Technology has been keeping us on our toes for years. Bringing unexpected innovations it tends to change the way, not only we think but completely altering our habits and routines. Therefore, when in 1980’s we started to develop very first additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, no one had a clue on what will be the benefits of it and how it will affect the society today.
The real question is how will creating three-dimensional objects help us in any way and is there, in fact, a promising spot for it in the near future? Will it leave any impact on us and can it shape our daily lives, many questions have been placed upon this not so newly developed method. Almost 40 years and lots of prototypes later, here are some of the things we can expect from it and all the places it could expand in the years to come.
Localised production might be one of the most entertaining parts of 3D printing’s future. Just imagine what would it be like to simply recycle some old materials and print a brand new part from the comfort of your own home. All you would need is internet access, money to buy the model of the product, easily print it out and start using it as soon as it’s done.
Gains of it are not only quicker, easier and cheaper ways to shop. It will reorganise and improve factory practice allowing them to have less waste and removing labour from working with hard machinery. This will especially affect the car manufacturers.
The medical field has to be the most interesting and promising one. Building body part scaffolds that will be coated with cells to grow new ones for people in need? The Guardian discussed in detail how it thinks the medical profession may be revolutionised by 3D printing.
And not only stopping there, think of all the possibilities we can have from customised 3D printed limbs and organs. It will literally help save peoples lives and allow the medicine to progress faster in what is now called bioprinting.
Intriguing domain will most definitely be food production. Having your favourite burger and fires in just one click? Sounds pretty amazing but can we make it happen? Still not quite sure of how much 3D printing can grow in this area but it has already shown some promising signs. Some prototypes have been made using ordinary granulated sugar so the possibilities are plenty.
In addition to 3D printing’s progressive development, materials are going to be much stronger and resistant from ones we have today. The thought of making buildings might not be such a crazy idea after all, or maybe replacing an aeroplane’s broken wing. Opportunities are infinite, we’ll just have to let time show us what’s in store for this incredible invention.
We’re still waiting for the day 3D printing will shine to its full glory. It did arouse our imagination enough to research it almost on daily basis but still, till this day, it hadn’t had the right breakthrough moment. Future is most definitely bright for additive manufacturing, we will just have to wait for the most brilliant idea to “pop out” from it.