Sunday, February 5, 2012

Industries Affected By 3D Printing

Industries Affected By 3D Printing

Author: chris waldo

What is 3D printing? It is a technology that is continuing to develop which involves the layer by layer manufacturing of virtually any product, in virtually any shape, in virtually any material. In a nutshell, it is the creation of almost anything through a machine which fuses together almost any material you could want. 3D printing can serve a wide variety of purposes, fulfill needs within certain occupations, or simply be a neat new way to express one’s self.

3D printing can be used with biomedical engineering – as pieces could be created for use within the medical field. If a very specific part needed to be created to replace a joint, bone, or contraption on a person’s body, 3D printing could save the day! Right now, amputees are being 3D scanned and given 3D printed parts to connect legs to prosthetics. This could come in handy for war veterans, people who have had damages in accidents, or amputees from infection. How significant would it be for someone to have his or her walking restored?
3D Printing could also serve the product development and engineering field. At the moment, engineers rely heavily on CNC cutting machines to produce very specific parts, and this can be good to some extent. Although decent, CNC cutters can’t compete with 3D printing. Let me elaborate: CNC cutters have to stay within a specific dimension when creating objects; these machines simply can’ t produce the same products that 3D printers have the power to create. This technology can create incredibly fine scale models with intricate shapes that CNC cutter couldn’t. They can even produce significant different products, such as a moving ball within a ball. 3D printing is also a great way for product developers to start from. For example, developers can have virtually any product made at a wide variety of scaled sizes, which typical CNC cutting machines couldn’t do. Also, the creation of molds may not be necessary, and the bulk ordering of certain parts wouldn’t be necessary through 3D printing. Another fantastic detail about 3D printing for product developers – this technology can create full color models that have a variety of over 360,000 colors.

This can be great for medical applications, engineering applications, or even product developers. There is also another market that 3D printing can assist – a new market which would be unheard of just a few years ago: the CG industry. Many 3D artist across the globe will now have the opportunity to turn their simple computer graphics into livable figurines! How empowering would it be to actually hold your custom designed creation? 3D Printing gives artists the chance to see his or her creations come to life in a physical model.

All in all, the 3D Printing industry is beginning to turn into a large one, as it can apply to so many industries and applications. This technology can be fantastic for quite a variety of industries, I just listed a few. This rising technology has the power to change the world!

This article covers some of the industries that have been affected by 3D printing.

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