Due to innovations emerging today, it’s unbelievable how technology keeps challenging and bettering itself. No one could’ve known that humankind would be unlocking the cutting-edge technology we’ve enjoyed in the last century. One of the most revolutionary tech developments includes three-dimensional (3D) printing becoming more accessible and mainstream.
What Is 3D Printing and How Does It Work?
In layman’s terms, 3D printing is the process of turning a digital file into a three-dimensional object using a 3D printer. Before the 3D printing process, product creation involves preparatory steps such as 3D modeling, and ‘slicing’ the model into identifiable layers. After these steps, the 3D printer loaded with 3D printer filament will take over.
3D printing promises to deliver any three-dimensional product, as long as its creator has built and sliced the model correctly. Thanks to this top-notch technology, 3D printing offers various uses and applications that are highly relevant today:
1. Medicine and Healthcare
Since its emergence, additive manufacturing technology has had one of its first contributions to healthcare, medicine and surgery. 3D printing paved the way for medical professionals to hasten the design and production of medical implants, allow pharmaceutical companies to create specific drugs and medications and improve surgical procedures.
As 3D printing has a plethora of uses in this field, we’ve only rounded up the most relevant and recent ones:
- Tissue and organoid bioprinting
- Creation of patient-specific prosthetics and implants
- 3D-printed surgical tools and instruments
- Improvement of medical education for aspiring professionals
- Personalized drug 3D printing
2. Architecture and Construction
Proper building design, modeling, scaling and installation are the essentials of impressive architecture and construction. Observing the nature of work involved in architecture and construction, it directly aligns with the purpose and applications of 3D printing. There’s no doubt that we owe a lot of architecture and construction achievements to additive manufacturing.
As it features reduced human intervention, 3D printers can accomplish an 800-square-foot establishment in less than 24 hours and even faster. 3D printers don’t require much additional human help compared to conventional methods. Using additive manufacturing, contractors can also lessen their material waste as the printers use the exact number of materials required.
Regardless of the size of competing automotive companies in the market today, they can readily access the use and implementation of 3D printing. The worldwide automotive industry is set to achieve 114 million global sales every year by 2024, a huge leap supported by the availability of 3D printing. Without the ability to adapt to new tech trends, auto companies would be up in smoke.
Recently, the 3D printing application called fused filament fabrication (FFF) had been the most significant additive manufacturing discovery for the auto industry. FFF uses a single, continuous printing filament that results in exceptional material strength, allowing auto manufacturers to create more durable components and mechanisms than ever.
4. Textile and Clothing
As 3D printing is more acknowledged in manufacturing industries such as automotive and construction, many fail to recognize its potential in another line of business – clothing and apparel.
Through 3D printing, the textile and clothing industry can improve fitting clothes to specific wearers by tailoring apparel according to the body type and measurements. The textile landscape can also create new materials and reinvent old ones. Flexible plastic is gaining the spotlight as a potential clothing material because of its versatility in designing unusual shapes while maintaining fabric flexibility.
Despite looking at the compelling uses and applications of 3D printing, technology today has barely touched the surface of what’s to come. Shortly, we’ll be witnessing new trends in 3D printing with improved features and functions. There’s likely another technology just waiting for its turn beyond the horizon, ready to shock us all.
Perhaps the most impactful uses and applications of 3D printing are in education, as it will lay the groundwork for better technology and inspire tech excellence in future business leaders.
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