Top 20 Cool Facts About 3D Printing

by Matthew Wellington on May 8, 2013

Top 20 Cool 3D Printing Facts3D printing technology is quickly advancing and is soon expected to become one of the mainstream leading technologies in society.

Many people in different parts of the world, scientists and consumers alike, are embracing the technology because of its varied uses.

With more advancements being made every day, a lot of discoveries have been unveiled on many other applications of 3D printing that make it an extremely important technology for society. This and the fact that The Price of 3D Printers is Gradually Declining, has attracted a lot of attention across the world to this revolutionary technology.

But there is a lot more to Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) than creating unique complex objects. Since the technology is still in its infancy stage, this is a good time for you to know the top 20 amazing facts about 3D printers.

1. Applications in the Medical Field

One of the greatest benefits of 3D printing has been experienced through its facilitation of organ transplants in the medical field. Scientists now Use 3D Printing to Create Artificial Organs that can be used in transplants to help needy patients. For instance, deformed babies who are born without an ear(s) can now be given artificial ears made through 3D printing. The technology has proven to be a great medical solution to previous organ transplant challenges.

2. Heightened Defense Systems

3D printing can immensely improve defense systems by helping to create complex weaponry. Defense experts claim that the technology can for example be used to create weapons so small that are almost impossible to detect. See also 3D Printing and Crime

3. Advanced 3D Prototyping

Before 3D printing had its foothold in the creation of prototypes, it would take normal prototyping procedures a few days to create a single complete prototype. Additive manufacturing however takes only a few hours, substantially increasing the number of prototypes that can be created a day. This has sped up industrialization processes to a great extent because it is now quite easy to Create a Prototype, make modifications and then produce the final product. Essentially, the technology has made it easy to convert an idea into the actual product.

4. Micro and Nano Structures

The Photonic Professional GT is a 3D printer that can create objects of widths as small as a human hair. This 3D printer has extended the applications of 3D printing into fabrication of micro and nano structures.

5. Home-crafting Industrialized Objects

3D printing is basically transforming our homes to small factories where we can fabricate practically anything we want. With a 3D printer, one can fabricate objects that were previously made at the industry level such as violins, guitars, rings, jewellery, toy cars and even a bicycle.

6. Quick Organ Transplants

Before the era of 3D printing, patients who desperately needed organ transplants had to wait on long lists for their turn to come. This sometimes did not end so well to some patients, especially those whose condition was critical. With 3D printing being used to make many conventional organs required for transplants, there won’t be a need to wait on donors. Organs will be quickly fabricated when needed, hence a lot more lives will be saved.

7. Artificial Limbs

After the success of creating some organs and structures via 3D printing, scientists are now working on how to create artificial limbs using the technology. If successful, this will be another gigantic advancement of 3D Printing in the Medical Field.

8. Cheap Products

Widespread adaptation and application of 3D printing will in the near future reduce the prices of products substantially, by eliminating the need to ship items thus the need to pay for shipping charges. Consumers will only be purchasing blueprints then printing the products at home. This will make products extremely cheap especially those bought overseas.

9. Product Customization

Provided a person can make a design of an object using CAD Software or any other 3D modelling tool, they would be able to create their own customized product. By easing the product customization process among individuals, 3D printing will be in essence creating more job opportunities as many more entrepreneurs will be able establish their respective businesses.

10. Price Drop

Despite the fact that the cost of commercial 3D printers is still at the £13,000 level, the Gartner Research revealed that the price of 3D printers will drop to about £1,300 by 2016. This means in the next 3-5 years, 3D printers will be accessible to almost everyone.

11. Fast Production

3D printing can produce products faster than the classical mass productions methods. Fast product and delivery of products to the market will increase customer satisfaction and the standards of living.

12. 3Doodler Printing Pen

This is a pen that can be used to print 3D objects in the air. It very much symbolizes the ordinary pen except that it uses 3D printing materials and not necessarily ink. For people who cannot yet afford to purchase 3D printers, buying the 3Doodler Pen will sure give you a worthy experience of what 3D printing is all about.

13. 3D Printing Materials

For the most part, 3D printers use ABS and PLA plastic materials. However a good number of modern printers can now use materials such as Steel, Silver and Gold to create better and more prestigious products.

14. RepRap Project

The RepRap Project is a 3D printing open source project teaching how to build a home made 3D printer. The amazing fact is that Building Your Own 3D Printer using the easy DIY steps provided in this open source forum will only cost you about £300. It much explains how the MakerBot 3D printer came into existence.

15. 3D Outsourcing

With 3D printing becoming almost a necessity to a good number of businesses, designers and entrepreneurs; 3D outsourcing is now an option. Companies like Shapeways and i.materialize take and deliver 3D printing orders to people who urgently need Professional 3D Printing Services.

16. No Wastages

Unlike mass manufacturing (deductive manufacturing), where pieces are cut from raw materials and assembled into the final product, Additive manufacturing (3D printing) makes objects by adding materials layer by layer. Consequently while there are a lot of material wastages in mass manufacturing, there is hardly any wastage in 3D printing. This translates to low costs of production thus a high possibility of cheaper products.

17. 3D Printing Software

It is just marvelling to look at the tremendous variety of objects that can be made through 3D printing. Good thing is, even people who are not necessarily design professionals can make incredible 3D objects. How? 3D Modeling Tools and Software are easy to use in designing complex structures.

18. Truggy Fabrication

Truggy is The First 3D Printed RC Car. Although it is still an open source project, isn’t it astounding that in a few years to come it will be possible to print a truggy for your child at home using your 3D printer?

19. PC Compatibility

Since there is great anticipation that 3D printing will soon be practised by people in the comfort of their homes, all 3D printers are being modified to be PC compatible. So all you’ll be doing is designing your object from your PC then quickly printing it from your 3D printer.

20. 3D Printing in Schools

3D printing is gradually being introduced to schools. Most art and design schools particularly have already incorporated it in their learning curriculum by starting to teach the use of 3D modeling tools such as Google SketchUp. This will help nurture more professional designers for the fabrication of more advanced 3D objects in future.

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