As Pixar Co-founder John Lasseter once famously stated: “Art challenges the Technology, Technology inspires the Art.”
Back to Basics
So, what is this 3D printing? Many people ask this question whilst not thinking further than creating an action-figure sized version of themselves with it. The term”3D printing” entices a variety of processes in which material is deposited, joined, or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object. Basically, meaning it melts and layers materials such as plastic and liquids to create the image shown on the computer screen.
Did 3D Printing really change anything?
Short answer: yes! Many people don’t recognize the changes that 3D printing has made to the world as we know it. One of the key ideas behind 3D printing is that it has the potential to bring production closer to the end user and/or the consumer, thereby reducing the current supply chain restrictions. Therefore, reducing the produced inventory and stock piling.
What is one of the biggest problems on earth at the moment? Global Warming, which is caused by the CO2 release, majorly by the transportation of goods all around the world. 3D printing has the answer to solve this problem. The future of 3D printing will allow everybody, businesses, military, and consumers alike, to create spare parts and products which normally would have to be shipped, can now be created on-demand on-site, hopefully making unnecessary shipping obsolete.
Imagine sending blueprints of things you need instead of packages, to be printed by your very own machine in-house, meaning it will be environmentally friendly and saving the koalas.
The fact that you can use recycled materials to print new things with 3D printing is just the tip of the iceberg, which will hopefully lead to a more sustainable future.
Is it popular and applicable throughout all industries?
The amount of 3D printers sold yearly has risen significantly over the last couple years. Don’t believe me?
Desjardins, J., 2021. 3D Printing is Finally Changing the Manufacturing Landscape. [online] Visual Capitalist.
Recent studies have shown an increase in sales of 3D printers by a whopping 150%. The reason why this has occurred is because they are used in basically all industries. Take the medical appliances for example, hospitals and dentists around the world use 3D printing methods to create medical grade equipment to save lives and improve quality of life.
Huge sectors such as Automotive, Aerospace and Architecture have started to use it as well for creating new possibilities which we unthinkable until 3D printing came along. If that wasn’t enough, people are starting to create food with 3D printing… Imagine there was an affordable way to mass produce food which due to the flexibility of 3D printing contains the right nutrients needed to live. It would solve another global crisis which is hunger and starvation.
When I first read about 3D printing, I was completely unaware of the possibilities that reside within it. It is possible to customize every little detail to serve the consumer’s needs. The complexity opens a new world of innovation. And to top it off, it is a sustainable way to a better future.
–Maximilian Habes, École hôtelière de Lausanne