3D printing is becoming an increasingly popular technology, which can alter our world in many ways. The biggest advantages of using this solution will be visible in industry and medicine. Out of the many examples, here are the most interesting ones.
Spares for machines…
The most obvious application of 3 dimensional printing is creating spare parts. One of the Bosch factories started using Zortrax M200 printers to repair production line machines. This reduced the cost of one spare from €450 to €1 and reduced the time necessary to obtain it. This, in turn, meant shortening the process of repair. Savings through this technology have already surpassed 80 thousand euros. You can expect similar solutions to be used by more and more companies in the nearest future.
h2>and for people
3D printing can be used in a similar manner in medicine. Limb prostheses can be presented as the perfect example. Thanks to 3D scanning and printing they can be fitted perfectly to the person using them. This solution can also be used to manufacture dentures and braces. In the future 3D printers will make it possible to print entire organs for transplants. Zortrax M200 printers have already been used to create the model of an artificial heart ventricle which is used by doctors for research and testing.
Creating personalized products
The shoe-making industry also wants to use 3D printing. One year ago Adidas showcased the prototype of the Futurecraft 3D shoes with a carbon sole printed according to the measurements of the feet of each individual user. The full examination of the feet will require the customer to run along a special track with sensors built into it. The data thus obtained will be used to print the shoe. With this solution the customer will receive a product which fits their body perfectly and which will be pretty much impossible to fake.
Many ideas seem flawless at the stage of design, but there are no flawless products. You can only strive to come close to perfection. For this, it’s necessary to manufacture prototypes which will let you see the product in real life and detect flaws that snuck through the design stage. A few years ago such prototypes were expensive and time consuming, and required the use of complex solutions, such as milling.
3D printers allow for creating a digital model of any object easily and inexpensively. These could be objects such as a detailed architectural mock-up, which would be very difficult to make by hand and would be extremely time consuming.
Spacial printers might soon be standard equipment of construction sites. Skanska has decided to use 3D printing technology to create elements covering the joints of steel elements supporting the roof. The technology was chosen due to the fact that making metal casts that would fulfill the same functions would have been very difficult, very expensive or maybe downright impossible.
3D printing can also make space travel significantly easier. Each item which needs to be transported to Earth orbit generates huge costs. With 3D printers aboard the spaceship or space station all necessary items may be printed on the spot.
These will be objects such as spare parts, clothing, equipment and food unavailable in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Thanks to 3D printing life in space will resemble our everyday life on Earth, at least a little bit.