improvements in the technologies of both materials used and the machine, the cost of production has been reducing, making 3D printing applications on the rise and more cost-effective.

3D Printing Is Here To Stay

It is good that 3D printing is now cost-effective so everyone can reap all the valuable benefits from it.

Let’s discuss the valuable applications and the pros of 3D printing.

What are the advantages of 3D printing technology?

Additive technology is one key advantage of 3D printing since it opens up a new way in which you can create your products as compared to traditional manufacturing methods. As far as recent inventions go, some key advantages of 3D printing technology include: (Source)

Cost reduction:

Cost reduction in 3D printing technology can be analyzed in three different categories: machine cost, labor cost, and material cost.

Machine costs: This plays a very small part in the entire cost of manufacturing. The ability to create and develop complex 3D parts in one step saves on time and creates an enhanced level of efficiency.  Therefore, machine cost is also offset through the savings made during the process.

Labor costs: Unlike traditional manufacturing methods where a good deal of different manpower may be required to operate different production lines or machines, 3D printing technology will only require an operator for the 3D printer. Therefore, labor cost is significantly reduced.

Material costs: With the growing different range of filaments used in 3D printing, material cost is expected to go down. Also, additive manufacturing consumes less material as compared to traditional manufacturing where a lot of material is wasted.

Check out the article on how much It cost to DIY 3D print.

Low Wastage

In traditional manufacturing (subtractive process), raw material is wasted, resulting in high-cost due to high material wastage. In 3D printing technology (additive manufacturing), production is done uniquely with less wastage

Reduced time

One of the key advantages of 3D printing technology is that you can manufacture products and parts much easier and faster as compared to traditional methods. You can create complex designs as CAD models and transform them into real products within a few hours.  

Test the market

3D printing technology enables the creation of prototypes which helps businesses get feedback from potential investors or buyers, something that was not possible with the traditional methods. The products can be altered and customized, even up to the very last moments of production.

Reduced errors

Efficiency is key when it calls for designing products and parts. The process involves several steps when using traditional methods, hence, prone to errors. However, 3D printing technology creates the production process in one single step.

You simply need to finalize the design then upload it to your 3D printer. This eliminates dependence on the many manufacturing processes that are prone to errors and improves control over your final product.

May Provides a competitive advantage to Firms

3D printing has a great competitive edge over traditional printing. With 3D printers, you are now capable of creating life-size prototypes, making designers think differently about the product. One of the key merits of 3D printing is that it enhances the capability of creating products that people can hold more quickly removing any miscommunication or concerns. 

What are the valuable applications of 3D printing?

As far as the recent technological inventions go, 3D printing technology has become one of the most valuable technologies across the world because of its enormous benefits.

The strange thing about 3D printing technology is that you can use it to model just almost anything that comes up in your mind. You only need to design the digital file and get the right printing material. While 3D printing engineers are still exploring to incorporate 3D printing technology into all areas, let us have a look at some five valuable applications of 3D printing technology today: (Source)

Education

More learning institutions are incorporating 3D printing technology into their curriculums today. The major benefit of 3D printing in education is that it equips learners with better creative future skills by allowing them to create 3D prototypes without necessarily using expensive tooling. They learn about 3D printing technology by designing and printing models that they can touch.

3D printing technology bridges the form images and ideas put on screens or papers, enabling turning those images or ideas into a physical, 3D world. Today, 3D printers are commonly accessible in public libraries and classrooms. 3D printers are also available in universities for classwork and research projects. Companies like MakerBot offer courses in 3D printing technology for both students and trainers.

With 3D printing technology, STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and medicine) education has been revolutionized by offering affordable rapid prototyping for students as well as fabricating high-quality low-cost scientific equipment from hardware designs.

Students today learn about a vast range of 3D printing applications through exploring engineering, design, and architectural principles. Learners are also capable of duplicating museum items such as historical aircraft and fossils to study in classrooms without necessarily visiting the museums.

