3D printing is a technology that has started to mature and infiltrate various industries. The health sector is often discussed as 3D technology has made great strides in the creation of devices to support the needs of the underserved. However, there are other industries that have been impacted by 3D printing which have been overlooked. Education to fashion and more are being influenced by the applications of 3D printing technology.
Artisanal craftsmen may have another avenue for creativity with 3D printing. New modern art objects such as Joshua Harker’s 3D headdress, have already debuted to audiences. Museums without access to certain art pieces may benefit from 3D replicas of art objects, such as Van Gogh paintings, to add to their collections. 3D printing technology gives another outlet for creativity and provides another medium for makers and artists.
Those in construction and real estate agents themselves may see the home manufacturing process transform with the use of 3D printing. Homebuyers may appreciate the fact that the use of 3D printing can reduce carbon footprint manufacturing and waste in the manufacturing industry, just like other green building methods. Minimal waste is produced in the creation of objects and components may be replaced with 3D printing, potentially increasing the life span of a specific product.
3D printers can make it easier for customers to get a clear idea of how architectural ideas may be used within a structure and CAD files provide information to create 3D models. In the near future, 3D-printed homes may become a greater reality. Companies, such as WinSun, are using 3D printer technology in the creation of materials and homes in Shanghai. These low cost homes have taken a fraction of the time to build when compared to traditional methods.
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Do more in the classroom with 3D printing technology. 3D printers are becoming a common sight in school classrooms and are considered tools to inspire students. 3D printers can be applied to courses such as engineering, physics and chemistry in the application of abstract concepts. 3D-printed topography maps and various charts can be used with geography students.
Biology students would benefit from the tactile experience of printing out and using facsimiles of organs, body parts and systems. 3D printing can be a boon to graphic design and engineering students in the creation of precise models. Education may not only be seen in public schools but at the university level as MakerBot Innovation Centers become more prevalent. Such centers will have 30 3D printers and a number of 3D scanners that will be helpful for students of architecture, art and engineering.
The military may benefit greatly by the use of additive manufacturing in places where it may difficult to receive materials. Realistic prototypes can be created to meet real needs for those in remote locations. Floating factories may be created aboard aircraft carriers and ships to manufacture necessary equipment and parts. 3D-printed components have already been used successfully by NASA and the military on a range of prototype vehicles.
3D printing has influenced fashion creators as the technology has already started to be adopted. 3D printers can use a variety of materials and designers can overcome technical issues often a problem with traditional manufacturing processes. A variety of shapes and designs can be created with this technology. The consumer can also take advantage of this technology as it enables them to create their own common household objects. This empowers the average consumer to create a solution to meet their own needs when it is not available in a local marketplace.
Possibilities Increase with 3D Printing Technology
Great innovations may be coming in the near future with advances in 3D printing technology. From household objects to how students learn, this technology has opened up new opportunities for manufacturing of useful, education and visually attractive objects. As the technology matures, more applications should be expected using this valuable technology. 3D printing technology appears to be inspiring a new generation of designers and makers in creating objects of value and addressing real needs across various industries.
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