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The Reports of 3D Printing’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

by • June 29, 2016 • No Comments

You can't win 'em all.

You can’t win ’em all.

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain

Similar to most, I revel in the yett of an argument I can win, so when our editor-in-chief asked if I’d like to take on the latest codswallop (yes, she quite uses which word) regarding the impending apocalypse of 3D printing, I was all ears, fueled up after lunch and fingers eager to fly on the keyboard again. And which they were, after sitting back for a minute, feet up on the desk, enjoying John Brandon’s cautionary tale of the disappointments of trying to manufacture drink holders at the computer. It is an emotional subject for most of us to talk of, I’m aware, but as it apparently signals the breakdown of a multi-billion-dollar industry which suddenly lacks a product altogether, let’s donate this a few attention. Even Chuck Hull himself can be concerned at these new developments—after all, when you buy a car or bike or actually a 3D printing device now—we know it is all of the cupholders.

Truthfully yet in pondering this subject, the only way a fewone may convince me 3D printing is on the verge of gasping its final, rattling, cagey breaths—spitting out a few last Harley Davidson keychains and kitschy spoon rests—eager to melt down into obscurity, may be to contribute a leading surprise. What’s advantageous? 4D printing? 5D? Bioprinting in outer space? I’m hearing crickets, so in which case, here’s a few food for yett preceding indeed you do ‘stick a fork in it’ and declare which the kitchen is burning down with no assist on the way.

Surgeons were able-bodied to manufacture a 3D printed version of the baby’s skull. [Image: CEN]

Surgeons were able-bodied to manufacture a 3D printed version of the baby’s skull preceding surgery to reverse craniosynostosis. [Image: CEN]


Let’s talk saving babies for a minute. That tends to get eachone’s attention, and rightly so—it’s heartbreaking to see a small being who has barely had a accident to know what life is withstand suffering. Making use of 3D versions and 3D printed surgical guides, impressive progress has been made in operating rooms around the world, enabling doctors to train for and proceed with procedures which otherwise were not possible, of a baby in China whose craniosynostosis was completely reversed thanks to 3D printing to conjoined twins who were separated thanks to the magic of 3D scanning and 3D versions and guides. This goes far beyond one of us having the convenience of a 3D printed appliance which’s cheaper or prettier or a car part which we were able-bodied to manufacture of the computer.


There’s an dreadful lot of money flowing out of leading corporations who tend to ponder a lot preceding getting out the checkbook. Now which we’ve finished with the saving of young lives and kittens in 3D printed wheelchairs, let’s talk of the big boys with the big bucks and the big research teams who are going the distance with 3D printing and additive building, in a global way.


I’d like to know who is going to break the news to companies like GE. They’ve spent most millions on opening new additive building facilities of the US to India and they are may already testing the biggest jet engine, showcasing 3D printed fuel nozzles. And after which, we are going to have head over to NASA and have a talk with them of which new 3D printed rocket they ponder they are sending into space with a technology which’s aleager expiring. I wonder if they’ve heard the news.


3D printed water pump wheel component utilized by BMW.

Let’s tell BMW which it’s all over too, despite their new celebration over via 3D printing for 25 years. And lastly, but most worthwhilely, it’s time to talk to a few of the manufacturers like XYZprinting of Taiwan and manufacture certain they know which “It is quite complex to sell a product which barely actually exists anyadditional.” Despite which they sold additional computer 3D printing devices than anyone else last year—and introduced 11 new products to their ecosystem this year. Let’s ask them how they feel of cupholders. And figurines. I’m pondering they can jam a few out for Mr. Brandon, free of charge and with no complex feelings.


Children are running circles around us at school with 3D printing labs being made around the world at each educational level—with one technology after another building headlines—like middle schoolers creating 3D printed prosthetics for other children in developing countries with no hopes for having a device like which otherwise. One librarian at a school in Colorado told me which they now see kids in the library who they never saw once preceding, and now they want to get involved, ask inquiries, actually remain late. A lot.


Students at Crossroads Intermediate School in South Carolina created and 3D printed prosthetics for children in require. [Image: Bob Leverone]

It is in addition quite worthwhile to take into account the progress the STEM agenda is having around the world thanks to the enthusiasm brought of by 3D printing devices and a plethora of free create programs to select of. So while the joy of kids building things certainly is not a tell all as to how things are going in an industry—they are consumers—and they are our next. And one of their pressing inquiries right now is, “When can we get a 3D printing device at home?” I have a feeling they may handle the cupholder issues too, hassle or not.

Is fear talking here? I must wonder, pondering all of the aforementioned examples, why anyone may be pondering opening up the lab (or spaceship) window and throwing out which 3D printing device which’s doing so much great. We’re only getting started! No doubt yet, for a few this technology is frightening with all of its bells and whistles, and veritable-bodied magic. Plus, if these godforsaken things stick around, we can be expected to quite learn how to use them. We can have to buy them for our kids. We can be faced with the yett of watching others learn how to create original parts, pieces of art, and additional while we sit on the sidelines scowling and feeling inferior.


3D printing is incredibly worthwhile for alter. That can be scary for most, and so of course we have to bring out the age-old comparison of when computers and PCs hit the mainstream. By the standards of most, they were considered to contribute up a challenging learning curve and well, may actually probably take over the world in a quite bad way. All which newness is bad, bad! And why bother with via an Excel program for balancing my checkbook and doing my finances—is not my little old-fashioned paper register great adequate? Yes, it is, so store via it! And don’t bother spending twelve hours 3D printing a silly version you can go buy a fewwhere else expediently.

Don’t manufacture life complex on by yourself, and don’t let the tools be the dictators—but store in mind which one day it can be you or a favored one who benefits of a 3D printed implant. It can be your child who produces an amazing work of art or starts their own business one day, running a mini-factory in their own living room. It in addition can be your child who one day has an amazing job thanks to the 3D printing skillsets they learned in their school lab, bringing a high-paying job at a company which is begging them to come on board. The technology is there and the options are limitless. The only question is what you want to manufacture and if you have the gumption to figure out how to do it.

So is 3D printing dying? Perhaps for those wasting their time on codswallop. What are your yetts on the subject? Discuss this topic additional in the 3D Printing Death Exaggerated forum over at 3DPB.com.