Despite the fact that 3D printing has been available for a long time, its use and popularity have increased recently. Although new 3D printing applications are continuously being created, the ones listed below have lately gained prominence.
The fact that 3D printing is a straightforward technology with a wide range of applications is a big factor in the recent uptick in its adoption. Early on, 3D printing had expensive entrance barriers. Models and materials for 3D printers were pricey. Costs have decreased in recent years due to technological advancements and differences in both the machines and materials utilised in them, making 3D printing applications more widely available and economically viable in both business and education.
Let’s dive into five of the top 3D Printing applications
More schools are adding 3D printing techniques to their curricula every day. By enabling students to make prototypes without the use of costly tooling, 3D printing for education improves students by better preparing them for the future. Students create models they can hold to learn about the applications of 3D printing.
By bridging the gap between thoughts and images on a page or computer and the physical, three-dimensional world, 3D printing enables the creation of those ideas and images.
Libraries and classrooms now frequently contain 3D printers. Students can utilise 3D printers in universities for projects and classes. For both instructors and students, organisations like MakerBot provide certification programmes in 3D printing applications.
By allowing for low-cost fast prototyping by students in the classroom and the fabrication of low-cost high-quality scientific equipment from open hardware designs, 3D printing tools are likewise transforming STEM education.
Students investigate design, engineering, and architectural principles as they learn about various 3D printing applications. To study in the classroom, they can make copies of museum artefacts like fossils and historical relics without risking harm to priceless collections. They are able to see topographic maps from a fresh, three-dimensional angle.
Students of graphic design can simply assemble models with intricate functional elements. Science students have the option of making and studying cross-sections of various biological samples, including human body organs. Chemistry students can make 3D models of molecules and chemical compounds.
2. MANUFACTURING AND PROTOTYPING – 3D printing applications
Faster prototyping was the original purpose of 3D printing. With a traditional injection-molded prototype it might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take weeks to produce a single mold. That is highly impractical if you are trying to improve on design with each new iteration. 3D printing technology greatly reduces the lead times required in traditional manufacturing, allowing a prototype to be fabricated in hours, not weeks, and at a fraction of the cost. The automotive and aerospace industries are just 2 industries involved in manufacturing taking advantage of advances in 3D printing technologies.
At high volume, traditional manufacturing is the most economical. 3D printing, also known as “additive manufacturing” in the manufacturing industry, is best used when a product won’t be mass produced because it enables the relatively inexpensive fabrication of a product in much smaller amounts or on an individual basis. In this same vein, advances in rapid prototyping (RP) technology has also given rise to the development of materials and processes, such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) that are suitable for the manufacture of the final version of a product, not just its prototype. This is called Rapid Manufacturing.
With cloud computing technologies so prevalent today, there are now companies that offer cloud-based additive manufacturing services where consumers
Companies now provide mass customisation services that let customers design objects using basic web-based customization tools and order the finished products — like mobile phone cases, for instance — as one-of-a-kind 3D printed objects.
Agile tooling is a product of 3D printing technology. This allows for quick prototyping and responds to tooling and fixture demands. Tooling is utilised in manufacturing processes including hydro-forming, stamping, and injection moulding.
There have been numerous 3D printing applications in the field of medicine during the last few years. They range from medical equipment like prosthesis to bioprinting, in which biomaterials like cells and growth factors are combined to form tissue-like structures that mimic their natural counterparts.
Prosthetics made using 3D printing are an example of its adaptability. The process of creating prosthetics that fit a patient is costly and demanding. Measured prosthetics can be modelled and manufactured using 3D printing for a significant discount. Until recently, kids who needed prosthetic limbs had to wait to receive them so they wouldn’t outgrow them. Now, every several months, a fresh prosthetic may be 3D produced for them. In other developing nations, prosthetic limbs are not even a consideration.
Metal orthopaedic implants are made using medical applications of 3D printing. These kinds of implants more easily merge with the patient’s own natural bones and allow them to grow into the implant because 3D printing has the ability to produce porous surfaces.
Patients who had titanium pelvic implants and new titanium lower jaws have both had satisfactory outcomes. A patient on a motorcycle whose face had been severely damaged in a car collision had 3D printed parts put back together.
The ability to 3D print prosthetic organs through bioprinting enables speedier resolution of organ failure concerns for patients, which is crucial for both the patient and his or her family as well as for healthcare systems.
A cost-effective and moral method of identifying drug side effects and confirming safe dosages has been created for pharmaceutical testing using 3D printed tissues.
Binder Jetting, a type of 3D printing, can be used to create pills. The method makes it possible for the generated tablets to be extremely porous, allowing for enormous dosages to be contained in a single pill that can be swiftly and readily digested when treating disorders like epilepsy.
Construction 3D printing offers a number of technologies that primarily employ 3D printing to fabricate buildings or construction-related parts.
Extrusion (concrete/cement, wax, foam, and polymers), powder bonding (polymer bond, reactive bond, and sintering), and additive welding are examples of 3D printing applications utilised in the construction industry. The private, commercial, industrial, and public sectors can all benefit from 3D printing in building. These technologies provide benefits such as enabling higher complexity and accuracy, accelerating construction, paying for less labour, enhancing functional integration, and producing less waste.
In Yaroslavl, Russia, construction on the first entirely finished residential building was completed in 2017. Following completion of the roof structure and interior design, 600 wall components totaling 600 square metres were printed in a shop and erected on site (3213 sq ft). The project marks the first time in history that every phase of technology had successfully completed the necessary building processes, from design to connection of all engineering systems. The structure was not constructed purely for aesthetic purposes; now, a real, everyday family resides there.
Since the 1990s, concrete 3D printing has been developed as a quicker and more affordable method of building and other structures. Large-scale, concrete-printing 3D printers can construct walls and pour foundations on-site. Additionally, they can be used to print modular concrete pieces that are later put together on the job site.
5. ART AND JEWELRY
In the fields of art and jewellery production, 3D printing technology has found an unexpected use.
Jewelry designers can experiment with ideas that aren’t feasible using conventional jewellery creation techniques thanks to 3D printers. Utilizing 3D printing materials like PLA (polylactic acid filament), gold, or platinum, 3D printing enables the fabrication of individual, one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces or customizable items at a significantly cheaper cost.
The development of 3D printing has influenced artists all over the world. Artists may now produce exquisite, detailed sculptures, particularly with metal 3D printing.
The field of jewellery and art has seen an unexpected application of 3D printing technology.
Jewelry designers can experiment with ideas using 3D printers that are not feasible using conventional jewellery creation techniques. Using 3D printing materials like PLA (polylactic acid filament), gold, or platinum, it is also possible to create individual, one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces or customised items at a considerably reduced cost.
The advent of 3D printing has influenced artists everywhere. Particularly with metal 3D printing, artists can now produce exquisitely detailed sculptures.
Jewellery 3D printing is one of the trending 3D printing applications
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