Graphic design students can now construct 3D models with complex working parts, hassle-free. Science students can now study and create human bodies and other biological specimens using 3D printing technology. Chemistry students can now design 3D models of chemical compounds and molecules.

Check out our article on how 3D Printing can Be Used in Education and why schools should use them!

Prototyping and Manufacturing

3D printing technology was initially developed as a means to faster prototyping. It has significantly reduced the lead time required to produce a model, enabling the production of prototypes in hours and at affordable cost.

The aerospace and automotive manufacturing industries have taken advantage of the enhancements in 3D printing technologies to expand their operations in the market. 3D printing technology is ideal for manufacturing industries as it supports relatively low-cost production to support even those carrying out small-size production.

With cloud computing technologies today, we have companies that offer 3D cloud-based services where consumers can remotely build parts and objects without having to purchase a 3D printer.

3D printing has created agile tooling, where tooling used in the manufacturing processes like stamping, injection molding, and hydroforming are designed by modular means.

Medicine

3D printing applications in medicine have been on the rise for years ranging from bioprinting, where biomaterial like growth factors and cells are combined to produce tissue-like structures- to medical devices such as prosthetics. 

It is costly and difficult to produce prosthetic devices that fit a patient. With the help of 3D printing technology, fitted prosthetics can now be designed and printed at a significantly affordable cost. Earlier, children who required prosthetics had to wait until a certain age when they wouldn’t outgrow it. Today, prosthetics can be printed for them almost monthly with the help of 3D technology

3D printing technology can also be applied in medicine to produce metal orthopedic implants. These 3D printed implants have the porous surface feature, making them easier to integrate with patient’s natural bones, enabling them to grow into 3D printed implants.

With 3D printing applications in medicine, we have had successful cases of patients getting titanium pelvis implants, and others getting titanium lower jaw replacement. Motorists whose faces get seriously deformed in road accidents can now have them rebuilt with the help of 3D printed parts, such as plastic surgeries.

Read more on the usefulness of 3D printing in medicine here.

Construction

3D printing technologies have been used in construction as a means of fabricating construction components or buildings. 3D printing applications used in the construction industry include powder bonding (reactive bond, polymer bond, sintering), additive welding, and extrusion (foam, polymers, and cement/concrete).

Some key competitive edges of these technologies include faster construction, greater functional integration, less wastage, lower labor costs, and allowing more accuracy and complexity.

Concrete 3D printing technology has been under development as a faster and affordable means of constructing buildings among other structures. 3D printers designed for concrete printing are capable of pouring foundations and building walls onsite. They can as well be used to print modular concrete sections that can later be assembled on site.

Art and Jewelry

The application of 3D printing technology in the world of jewelry makings and arts has been in existence for decades without notice. 3D printing technology enables jewelry artisans to experiment with designs that are not possible with the traditional jewelry-making methods.

It allows for the production of unique, individual pieces of jewelry at a much affordable cost, using 3D printing materials like gold, platinum, or PLA (polylactic acid filament).

3D printing technology is now inspiring artists across the globe, especially with the emergence of metal 3D printing, they can now create beautiful art pieces.

Find out more 3D printing career opportunities here.

Conclusion

Despite 3D printing being a new technology in the market, it has significantly grown in popularity with its unique way of producing complex designs in just one single step. The ability to produce a vast range of products without the need for specific tooling enables flexibility for business operations, reducing costs.

3D printing improves innovation and is very effective for on-demand customization requests made by customers. It is obvious that 3D printing technology has overtaken traditional methods of making things to a great extend.

In case you have any queries about 3D printing technology, do not hesitate to contact us! At 3D Print Schooling, you will get well-researched content that will enlighten you on any information you may need within the 3D printing technology.

sherifjallad

I am a very well experienced techie civil engineer who's extensively interested in 3D printing technology and even more captivated by the potential of 3D printing livable structures

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