There are wide applications of 3D Printing. Here we will discuss some future applications of 3D printing and also some applications of 3D printing which are currently being used. You would be surprised to see how fast this technology is developing.
3D printing is, no doubt, a popular technology. But people in business circles tend to know more about technology. For other people, there occasionally is a passing reference to 3D printing that we hear of in Google News or newspapers.
But one has to consider that technologies that are once believed to be fictional are transcending to the real world at an unprecedented pace. The touchscreen was a technology popularized by the movie ‘The Matrix’. It never used to exist in the real world at that time. But less than a decade later, half the world used to own a smartphone. The story of 3D printing works on the same lines. With each year, new applications of 3D printing are making news.
Let us take a look at a few of the top applications that are likely to be met by 3D printing sometime soon in the future.
Human organs and prosthetics
In 3D printing, techniques and materials are in an ongoing phase of being refined further. 3D printing is all set to revolutionize the healthcare industry over the years to come it is enabling the disabled. As of current, 3D printing creates tailored prosthetics and tooth implants it is also used for customized hearing aids. In a few years from now, it is very much possible that 3D printing is used to print entire, usable human organs. 3D printing may be used to create the scaffold for human organs, wherein the tissue would be grown by stem cells.
Also Read: Enabling the Disabled: 3D printed Prosthetics Giving the Impaired a New Lease of Life
3D printing has nowadays made inroads to 4D printing. This makes it useful in fields such as optics, biosensor development, and drug research. A distinctive advantage of 4D printing is that it withstands the potential to let us come up with cures for rare disorders by allowing us to create biomedical implants. Biomedical implants withhold the capacity to modify their shape and change such that they can suit the environment that prevails around an organ.
3D printing of drugs presents a range of exciting opportunities before us because it lowers project turnaround times and time to market for the drugs. The same machine can be used for printing different drugs because cleaning the machines is also easy. It was in 2015 that the first 3D printed drug approved by the FDA was Spritam levetiracetam by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals. Over the days to come, 3D printing may facilitate the local manufacturing of drugs on demand. While this will impact drug distribution positively, local geographies will be able to tackle infectious diseases more rapidly.
Structures for emergency response
3D printing is being speculated to make a world of a difference to the emergency response infrastructure, as it will prevail in the future. 3D printing is now being availed of to create buildings, and the startups involved with the same include ICON, based in Texas, and Mighty Buildings, based in California. ICON takes less than 24 hours to build a home that spans 500sq. ft. while structures by Mighty Buildings call for the expenditure of 95% fewer labor hours. The latter also generates 10 times lesser waste than conventional construction projects. So, hospitals can be quickly constructed in the face of adversity.
3D printing in space
There is a huge upside to using 3D printing in space. As there is a lack of labor and favorable conditions for the humans to work. Hence with the help of 3D printing and robots structures can be made. People have already started to use 3D printing applications on Mars.
Tailored clothing printed on demand
Everyone likes customization when it comes to wearing clothes. 3D printing has enabled this as with the help of 3D scanners people get a full scan of their body and get appeals according to their own dimensions this adds comfort and overall style. Customized shoes have gained a lot of traction due to this as people are able to get shoes according to their shape which is unique to everyone this has added comfort to a greater extent.
Personal products with a custom fit
3D printing can print a range of things for us, starting from safety equipment, to clothing right on to seating. A revolution of custom-fitted products awaits us. Just as an instance, we could print teeth guards, and motorcycle helmets, that fit our heads perfectly to render additional protection against damage. We could similarly have custom seats in our cars for kids and adults, which will also work towards damage prevention. We could be creating more ergonomic keyboards, mice, glasses, and phones in the future.
Metaverse and nft
3D models form the basis of the metaverse the whole metaverse is made from 3D designs. People also sell their ready-to-print 3D models on metaverse and various sites as NFT. NFT are basically files that are stored on the blockchain.
When 3D printing technology is used in the field of education, it gives dimensions to a student’s creativity. The qualities of collaboration and learning are boosted. This way, a student can print objects right out of their textbooks and learn how to use software and computers. This is a more practical and interesting approach to learning and helps students to understand most difficult topics like physics also 3D topographical models will help them learn geography.
