Why is 3D Printing an Important Part of the Future?

Man working on a 3D printed project

3D printing is already making a difference in our world. We don’t have to look far back, in order to have a good example of that. During the pandemic crisis, when ventilator parts were missing, to respond to the high demand in hospitals, regular people with 3D printers, helped manufacture some from their home, thanks to plans that they were provided with. Here is more on the importance of these futuristic printers.

 

Manufacturing Techniques will take Less Time

You may not know this, but the first 3D printing machine manufacturer saw the light of day, all the way back in 1983. Of course, the technology has changed a lot since then, and it will continue to do so in the years to come, making 3D printing machines, more and more useful and practical, in a large variety of ways. It is predicted that by 2030, the industry will have completely changed, through innovations. But for now, the first thing that 3D printing has been doing, in the field of manufacturing, is gain time. Before, to create a prototype, you had to build a mold, which would then be used to manufacture the sample. That was expensive and took some time. Now, with a 3D printing machine, you insert the plan in its memory, and it goes to work. Within minutes or hours (depending on the workload), you have your prototype in hand.

It is also true about creating customized pieces, one at a time, which was impossible before, without going through a long and expensive process. If you liked a product but wanted to have a few modifications on it, a few years ago, the situation would have been looking at a salesman that started laughing. He would then explain, in details, why it was almost impossible to do, unless you had a fortune to spend. Now, with 3D printing, the engineer prepares the modifications and enters them inside the information that he will feed the 3D printer. Then, the unique piece can be processed right away.

 

Capacity to use a Variety of Materials

When the 3D printing machine came out on the market, many wanted to see it have as many flaws as possible. This is quite normal, since it was about to become a strong competitor, as time and cost would be reduced, like we explained before. One of the faults that people said it had, was that it could only work with plastic materials. In fact, most people today still think that this is true. But this is a misconception. One of the most important innovations of this technology is when it started to print with metal. The automotive industry saw the advantages immediately, and many started integrating it in their manufacturing plant, in one way or another. The industry of 3D printing is now focussing on creating machines that will be able to print with materials such as polymers, new alloys, glass, ceramics, photosensitive resins, and composites. But the wildest idea out there, right now, is the capacity to print with food… Did we mention that 3D printing machines were going to be an important part of the future, already? Now, you know why.

 

Goodbye to Problems caused by Complex Pieces

In manufacturing, according to the technique you are using to produce objects, you may find yourself with problems, when it comes to precision. In such cases, it would then be impossible to create objects that are complex in their structure. Then, you would have to change technique, which would raise the cost. But that is not an issue with 3D printing. In fact, it can be as precise as you need it to be, printing elements that other modes of production could not. Any geometric complexity will not be a problem to these new machines.

 

Already Helping in Medicine and Humanitarian Efforts

This is just a start, but the technology has already been helping into these two very important fields of life. In the first case, it can print parts of medical instruments, but also customized prosthetics and implants. In the second, it now takes a lot less time to build a refuge, in situations of natural disasters. Much less then having to fly a refuge kit to be built on site, since the printers are already on the ground.