3D Printing and the Revolution of Print on Demand

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(Newswire.net — April 25, 2020) — Since the patent of 3D printing went public in 2015, this opened a lot of unique opportunities for many people, especially in multiple sectors of society around the globe. The ability to print 3d models empowered many and is fueling innovation faster at the hands of millions.

The Education field benefitted much from 3D printing by giving students an easy and affordable way to print projects and perform experiments with custom materials. At the tertiary level, students in engineering and biology can print prototypes much faster as opposed to building things from scratch.

In a more professional setting, artists can sculpt three-dimensional models with 3D sculpting software and print them into tangible objects.

In manufacturing industries, 3D resources can save a significant amount of resources. Companies no longer need to produce items en masse to address demand. People who can afford a 3D printer can print objects at home at no extra cost. And for those who do not have the necessary machines, professional 3D printing services are available customers can place orders for a specific print.

When it comes to career opportunities, 3D artists can extend their skills easily into this new industry as designers. They can open shop and work as a 3D sculptor for clients. A variation to this model is designers can design items for a specific niche and sell them as 3D models ready for print online. There are websites like Shapeways that serve this particular business model.

3D printing accelerated the development of many innovative technologies through rapid prototyping of new inventions and lowering of production costs. 

Food production also stands to benefit as a new way of food production. The National Aeronautics and Space Aviation is looking into the possibility of printing food in space.

3D printing has massive applications in the medical field. Many researchers are looking into the concept of printing live tissue and organs with the use of stem cells. 3D printing allows for the production of organs and tissues that are more compatible with the patient. Creating an organ or tissue using the progenitor stem cell lessens the chance of organ rejection.

People with missing extremities can also use 3D printing to print custom prosthetics at a much lower price. 3D printing also comes along with the benefit of more accessible procurement of replacements. The VA, in particular, has started to use the technology to print limbs and even organs. Last 2019, the department has managed to secure more than 100 printers distributed to 23 medical centers. 

Aside from health, 3D printing technology has also advanced far enough to be utilized for military applications.  Last December, the British fighter jet Tornado aircraft with 3D printed metal parts successfully flew from Warton airfield, Lancashire. We’ll see other test flights like this in the future as BAE Systems are continuously working on other projects to explore the capabilities of the innovative technology. The United States Navy has also acquired its 3D printers to print replacements for its aircraft carriers. The U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has approved the use of the first 3D printed metal-part drain strainer orifice for a steam line, which will be installed on the carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

Currently, there is a shortage of medical items around the globe because of the CoronaVirus pandemic. Still, the 3D printing community has come to the rescue of printing these items in quantities and distributing them to hospitals that need them. Companies like Tesla, LinusMediaGroup, Hewlett Packard, Prusa Research, and Formlabs are only a few of the many companies that are contributing to this effort. 

Lauren Castillo spends most of her time writing on her blog, Media Venture. The site became the go-to guide for commonly asked topics such as personal finance, travel and tech tips.