Printing it Out: Practical Uses of 3D Printers




The advancements in modern technology brought about printing in three-dimensional (3D) forms which provide a realistic figure of digital objects and images. The printed object is created using the additive processes or the laying down of successive layers of material, seen as a horizontal cross-section of the object. Because of the complex shapes that can be achieved through 3D printing, this technological innovation has been used for a variety of applications. Below are some of the practical uses of 3D printers used in 3D printing.

Architecture and Construction

3D printers pave the way for architectural models in any format which brings forth an improved representation of a building or construction project. In this way, the builders can master the level of details of their project and the clients will have the opportunity to visualize the outcome. The great thing about this is that the scale models are completed in short lead-time, and at a very reasonable cost.

Automotive

3D printers are heavily used in the automotive industry to create prototypes of vehicle parts in a short span of time. This rapid prototyping is greatly beneficial in manufacturing the interiors of a vehicle which incorporates some of the latest technologies inside the cars, be it in the floor console, the front or back-seat panels, as well as in the dashboard. Aside from the interiors, 3D printing is also executed to create prototypes of the other parts of the vehicle such as the cylinder heads, brake rotors, shift knobs, and vents. With a scaled prototype of vehicle parts, manufacturers are able to come up with an optimized vehicle design that is largely beneficial to the end-user.

Healthcare and Medical Industry

In the healthcare and medical industry, organ implants previously have been made by hands but 3D printing technology hastened this process by printing organs from a patient’s own cells. This enhanced the entire organ transplant process. In addition to this, the process of making prosthetic parts of the body is now more manageable with 3D printers. In this current time while the world is facing a global pandemic, 3D printers are also used to make face shields which are part of the personal protective equipment worn by healthcare workers.

Textile and Fashion

The 3D printing technology made the creation of custom-made clothing more effortless. The reason behind this is the presence of software that designers can use to come up with clothes that complement an individual based on his or her body type. The model prints are either printed in rigid or flexible plastic. The latter allows designers to create clothes with the most unusual shapes while maintaining the flexibility of the fabric.

Food Industry

In the food industry, 3D printers are used to make food replicas that are necessary in calibrating food processing machinery. 3D printers are also used in recreating intricate food instruments, which is likewise important in food manufacturing. In terms of planning, 3D printers make ornamental prototypes readily available. With these ornamental food prototypes, the areas where you can improve on your product will be more apparent.

Education

Problem-solving techniques have been enhanced by 3D printing technology. This has been apparent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects wherein students are given the opportunity to design and test their theories and hypothesis through the objects that they have printed. This makes learning not only easier, but fun too for both the instructors and the students.

Retail

In the retail industry, businesses are able to manage their cost and optimize their product design through 3D printing. The reason behind this is that through carefully scaled prototypes, business owners are able to perfectly match their customer’s expectations. Aside from the planning and design stage, 3D printing is also integrated into various aspects of the business model and supply chain of a retail enterprise.

In conclusion, 3D printers are widely used in different industries such as in architecture and construction, as well as in the automotive industry. It has also brought forth various advancements in healthcare and the medical industry, as well as in the textile and fashion industry. Additionally, 3D printers have also been used in the food industry, in education, as well as in retail. In most cases, 3D printers are used to create small scale prototypes which are essential in the planning stage. The uses of 3D printers are limitless and you can expect to see more of the 3D printing technology in the future.




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