Additive manufacturing, or most commonly called as 3D printing, is considered a game-changer in the major industries today. The machines are improving fast. These are also becoming more versatile, powerful, and affordable.
Since the first 3D printer was invented in 1983, many companies and models have popped out. The industry is even evolving rapidly.
Here are the 10 reasons why 3D printing is important:
- 1. It empowers makers. The “maker” revolution has been brought about by 3D printing. This is considered a kind of industrial revolution because of 3D printers and open-source designs. Entrepreneurs can easily make customized products in small batches using the 3D printer.
- 2. Different types of 3D printing technologies. There are different types of technologies used in 3D printing. There’s the fused deposition modeling, wherein the plastic filament is melted and deposited in layers until it fills in the model. Selective laser sintering uses laser to sinter powdered metal to bind everything together. Lastly, stereolithography also uses a laser to cure the resin and create the output.
- 3. Ethical debate on 3D printing is a possibility. Be it political, ethical, moral, or even religious questions will definitely raise with the increase use of 3D printing in the medical field. Researchers are printing human organs and cells using the technology. Soon enough this might be even used in transplants.
- 4. HP will be joining the game soon. Although many companies and startups are already in the game, HP is still about to join. The printing giant hasn’t launched a 3D printer for the mass market yet. However, they have a five-foot prototype printer that is said to be launched within the year.
- 5. Consumers will adopt with lower prices. Many startup companies are making affordable 3D printers. The kits are also priced affordably to anyone who’s willing to build. With the prices of different printers becoming so competitive, it won’t be long when every house can afford a 3D printer.
- 6. It will revolutionize manufacturing. 3D printers will shrink warehouses as parts can be printed on-demand. Items don’t need to be produced or designed in-house and shipping costs for companies will definitely decline. The technology is expected to change the industry and supply chain dramatically in the future.
- 7. It’s a key industry this year. The enthusiasm for the market is high this year. There are a lot of expectations for the industry. Growth is expected to increase by 75 percent with an increasing amount of sales and products.
- 8. Customization is the next step. 3D printing allows easy customization of different items. Replacement toys or duplicate parts can be easily printed at home. Designers are even working with a 3D printer to provide customized décor and jewelries to clients.
- 9. People can make different things. The technology has allowed many people to be creative. Communities of makers share their designs and models to the public and this has allowed many people to create a wide variety of items through the printer.
10. It will cause a disruption in the industries. Aside from being a tool in manufacturing, 3D printing will affect every industry out there. Schools can easily print education tools. Hospitals can print organs. Parents can create their own toys at home.