Impact and Applications of 3D Printing Across Industries
29th July, 2020
Netflix www.forbes.com
Ever wondered how you can make use of the newly emerging 3D printing technology to the benefit of your industry? Here are 20 ways you can incorporate it. 3D printing is the process of converting a digital file into a solid, three-dimensional object. This is done with the help of additive processes, wherein strips or layers of material are placed one on top of the other. Until recently, it was not financially efficient to use 3D printing in the business of mass-manufacturing anything. However, the situation has gradually changed, and 3D printing is now expeditiously transforming into a production technology. Let's look at the global impact and applications of 3D printing in a wide range of industries.
Automobile industry 3dprint.com
01
Automobile industry
The automotive industry has been making substantial progress in the use of 3D printed parts. Toward the end of the last decade, the industry had increasingly started using 3D printing to create customized components. Major companies who did this include Koenigsegg, Local Motors, and Airbus. The first car to be ever mounted with the use of this technology was a collaborative work by Kor Ecologic and Stratasys.
Bioprinting cellink.com
02
Bioprinting
3D bioprinting is used for generating new cells and tissues in humans. This technology is being researched for the process of building organs and body parts, wherein living cells are placed in gel mediums and developed to form three dimensional structures. Researchers have also explored the possibility of being able to print medicines by using chemical inks.
Construction designingbuildings.co.uk
03
Construction
It is now easily possible to build walls and furniture with the help of 3D printing. It is also plausible to build an entire house with this technology. Currently, 3D printing technology is used to make architectural models to scale and construct entire buildings with their components. As the cost of printing reduces year by year, the scope of this technology in architecture and construction continues to increase.
Mass customization blogs.3ds.com
04
Mass customization
A particular tooling or the initial cost of the mold is not needed for 3D printing. To create a different product, one simply has to update a 3D file. This is how mass-customization works. A business can offer customization in terms of design or basic functions based on the customer’s wants. Anything from clothes designs to mobile covers can be customized using 3D printing at a lower cost of production.
Domestic use 3d-print.today
05
Domestic use
The use of 3D printing for consumer needs began in Japan in 1999. Today, aside from making ornaments and decorative items at home, 3D printed objects like puzzles can be a great way to make education fun and interesting for children. People are also starting to rely on this product, as they can easily print things that they would ordinarily buy, saving tons of money in the process.
Defense and firearms extremetech.com
06
Defense and firearms
With the help of pre-engineered designs and details, it is now possible to print a working plastic gun using an at-home 3D printer. However, it was revealed that any weapon, which could go undetected by a metal detector, would be considered illegal. In addition to that, the online distribution of gun blueprints was blocked, as releasing such plans would not be safe or in the best interest of the society.
Space sculpteo.com
07
Space
An anti-gravity 3D printer can be found on the International Space Station made by SpaceX. There are several plans for subsequent versions of these printers to be sent to Mars, and some of these versions have already been created. These include Portable On-Board 3D Printer, a commercial-built recycling facility, and a 3D food printer to suit an astronaut's dietary requirements and limit food waste.
Aviation sector 3dcastor.com
08
Aviation sector
A seldom known fact is that 3D printing technology was first used in the aerospace domain as early as 1989! The technology offers several advantages in developing aircraft because of the lightweight materials used and the comparatively lower cost of production. One of the best selling engines in the sector, known for its high efficiency, is made from 3D printing.
Arts and crafts 3dprintingindustry.com
09
Arts and crafts
3D printing has shown immense potential and an array of applications in the field of creative arts. In 2011, an installation in the London Design Festival called “Industrial Revolution 2.0: How the Material World Will Newly Materialize,” was focused primarily on this technology. It has been observed that 3D printing can be used to make replicas of historic artifacts and relics without molds, thereby preserving their integrity.
Computers and robots sculpteo.com
10
Computers and robots
Additive manufacturing can be especially handy to manufacture essential parts of any computer hardware. It can also be used to build laptops, computers, etc. Even in the field of robotics, 3D printing has proven to be quite useful to make open-source robots. This is especially possible because this technology can produce complex shapes using fewer materials when compared to traditional methods.
Research opengovasia.com
11
Research
In the field of chemical research, additive manufacturing has shown some significant benefits, especially in the synthesis of new chemical compounds. It has also been observed that using 3D printed cuvettes and vessels has proven to be quite efficient. This is because the relevant spectroscopy techniques can be performed in the newly printed vessel.
Food all3dp.com
12
Food
While this may seem somewhat unnecessary, the process of using 3D printing in manufacturing food could be quite useful, especially in space programs. Foods like candies, bread, and chocolates can easily be printed. It is now possible to produce equipment to make products with complex geometry for cheap. The only limitation when it comes to this method is that it can only print a certain category of foods.
Rapid prototyping rockwestcomposited.com
13
Rapid prototyping
Rapid prototyping is used to make a scale model of any physical part using CAD data. As you can probably tell from this description, it would be highly efficient to use a 3D printer to make quick prototypes of designs. While 3D printers have been around since the 1980s in the world of industrial prototyping, they are now being used in universities and for research purposes.
Rapid manufacturing 3dsystems.com
14
Rapid manufacturing
Rapid manufacturing, which is a step further from rapid prototyping, is only possible because 3D printing can efficiently produce ready materials for cheap. Processes like selective laser sintering or direct metal laser sintering are increasingly used as methods for making rapid prototypes, thereby paving the way for rapid manufacturing.
Education virgin.com
15
Education
In the fields of research and design, the technology for 3D printing has been showing some promising results in creating innovative ways of learning. It enables students to make prototypes of their projects and also helps them explore new possibilities in robotics and engineering. 3D printed models can be helpful to study complex anatomy, the topography of areas, graphic design, among other things.
Clothing all3dp.com
16
Clothing
Additive manufacturing has definitely made things a lot easier in the apparel industry. Brands like Nike, New Balance, Chanel, Iris van Herpen, and Noa Raviv have made use of this technology to make prints for their collections. Hence, fashion items like shoes and dresses can easily be made with a 3D printer as it allows you to create custom-made clothing.
Environmental use 3dprint.com
17
Environmental use
This technology has been used to make coral-shaped structures in Bahrain. While these artificial reefs are more environmentally friendly than the ones made from concrete, they also assume a much more authentic shape, where coral polyps can colonize with ease. Moreover, the reduced amount of waste produced by 3D printing makes it a preferred option in the interest of the environment.
Optical systems sculpteo.com
18
Optical systems
It is essential to maintain accuracy when working with an optical system that is created from a gear system and optical parts. With the help of additive manufacturing technology, it has become relatively easy to maintain such precision and to incorporate customer-specific customizations in a financially efficient way. Building high-quality glasses or any functional or decorative part is no longer a hassle, thanks to 3D printing.
Actuators machinedesign.com
19
Actuators
3D printing technology has been used to make important components of machines like sensors and soft actuators. This technology helps to customize the geometry and functional properties of these parts to the smallest of details with minimal hassle. Before the use of this technology, these parts were created using inefficient processes with minimal flexibility in customization.
Communication pinshape.com
20
Communication
3D printing is also massively used to make Terahertz components and devices that cannot be achieved through standard techniques. Some of these devices created include waveguides and couplers. It is also interesting to note that a vocal percussion that can play soundwaves using laser was successfully made using this technology by a beatboxer named Janine Carr.