The lifecycle of breeding chickens for slaughter and consumption is long and complicated. So, as a more efficient alternative, meat can be grown in a laboratory. Newer technologies like chocolate 3D printing is also gaining massive traction. When meat protein is grown in laboratories, there will be sufficient of the same available for human consumption. People will be able to consume a balanced diet with good nutrition. Over time, we will make the production more consistent to address the world’s food problem.
Ideally suited replacement parts for household items
In the future, people will be able to use 3D printers for creating replacement parts for several things in their houses. When consumers begin to print replacement parts and parts that are no longer available in the local market for themselves, then it delivers several benefits to the industry as a whole. It saves time and money for business owners. As people maximize the value of their purchase, it results in even more happy customers. All of us at some point must have lost or broken some part which would have spoiled the whole product like a comb of the trimmer. Now people need not buy the whole new product they can only print the broken part like the comb and save money.
Let us now turn our focus towards the applications of 3D printing that are a part and parcel of the present-day world:
Industrial replacement parts
The replacement parts industry is one of the largest areas of growth for the 3D printing industry. One of the most important reasons for the same is that it facilitates the print on demand for parts. The warehousing space for the parts is then not required. As soon as a part is required, it can be printed quickly. This may be as simple as downloading and printing a spare part at home.
Useful stuff for home
When one owns a 3D printer, he/she can print useful stuff for home. This is possible because 3D printing has become so accessible and affordable that people have 3D printers in their homes. If you have been contemplating a bookrack that stands in a corner or flower vases that suspend from the ceiling, you can print them from the comfort of your home. One can print showpieces, wall hangings, decorative furniture for kids and adults, and a range of other objects.
Prototyping is easily one of the most widespread applications of 3D printing. It was during the days of the inception of 3D printing that designers and engineers came to realize that if they chose to have their prototypes printed and not machined, they could exponentially save money and time. During those days, the prototypes had to be sent to the service bureau because the printers used to be expensive. But now, they print prototypes in-house.
Objects for sale
Hobbyists sometimes use 3D printing objects at home for sale. Many have turned their hobbies into successful businesses. They print toys and games for children, designer cups and mugs, and run print-on-demand services over their websites. A few limitations might be in place because of the constraints presented by the software. But whatever the customers want, the retailers print and send them.
While not visible at the time of the inception of 3D printing, the technology nowadays finds elaborate applications for creating jewelry. The key advantage of the same is that a wide variety of jewelry designs can be created by 3D printing, such that they are an ideal match for buyers’ preferences. 3D printing has also bridged the gap between the buyer and the seller, Now people can actually see the creative designs of the jewelry artist before getting the final product. The project turnaround times are low, the price per product is also low and the products are refined and suave. One can create antique jewelry, or jewelry using gold and silver using 3D printing.
The rapid prototyping industry is now advanced and comes up with materials that are fit for the final manufacture. Directly manufacturing finished components is now an alternative before industries. One of the important advantages that come with 3D printing is that the production of a small number of parts is relatively inexpensive. Since you don’t have to set up a production line for 3D printing you can even get single customize products with much ease.
Automative parts are being made with the help of 3D printing because of its easy prototyping feature and metal 3D printing has enabled the making of prototypes before the final part is being made. this has reduced the cost and also decreased the production time and also has enhanced the design and functioning in automotive industry
Actuators and soft sensors
With inspiration from the 4D printing concept, 3D printing now finds its place in the manufacture of actuators and soft sensors. In most cases, a multistep, low-yield process is used for manufacturing conventional actuators and soft sensors. The process involves manual fabrication and post-processing and assembly, alongside lengthy iterations that feature less flexibility in customization and reproducibility of final products. Since earlier manufacturing processors were time-consuming, 3D manufacturing is a game-changing innovation in the field.
This application of 3D printing is more common among small businesses. One can set up their own photo booth and click pictures of clients or can send their 2D pics and get them converted into 3D model selfies.
Terahertz devices employ additive layer technology for creating bends, couplers, and waveguides. These are created using 3D printing. Because of the complexity of the shape of these devices, it is not possible to create them via conventional manufacturing processes. EDEN 260V is a professional-grade printer available commercially. It creates structures with a minimum feature size of 100 µm. Then, through DC sputter coating with gold (or any other metal), the printed structure is transformed into Terahertz Plasmonic Devices.