How 3D Printing Will Change the World

3D printing

3D Printing Beginnings

Unlike traditional printers that print on paper, 3D printers work by layering atoms on top of each other in order to print 3D objects. Historically, 3D objects were created via expensive manufacturing equipment that required months, or even years, of advance planning, prototyping and creating a mould which could be used to manufacture duplicates of a single planned 3-dimensional object.

3D Printing Today

Today, 3D printing methods have already begun to revolutionize almost every industry.  3D printers are capable of using a multitude of materials to print various 3D objects: nano-composites, plastics, powdered metals, and even bio-materials!

Although previously impossible, being able to print entirely new designs on-demand has become a reality. This has helped companies exponentially improve their production times. The speed of printing parts and objects is incredible and it just this aspect alone, it has already changed the world!

3D Printing in Dental Industry

The dental industry is benefiting from 3D printing. Do you remember the days when the dentist had to ask you to bite into a clay mould to get a 3D copy of your teeth? The dentist would make a crown for your tooth by hand.

Today, dentists use 3D printing technology to obtain a 3D copy of your teeth. The dentist uses a 3M wand and scans the inside of your mouth. This creates a digital file which then turns into a CAD file. The crown is printed immediately and you can come back to the dentist’s office the very next day to have the tooth installed.

3D Printing for Prosthetics & Robotic Limbs

3D printing is transforming the medical industry in many ways.  Prosthetic devices and limbs can be created for a slice of the cost (and in a fraction of the time!).  3D printed prosthesis are customized to the patient as opposed to general sizes thereby providing improved comfort, mobility and increased safety.  Robotic arms are being created for mere hundreds of dollars!

3D Printing for Organs

An astounding breakthrough in 3D printing technology is the capability to work with bio-materials.  Today 3D printers are capable of printing bodily organs that are being used by medical students for educational purposes, surgeons to practice their surgical skills in a no-risk environment and to save lives!  With biotechnology advancements, it’s inevitable that in the future 3D printers will be instrumental in the production of human organs for the purposes of transplant.

3D printing technologies have already been used to replace bone and tissue.  3D printers print out these tissues by using material from the patient’s genetic matter, thereby reducing the risks of the body rejecting any transplanted materials.  Most importantly, waiting for organ availability in the future may be an issue of the past.

3D Printing in the Car Industry

3D printing has already transformed the automotive industry.  Think about how many parts automotive companies need to manufacture every day.  Each one of these parts requires a manufacturing process.  Traditional manufacturing of a part would require up to 18 months from concept to completion.  3D printers have reduced the manufacturing duration by 84% on average.

In the future, it is likely that 3D printing technology will print entire vehicles.  Not only will this eliminate the chance for human error, but it will also enable customizations based upon buyers’ preferences.  The possibilities are truly limitless.

3D Printing at Home

If someone told you a decade ago that most homes would be connected to the Internet you would have thought they were crazy.  Well, I’m telling you that in the future most homes will have a 3D printer.  The ability to do 3D printing at home will change how businesses sell their products.  In the future, it is possible that businesses will sell the “blueprints” to create a product along with the materials required to print it.  Imagine walking into Costco and purchasing vats of printing materials… sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  But it’s not so far-fetched!

What about 3D printing prices?  Years ago, a 3D printer cost around $100,000. Presently 3D printers can be purchased for only a bit more than a thousand dollars (MakerBot, Cubify Cube). In the coming years, you can anticipate the price to continue to drop (just as it has for the cost of computers, televisions and many other electronics).

There will be fewer trips to the mall, which can bring in huge savings for families.  You might just choose to print everything from cutlery to toys.

3D Printing and Houses

The construction industry is about to change as both modular and fully-modeled houses are already being printed and assembled. New houses can be made in a fraction of the time (in fact in 20 hours!), at a fraction of the cost and with materials that last more than a thousand percent longer with little (or no) maintenance!  Construction industry entirely transformed?  Undoubtedly!

3D Printing and Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs will undoubtedly capitalize on this industry.  Instead of 3D printing an item after purchasing a brand name blueprint, imagine purchasing an entrepreneurs custom-created blueprint for a fraction of the cost.  Many large corporations that exist today will operate entirely different against much smaller competitors in less than a decade’s time!

Because 3D printing enables customization of anything and everything, 3D printing will become an entrepreneurs’ playground.  Suddenly reduced manufacturing costs will enable entrepreneurs to test the markets at a fraction of the cost, eliminating the significant risks in testing out a new product on the market.  The creation of new inventions will accelerate as anyone will be able to make improvements on others’ models.  A Canadian startup located in Ottawa, 3D Printler, helps companies capitalize on the opportunities that 3D printing has unveiled, turning ideas into fully functional products.  It’s a whole new world!

The Benefits of 3D Printing

The benefits of 3D printing in different industries vary from one another, but there are general benefits that you should keep in mind. These are:

  • Less Carbon Footprint. Manufacturing and the transportation of goods contribute a lot to carbon emissions. With 3D printing, there’s no need for such processes anymore. Moreover, many companies will no longer require storage and warehouse facilities due to digital file blueprints. This will extend significant benefits to both to the environment and neighborhoods we live in.
  • More Affordable. Goods, organs, prosthesis, cars and the list goes on and on.  These are all priced at a premium to cover the overhead expenses of the companies creating them. With 3D printing, these costs will begin to drop, slowly at first and then rapidly as time and technology progress.
  • Customization. 3D printing enables customized printing of whatever you want – clothes, glasses, shoes, bikes, mobile phones and the list goes on!  The freedom to customize anything and everything is powerful and life-changing.
  • Quicker Processes. 3D printing exponentially reduces the time for processes to be completed. No more manufacturing of the parts, just print them out and  assemble them. In fact, many goods won’t even require assembly anymore.  3D printed objects will be stronger and last much longer as well, bonus!

What Lies Ahead

Technology continues to change the world we live in at breathtaking paces.  In the coming years, 3D printing will transform virtually every industry that exists today and create entirely new industries that we couldn’t have imagined possible.

What previously was not possible suddenly will be… can you imagine the possibilities?

Brent Mondoux
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive

Ottawa website design & development

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