Four Reasons why 3D printing makes sense
Ok, it’s 2020 and you’ve just reached home, late at night, from work. Life is as stressful as it has always been; no respite what so ever. Suddenly you remember about the promise you made to your son that you would get him a basketball in the evening. Aah! He loves basketball; a diehard fan of Michael Jordan and what not. But it’s too late in the night, so what can you do? It’s simple; print the basketball. Yes, all you have to do is to place an order online to receive the CAD file of a basketball and print it on the 3D printer you have. Seems farfetched; not really.
Everyday information about the innovative ways in which 3D printers are being used worldwide pours in. Today, 3D printers can print jawbones, sculptures, dinosaur fossils, spare parts and what not. They have ventured in space as well, courtesy, the startup named Madeinspace.
Although they are currently out of reach of common man, their demand is increasing with every passing day. With that, their prices are also coming down. So, to assume owning one in the next few years is realistic for sure. Having said that, let’s identify the reasons that make 3D printing a sensible proposition in this day and age and of course, in years to come.
3D printers bestow the power of creation to individuals
3D printing provides individuals unprecedented power of creation. It is the hottest topic of discussion among creative geeks world over. It is fair to say that 3D printing has democratized fabrication. For instance, a shop owner who needs a bracket can print it as per his needs rather than buying one or asking someone to craft one. If a designer has an idea of a mobile accessory but he needs a prototype for the same, he can do that as well with 3D printing
3D printing is far more convenient than conventional manufacturing
Conventional manufacturing employs subtractive process, meaning that to reach to an end product, you hammer, cut, or weave certain things. 3D printing, on the contrary, is an additive process. You start with nothing to come up with an end product of your liking. The limitations of a subtractive process are irrelevant in 3D printing. For instance, to make cylinders in cylinders or curved holes in a metal block is impossible with a single conventional machine. That’s why these equipments are made in workshops and factories. However, all this can be done with a single 3D printer.
3D printing is far less expensive than conventional manufacturing
3D printers are potentially less expensive than conventional manufacturing machines. They are far less expensive to maintain and operate. For businesses, although several hundreds or even a few thousand dollars may be required to keep a 3D printer running, yet the amount is nothing in comparison to a normal manufacturing process that might require several tens of thousands of dollars to maintain and operate.
3D printers yield minimal waste, hence conserve the environment
3D printers yield low or no waste. Materials are added layer by layer with utmost precision; hence scope of wastage is very less. Not to mention, less wastage means less load on the environment.
Therefore, it’s worth to call 3D printing environment friendly as well.
Though the usage of 3D printers if we consider the amount of manufacturing that is currently taking place worldwide is miniscule, yet 3D printing as a technology can spark the next industrial revolution. And the reasons mentioned here justify this stance.