3D Learning Hub

How is 3D Printing Changing the World?


3D printing has taken the manufacturing industry by storm since its invention in the 1980s. It constantly evolves because several companies are investing time and money researching how to improve it.

abstract 3D printed models

Impacts of 3D Printing on various fields

This technology has brought about advancements in many industries like real estate, automotive and healthcare. Moreover, it has also had environmental, commercial and educational impacts on the world.

Environmental impacts

Additive fabrication can help mitigate the damages done to the environment by being, in certain aspects, more sustainable than some other manufacturing processes

Objects printed by this technology are lighter and require less energy for production than those manufactured through conventional means. Manufacturers achieve this by designing and printing hollow components. Additionally, additive fabrication has high accuracy, minimizing resource wastage.

Since manufacturing requires fewer resources, the process is fast and has fewer emissions. The residue powder can also be recycled and used for other projects. Manufacturers can print prototypes and finished products on demand. As a result, they reduce wastage of storage in warehouses taken by large inventories that might take longer to move.

Additive manufacturing uses polymers like Nylon PA11 as one of its materials to produce products. PA11 is a bio-based polymer suitable for organizations that want to use sustainable materials for their projects. The industry is still improving; hence, there will be more ways to achieve sustainability in future.

Commercial impacts

Several companies have adopted additive fabrication into their manufacturing process in the past decade for several reasons. First, organizations can create items and test if an idea is viable within days, thanks to rapid prototyping solutions offered by 3D Printing services. They can then send prototypes to a test group for valuable real-world feedback. Designers can make changes quickly based on feedback, creating a better product quicker than traditional methods. As a result, they can take their products to market faster than their competitors.

Companies incur high costs during the early stages of the manufacturing process when they use traditional techniques. Hence, switching to additive fabrication can significantly lower these costs since prototypes and components are much cheaper. However, some methods, like injection moulding, can only be sustainable if items get produced in bulk. As a result, it might not be practical to shift your entire manufacturing process to 3D just yet.

Due to the advancements in the additive fabrication industry, small-scale 3D printers have become affordable. Hobbyists can buy 3D printers to create small parts. Some establishments offer affordable solutions to suit individuals who cannot afford the equipment needed for printing different components.

Educational impacts

Some 3D printing equipment is easily accessible, making it ideal for school tutoring. Students may use software like 3D CAD to design a digital model of the object they want to print. The next step is to send a file containing the 3D file to a printer to create the object. Having this skill can prepare students for a more technology-oriented world.

Learners studying design will be able to understand the process better because they can experience projects from the model stage to the creation of a physical item. In addition, they can learn the concept of resilience by trying out their ideas even after failing. As a result, they gain confidence in themselves and can take risks and execute new ideas, thus enhancing their creativity. These benefits also transfer to their life outside school, so they gain an insight into overcoming any obstacles that come their way.

Teachers can show students how to create digital models using software and operate 3D printers. Students can understand the concept of 3D Printing, learn how different printers work and how to identify and solve any problems that might arise. Students benefit from interacting with a physical object rather than a static image on a screen or a textbook. As a result, they become more excited to learn new concepts and will be better prepared to face the world of tomorrow.

car motor prototype

What are Some Ways That 3D Printing is Transforming Different Industries?

The 3D printing revolution has influenced some industries’ operations. Here is how it is changing some fields.

Impact on the architecture industry

Housing prices have been increasing over the past few years, but an emerging housing solution aims to counter this and simplify the procedure of acquiring a house. This technology is still experimental; hence, it might take a while to become widespread and disrupt the construction industry. Using 3D printing technology to build houses has the potential to change the industry by enabling construction companies to construct houses quickly and efficiently. Traditional building methods are often time-consuming and labour-intensive. Some construction companies are testing this printing technology and have been able to construct entire buildings in a few days or weeks, making it a viable option for many real estate developers. However, workers must complete the buildings by adding and joining elements like roofs, windows and doors.

Additive fabrication also allows for greater customization in real estate construction because architects and builders can quickly create custom designs for their clients using 3D modelling software. They can promptly print out their designs’ models, allowing clients to visualize the final product before construction begins. By doing this, they enhance customer satisfaction and help streamline the design process.

Impact on the automotive industry

As the automotive industry moves towards a new age of electric vehicles and greater emphasis on sustainability, the competition to produce quality vehicles profitably remains fiercely challenging. Manufacturers constantly seek tools and technologies to help them balance efficiency, lean manufacturing, production costs, sustainability and agile design processes while meeting strict quality requirements. Additive manufacturing has become a vital tool for automotive manufacturers in achieving this delicate balance. It has revolutionized the industry, increasing efficiency and improving product development.

Additive manufacturing has had a big impact on the rapid prototyping of new features for future vehicles. Legacy prototyping methods such as machining and injection moulding are too expensive and time-consuming, whereas additive fabrication allows for prototypes’ cost-effectiveness and quick creation. The technique lets automotive corporations frequently develop and test automobile components, leading to more efficient and effective product development operations.

Furthermore, additive manufacturing supports the creation of complex, organic shapes for applications like bodywork components for race cars. It also enables the creation of highly customized parts, which is essential in automotive manufacturing. The technology also helps reduce the weight of vehicles by utilizing lightweight materials such as engineered plastics and composites, leading to improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. It also contributes to the overall sustainability of the manufacturing process by reducing waste and allowing the usage of environmentally friendly materials.

Finally, additive fabrication facilitates the on-demand production of automotive parts, eliminating the need for large spare parts inventories and reducing stock-out risk. Car collectors can also use additive manufacturing techniques to print spare parts for vintage cars. In most cases, manufacturers discontinue the production of the required replacement parts and charge collectors a lot of money to replace them.

Impacts on the medical industry

The medical world has seen many innovations that have improved people’s lives. Hospitals have been able to create components like artificial limbs, parts of the skull and dental implants. Some hospitals have set up departments that design and create these components. Prosthetics have become advanced but are expensive to acquire and replace if damaged. A cosmetic prosthetic arm can cost over 4,500 US Dollars, and the buyer must pay an extra 6,000 if they want one with split hooks. Prosthetics with more advanced features can cost over 19,000 US Dollars, making them unattainable for people in underdeveloped countries. Additive fabrication has enabled people to collaborate and develop customizable prosthetic designs for hands and arms. Consequently, the end price of these products has become significantly cheaper. They can go for as low as 100 US Dollars, letting disabled people buy and modify them as their bodies change and grow.

Several people have surgeries to get implants to replace body parts like hips, joints, knees and spine fragments. Future innovations hold the potential to improve the quality of 3D-printed parts by allowing them to be customized to suit the patient. Doctors can study and practice with printed models before surgery, potentially improving the surgery’s result. Researchers are also working on bioprinting organs for patients that need organ donations. However, the challenge of creating complex organs is that they need blood and oxygen to function. In addition, organs and blood vessels have to be printed at the same time. A completed organ must be compatible with the patient’s body so that it does not reject them.

Why Choose Our Services?

We are at the forefront of helping clients like you shape the future with your products. We have several printing techniques and materials in our portfolio to suit any project you have in mind. Our engineers have years of experience in the industry and are ready to help you with your 3D printing needs. You can upload your 3D file on our website, and we will start working on it as soon as we can. Feel free to contact us at our website today if you have any inquiries.

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