The media has been alive lately with tales of the successes of 3D printing. 3D printing has amazing potential and is highly versatile, making it the ideal solution for a number of different projects. While it was very expensive in the past, it has become surprising affordable in recent years, making it an option for smaller companies who might not have been able to afford it before.
How Did 3D Printing Get Started?
At first 3D printing was used by large companies as a way to develop prototypes for their products. It was known back then as “rapid prototyping” and wasn’t always reliable because of the quality of the materials that were used. The printer could produce a product with the required design and structure but they were often too fragile. Initially this technology was well-suited to engineers who simply wanted to see what their idea would look like “in the flesh.”
3D Printing Moving Forward
As always technology eventually progressed and major advances in 3D printing were made. Time and effort was put into creating and identifying more durable materials to use during the printing process and this turned out to be the key to its success. Designs that were created were no longer so flimsy and fragile, and instead felt as tough and durable as metal or hard plastic.
3D Printing Today
Today, 3D printing machines no longer produce only prototypes; now they can produce ready-to-use parts for some projects. This has enabled companies to adjust their strategies and really stretch the limits of what they can do.
This technology has real potential and there is still more to be discovered. In just a few years we may see unheard of advances in 3D printing thanks to the ever improving concept of this technology. It very well could revolutionize the manufacturing industry – can you image the impact better 3D printing technology could have on the automotive or defense industries?
The beauty of 3D printing is its wonderful versatility. It can be used to create everything from tea pots to architectural models to human body parts for prosthetics. The time and cost of printing such things in the past would have been prohibitive for almost everyone, but thanks to the advances that have been made the revolution has arrived at last!