By now you’ve no doubt heard of 3D printers. With technology reminiscent of futuristic sci-fi novels, today’s 3D printers can print practically anything, from manufacturing prototypes to human organs.
The printers are able to print in plastic, nylon, metal, titanium and ceramic – as well as over a hundred other materials. It sounds like the stuff of fantasy, but it really is true and it really is happening right now.
There are a number of different printers available and each use a variety of different types of technologies. All of them though, have one thing in common – they create a three dimensional object by building it up, layer upon layer, until it is complete.
2014 will undoubtedly be the year where new tools and techniques deliver 3D printing power to the masses. Everyone from the enthusiastic DIYer through to the global corporations will have the capacity to realise new concepts quicker, easier (and cheaper) than ever before.
The New Year will see us continue to build a future where digital functionality can be printed into a physical object, driven by new tool kits, services, platforms, business models and processes such as online 3D printing bureaus.
Real World Applications
Need a part for your clothes dryer? Right now to get a new part you would need to contact your repairman who would order it from their distributor, who most likely had it shipped from a factory in China, where it was mass produced by the thousands. In the very near future, thanks to 3D printer technology you will simply download a CAD file from the internet and print the part right in your own home.
This technology has the potential to move us completely away from the old Henry Ford style mass production line and bring us into a new era of one-off production of entirely customisable products. The possibilities are endless!
For more information about the future of 3D printing, or to learn more how it can be incorporated into your business, contact the team at Kwik Kopy today.