The proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ indicates that human ingenuity and inventiveness are stimulated by needs or difficulty.
The demand for accurate, faster, and flexible manufacturing methods has paved the way for the development of a remarkable technology known as 3D printing.
Three-Dimensional (3D) printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing, is one of the most innovative and advanced technologies available to mankind.
This technology, which was first developed in the mid-80s by Charles W. Hull, employs a highly-specialized printer to create solid, 3D objects from a digital file using factory-grade materials.
Top Industrial Applications
Initially intended to be used only in several manufacturing industries, this technology became a game changer in Aerospace, automotive, and architecture.
Today, 3D printing technology is even used in medical science, empowering scientists and researchers to develop medical and surgical tools that make various treatments accessible to the masses.
The film and entertainment industry are also one of the profitable industries today that take advantage of and harness the power and potential of this technology.
What Can You 3D Print?
Every year, 3D technology continues to advance in terms of applications and capabilities. Here are a few examples of what this technology could do that will definitely catch your breath.
• All Kinds of Clothing
From sunglasses, shoes, and clothes to different fashion accessories, additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the garments and clothing industry by producing unique, complex designs made from fabric-like materials.
• Pharmaceutical Drugs
As the pharmaceutical industry moves towards a more personalized model, there are currently several examples of 3D-printed healthcare products on the market, including pharmaceutical drugs and drug delivery devices.
The major benefit of using this technology for personalised pharmaceuticals is the ability to manufacture small batches with carefully tailored dosages, shapes, sizes, and release characteristics. It also permits flavours to be integrated into a pill without the need for a film coating, entirely concealing the taste of chemical compounds.
• Medical and Surgical Tools
The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed most hospitals, increasing the need for personal protective equipment.
Many healthcare facilities use 3D printing to supply their staff with needed protective equipment and parts to fix their ventilators. This technology also modernizes prosthetics and implants.
• 3D Printed Food
Food is probably the most delicious application of additive manufacturing. 3D printers for food are mainly suited for architecting intricate shapes and designs, not actually cooking the ingredients. Mostly, the edibles are either ready for eating or will be cooked in an external oven once the process is finished. Currently, the foods that can be 3D printed are limited to the processes available.
Is 3d Printing the Future?
Additive manufacturing has progressed far, poised to transform the world as we know it. Though, it still has a long way to go till it becomes a part of ordinary homes like regular 2D printers.
The current problem faced by additive manufacturing is that it’s quite expensive, and it is mostly used by big companies to make prototypes.
However, as time goes by, these things are poised to change. Technology is becoming much better and cheaper. More than that, researchers are finding ways to combine this technology with other techniques so that electronics and fibre optics can be embedded within devices.
Thus, we can definitely see that technologies like this can revolutionize every industry for the betterment of humanity.