by • March 4, 2016 • No Comments
3D Printing: Changing Life As We Know It
“Watch out buddy. I’ll print another one of you.”
My son was being a little snot. The thing with your own kids is that they’re like your wife: they perfectly
understand how to hustle your buttons and make your blood boil. Between you and me, there are times when I may whop him with a frying pan on the head. I’ll not be doing that of course as the frying pan can be dented and I’d have to explain that to my wife.
In all seriousness, while I was joking, the truth is I was only half joking.
Do you remember the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke Skywalker has a team of robots working on repairing his sat any timeed hand?
There were robots involved and while there wasn’t visible 3D printing shown, there was synthetic skin generated.
Currently printing tissue and bones is with us.
A 3D bio-printing device can now turn it into full sized bone and muscle tissues.
Bioprinting is one of the many quickly expanding areas of 3D printing:
“Researchers of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine detailed how they managed to turn it into a 3D bio-printing device that is exact adequate to in fact make replacement tissue capable-bodied of being utilized in transplant surgery. Body parts printed thus far include a jaw bone, muscle tissue, and cartilage structures, and maybe many astounding of all, an amazingly accurate human ear.”
Every day takes us one step nearer to the day when we can be able-bodied to print customized body parts when we break down.
And it’s not only in healthcare that 3D printing is quickly accelerating:
3D printing has been around since the 80’s but it was 2009 that was a worthwhile year for this innovation.
A key patent expired and so and this allowed numerous industry players to enter the market. Obviously, by 2009 the internet had become the norm; computing power had increased by orders of magnitude and collapsed to a fraction of the cost, and the consumer had become extra
innovation-aware than at any time preceding.
Since and so, the 3D printing industry has loved immense growth as a wide range of users have been adopting the innovation.
Initially this innovation has largely been utilized for prototyping due to the relative high cost of the machines. The declining price of the systems means that we can be seeing a paradigm shift in product development cycles.
Think of the capacity to print single order runs of any product, to market test the product, recreate, reshape and reprint without the need for huge enterprise scale production.
When you ponder through what that world appears like you will see that the entire create cycle changes.
A new McKinsey report explains this well:
“As of 2011, only of 25 percent of the additive-making market involved the direct make of end products. With a 60 percent yearly growth rate, howat any time, that is the industry’s many quickly-expanding segment.
As costs go on to fall and the capabilities of 3D printing equipment increase, the range of parts that can be economically maked via additive techniques can broaden dramatically.”
1. Everything Becomes Customized
Greater value can be created into every product with far less extra
cost attributed. This means that print on demand, customizable-bodied products can start to be extra
prevalent and ultimately become the norm. This is may already bringing place and assume it to accelerate as costs go on to fall.
2. Makers Become Manufacturers
This distinction appears inevitable-bodied to me. Those who createed createed, and those who maked maked. The industrial revolution allowed for (and encouraged) specialization since automation of standardized products was where the scale existed.
That barrier is falling swift. Currently an architect or create engineer can both create and make. And as I only described, the making of product and create can be a extra
iterative feedback system resulting in unsurpassed end products.
3. Cost Cutting and Waste Reduction
3D printing allows for for much less wastage – due to the capacity to print on demand pretty than the usual industrial scale production, the costs are worthwhilely lower and the wastage close to zero.
From the Technology Review:
“GE chose the additive system for making the nozzles for the reason it uses less material than conventional techniques. That reduces GE’s production costs and, for the reason it makes the parts lighter, yields worthwhile fuel savings for airlines.
Conventional techniques may need welding of 20 tiny pieces together, a labor-intensive system in that a high percentage of the material ends up being scrapped. Instead, the part can be created of a bed of cobalt-chromium powder.
A computer-controlled laser shoots pinpoint beams onto the bed to melt the metal alloy in the desired areas, creating 20-micrometer-thick layers one by one. The system is a swifter way to make rigorous shapes for the reason the machines can run around the clock. And additive making in general conserves material for the reason the printing device can handle shapes that eliminate unnecessary bulk and turn it into them without the typical waste.”
As with any useful innovation the economic forces propel it forward in a self reinforcing system whereby, with every extra
participant via the innovation the cost of the innovation falls due to easy laws of economics, and this system brings of at any time extra
applications that can be created out of the original innovation.
The world of our next can be one where making can be completely customized, on demand and at the retail level.
As much as I may on occasion wish to print another adaptation of my son, it is my kids that will be printing body parts for me in my old age. I appear forward to it. Certainly it beats the current alternatives.
I’ll dive deeper into 3D printing in my next articles. If you are interested in learning extra
of 3D printing and other disruptive technologies and so make certain not to miss those articles by receiving them straight into your inbox.
“Forewarned, forearmed; to be made is half the victory.” – Miguel de Cervantes
Tags: 3D printing
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