Three-dimensional printers are becoming the hot new item to have, and sales are expected to take off in 2013. Not long ago, 3D printing was considered science fiction, but now the technology is here and the cost of a 3D printer is becoming more affordable. While you’ll still need to replace the konica toner in your old printer, having easy access to 3D printers could easily change many different aspects of society. If you aren’t familiar at all with 3D printers, check out what they do, what they’ll be able to do, and how they might change the way we go about our daily routines.
What Does it Do?
3D printers can make just about anything. It’s essentially an increasingly popular way of micro manufacturing, and a 3D printer can create anything from a coat rack to a fully functioning gun. Most simply put, a 3D printer creates three-dimensional objects from digital models. Right now, 3D printing technology is used mostly to create jewelry, shoes, map systems, architectural models, and many other things. Since the print speed is currently somewhat slow, their use for mass production is limited as of now. But as technology gets better, 3D printers may be chosen over traditional manufacturing methods. 3D printers can currently even make complex things like a ship in a bottle.
What Will it Be Able to Do?
As 3D printing technology gets better, it will be used in many more facets of life. In the future, you may fly on a plane that was created with 3D printing technology. You could start seeing that some car parts become cheaper as manufacturing costs decrease due to the adopting of 3D printing technologies.
One huge roll that 3D printing might play in our future is in the medical field. Since 3D printing will allow things to be built exactly to the size and body shape of different patients, it will be a lot easier and cheaper to create prosthetic limbs and other kinds of medical devices. There are also even experiments going on to print soft tissue, which could mean that 3D printers could print veins and arteries. The technology could revolutionize the medical field, and it could happen sooner than you think.
How Will it Change Things?
As manufacturing speed increases, 3D printers could change the way many businesses operate. Instead of going to the toy store with your kids to pick out a toy, you might go to the mall and look through a book of digital models of toys which are then created right in front of your eyes. It doesn’t stop there though, as customization of just about anything will become the norm. You could design your next car exactly to your specifications, so it fits your body type and the body types of your family.
Many analysts predict that 3D printing will create an entire new market. In a few years, there may be companies completely dedicated to 3D printing innovation in order to create new products and new services. The possibilities are basically endless, and it’s going to be exciting to see what comes.