Over the last few years, the buzz surrounding 3-D printing has steadily continued to grow. From construction to dentistry, industry after industry is on the brink of an efficiency revolution as 3-D printing offers fast, cheap and resourceful alternatives to many previously time-consuming trades. To find out more about how this technological advance is changing the world, continue to read the following resource here.
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A Solution for Today
While 3-D printing has been a theory for decades, it’s only really since the millennium that it has started to take off. Not that long ago, 3-D printers were only available for the mega-rich company but now, it’s not hard to acquire a reasonably priced printer for use in your own home. From 2020, 3-D printers could be found on the market for less than $200 US Dollars making the novelty of the concept significantly more accessible. These more affordable printers are most commonly FDM printers (fused deposition modelling) which use a continuous filament of a thermoplastic material to produce the end result. So, if you one day came to have a game of chess and realised you’d misplaced your queen, you could browse through a multitude of available models and print out the missing piece. While it might take some time to get the chess game up and running, the excitement of watching your creation come to life would keep you entertained as you wait.
Printing for the Health of People
The last two years have brought home the reality of a global pandemic, an idea that once would have seemed impossible. However as new diseases develop and travel continues to make the world even smaller, according to many scientists, it’s only a matter of time before another pandemic hits humankind. Could 3-D printing assist us in preparing for the next attack on our health?
3-D printing is already a precious tool in the field of medicine. Just last year, a patient in Britain received a prosthetic eye, the world’s first to be fully created with the technology of a 3-D printer. This technology can do even more. Around the world, the shortage of PPE made the pandemic a deadly minefield for those on the frontline. As this crisis continued, many organisations came together to fill the need as they worked hard to produce and distribute 3-D printed facemasks. Their work, while undeniably a great help at the time, only assisted in temporarily patching the wound. The solution would come from preparation as many companies now foresee a promising role for 3-D printing in arming key workers for future battles against disease. Crisis always necessitates progress, as the desperate need for PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the limits of what was already possible in 3-D printing. Now many have seen just how much this technology helped before, it may become even more significant in the next pandemic.
Printing for the Health of the Planet
Not only has 3-D printing opened up solutions to the health problems facing humans, but it has also revealed ways to help the health problems of their earthly home. 3-D technology can reduce the materials consumed and even reuse the materials we throw away to create something new. 3-D printing is the new recycling, and there are so many opportunities to explore in this regard.
In Austria, supermarket waste has been printed into an electric tricycle, strong enough to carry two adults. One Viennese designer used personal food waste to create tableware that would remove the need for disposable options that pollute the planet. Across the world in the Middle East, 30,000 recycled plastics cups were repurposed into a dramatic looking pavilion. Further to that, one US clothing company has produced sneakers with the aid of a 3-D printer, transforming 7 plastic bottles into a wearable pair of shoes.
As the technology continues to advance, so do the opportunities. The issues faced in the fields of medicine and construction, the global health of society and the ecological crises of the planet may all have answers in the coats of materials layered by the arm of a 3-D printer.
The Science Behind It
There is great science behind the Inkjet printers have been in use for many years and 3-D printers build of the foundation of these traditional computer operated printers. Slowly and steadily, they use a model and work automatically to create layer upon layer, building the item from the bottom to the top, repetitively printing over the same area. Over a period of hours, the printer turns the 3-D CAD model into a 3-D object, made up of repeated 2-D prints on top of one another.
3-D printers are faster, cheaper and more efficient. They are safe to use and easy to store. Of course, lower end models don’t produce the high-quality products that the more expensive printers construct. The choice of materials and colours are currently limited so generally, 3-D printers are used to create rough prototype-like visualizations of new products. However, as in all avenues of technology, 3-D printers continue to evolve. Progress is always on the horizon and many people believe the era of 3-printing is only just beginning. Manufacturers will be able to produce unique, bespoke items with the cost of mass-produced merchandise. The technology will reduce the unpredictability that comes from human error as well as reduce the costs that come from shipping materials to be manufactured elsewhere. As robots take over, productivity will increase as less people are needed to get the same done in less time. This will mean lower prices and greater demand which is always a good thing considering the unstable economy that we currently deal with. Of course, this also opens up the issue of job roles taken over by computers and the loss of occupation opportunities for those who rely on the industry. However, in today’s society, change is inevitable, and the field of 3-D printing is no exception. What this space – there might be something created by a 3-d printer in its place very soon!
Also Read: 3D-printing And The Future Of Housing