Essay on How 3D Printing Change Our Life and Future

Free 830 words essay on How 3D Printing Change Our Life and Future for school and college students.

3D printing or otherwise called additive manufacturing is a technology that unthinkable unless invented. It is a technology that turns 3D models into real solid objects. 3D printing has been used as rapid prototyping (RP) from the time it was discovered in the 1980s. The creation of physical objects is done by layering of specific filament material. This technology has unfathomable potential and is set to bring transformational changes in medical, manufacturing, and fashion industry. This process predominantly known as stereolithography was patented by Charles Hull in 1986. He then found his company 3D Systems.

Free Essay on how 3d printing change our life and future

It is important to understand the functional and mechanical aspects of this technology. 3D printer works to bring out a solid object out of a digital model. Initially, a 3D image is created using a computer-aided design software. Subsequently, that CAD file is sent to the printer. The work of the printer is to lay down successive layers of liquid, powder, paper, or metal material. The model gets created from a series of cross-sections. The evolution of 3D printing was through different types of model. The sequence is extrusion, granular, laminated and light polymerized. This exciting technology forms a major threshold of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

It was in the year 2002 when a fully functional miniature kidney was printed by scientists, that raised the possibility of more such organs in future, a boon to medical science. The year 2009 saw a big breakthrough in form of first printed blood vessel. In the year 2011, the world’s first 3D printed car was unveiled at TEDx Winnipeg conference in Canada.

The additive manufacturing market worldwide will grow to 7.7 Euros by the year 2023. It will become 50% cheaper and 400% faster in the next five years. At present, its areas of application ranges from rapid prototyping to production of spare parts that avoids costly warehousing, manufacturing of end products to customized unique items. Areas that are ready for this technology are dentistry and dental technology, machine tool manufacturing, and aerospace.

The Carnegie Mellon University has come out with a list of items that can be created through 3D printing. It includes:

  • High performance racing car parts
  • Custom dental implants
  • Jewelry
  • Metal Art
  • Classic car parts
  • Custom surgical tools
  • High performance Bike parts
  • Leg Braces
  • Lightweight Jet Engine parts
  • Hip and Knee replacement parts

There are 9 types of 3D printers:

  • Fused Deposition Modeling
  • Stereolithography
  • Digital Light Processing
  • Selective Laser Sintering
  • Selective Laser Melting
  • Electron Beam Melting
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing
  • Binder Jetting
  • Material Jetting

Areas of application in 3D printing:

  1. Car manufacturers: For both prototypes and spare parts, 3D printing has huge potential for optimization in the field of automobiles. It can be used to create parts used for testing and eventually custom car parts. It has been already used by Formula1 racing teams and Swedish car manufacturer Koenigsegg.
  2. Medical Science: The majority of hearing aids used today are 3D printed. Other than that, it can be used to print prosthetics, assistive medical devices, braces and retainers. 3D printing has especially revolutionized prosthetics.
  3. Aircraft manufacturing: GE Aviation and Safran have already developed a method to 3D print fuel nozzles for jet engines. Popular entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX company used 3D printing to manufacture the engine chambers for their SuperDraco engine.
  4. Prop makers: This has now become more accessible and affordable. It has already been used by Vitaly Bulgarov, a concept designer from California who has collaborated with a digital fabrication studio. Similarly, it helps production designers in conventional manufacturing orders.
  5. Architecture: The erstwhile time-consuming process can now be reduced and that too, for the benefit of independent architects, who unlike the large firms couldn’t arrange great ideas into physical objects easily. CAD data can now be converted into physical blueprints. The design entrepreneurs have equally benefitted.
  6. Education: Now prototypes can be printed and utilized for practical and precision learning. It would be a step ahead in practical experience towards developing an ideal solution.
  7. Manufacturing: Now the idea of creating something one wants seems conceivable with the massive distribution of 3D printing. It shares the excitement with consumer product makers.
  8. Fashion industry: As a contribution to the haute couture, 3D printers can create clothing, jewelry, and running shoes.
  9. Engineering: It is presently being used to create articles like Fuel Injector Parts, Motorcycle Shell, Phone displays, etc., and has a plethora of scope.
  10. Food: NASA is looking towards 3D printing for the astronauts to print their own food. In fact, small portions of scallops, cheese, and meat have already been produced.

The earliest adopters of 3D printing technology have been high-value, low volume industries such as aerospace and orthopedics. This explosive technology is great for design freedom, supply chain management, cost benefit, green tech and overall convenience. There are three factors identified by experts that investors to 3D printing must pay attention to. High barriers to entry, subject to increasing demand shared between few established players. The second being, increased acquisitions and vertical integration of companies due to greater efficiency. The third is extraordinary impact on the software industry that could increase demand. Ultimately, the potential of 3D printing is unlimited and yet to be explored.

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