We all are aware that science and technology are progressing at a lightning speed today. With the inception of computer graphics technology, it has increased our chances to do anything and everything easily. Hence, with so much advancement in technology today, we are able to support the significant approach of 3D printing.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing or three-dimensional printing, often known as additive manufacturing, is a process where an image of an object or digital file is converted into a real solid object. The process involves layering of the material and slowly, the object takes its shape. Different varieties of materials like plastic, metal or any other substances can be used for 3D printing.
Process of 3D printing
As mentioned above, 3D printing is a process in which an image is converted into a real-time object. In order to achieve this, a virtual design is created of an item that you want to print. A modelling program known as Auto CAD is used to create the image. Once, the image is created, the program automatically manipulates the digital file and creates an object by slicing the image horizontally into many thin layers.
Looking at the possibilities, one thing is for sure that 3D printing will change our future. This industry has the capability to transform nearly every sector our lives and create a new industrial revolution. With the help of this technology, manufacturers would be able to produce products in their own country without leaving their home grounds. For instance, many countries import shirts from countries like China or India due to low prices. However, if a shirt can be printed with a minimal amount of waste in their country, then there would be no point of outsourcing shirt production. In fact, it is also believed that as the 3D technology would grow, it will make certain industries absolutely obsolete.
3D printing is a cost-effective and efficient way of producing goods. Manufacturing industry would be most benefited industry because this is one field which is often connected with waste and environmental damage. However, with 3D printing, the only raw material would be used where some of them can be biodegradable or recyclable. Also, no more transportation costs because the production and assembly can be local.
Apart from manufacturing, medical industry can gain a lot from 3D printing technology. 3D printers in future can be used to create human organs which were not possible earlier. In history, the scientists have been able to create replicas of human cells and other body parts. Morphing organs was still a challenge because of its complex structure. But with 3D printers, you can easily create complex structures into workable organs. Sooner or later, patients would not have to wait for donors for transplants. 3D organ printing would be able to get organs without wasting time.
Architects can create 3D models of buildings to present it to clients. Countries like America is working on using 3D printing in the printing of cars. The food industry can be benefited immensely. Anything that is liquid or powder can be converted into a 3D object. In fact, recently, one of the NASA engineers was awarded for a prototype of a machine that can create food in space. So, astronauts won’t have to eat dried frozen food.
3D printers could also be used for personal applications like creating toys or jewellery at home. Right now, it may look as a proposition due to the high cost of equipment. But as the technology would grow, it is expected that the prices would come down to a point where consumers would be able to buy and experiment with this technology.
Impact of 3D printing in our future
Looking at the benefits that it would bring in our lives, it can be easily believed that future of 3D printing is quite promising. With rapid prototyping technology, the global economy is expected to reach approximately billions of US dollars. Perhaps, we can see some of the most dramatic transformations in our coming future as we are opening up to a whole new world. However, some experts even worry with this increasingly dominant presence. Despite all the hype created, people are not looking towards the potential problems it would create. With terrorist organizations funded hugely, they could easily use blueprints of a gun into a 3D printable gun.
Top government officials are even worried about protection and safety of intellectual property. Third world countries can steal digital designs and create a perfect replica in their home countries. Therefore, there need to be rules governing the use of technology. But one thing is for sure, if used positively, humans will experience a jet age.a