Additive manufacturing technologies, also known as 3D printing, is a process that allows you to create physical 3-dimensional objects from a computer design file.
It could one day be responsible for the second industrial revolution. This technology started small and has continued to transform over the last thirty years and is quickly advancing.
One interesting thing about additive manufacturing technology is, it allows for a quick innovation. You can try out designs over and over again, and test out the physical part at the end of the design cycle.
There’s a wide variety of materials used in making these objects, for example, polymer composites, metals, ceramics, and exotic materials like gels.
It’s incredible what you can make with these materials.
3D printing can produce beautiful, amazing things like shoes, replacement beaks for eagles and even delicious looking pies. They use rays of light and first melt the source material into the required 3D form. The stuff then dries, and voila, you have your beautiful product.
Preventing Climate Change
The Maldives have installed 3D printed artificial reefs to help the regions gorgeous corals to avoid effects from warming waters and climate change. It was made at a lab in Melbourne, Australia to resemble the structure of the reef found in the Maldives.
Creating Fashion Accessories
The fashion industry and major brands use of this technology for making shoes and accessories from scratch. They experiment with various colorful synthetic resins. Anyone can use the technology as long as they properly use, refine and combine the input materials.
Recycling Wastes from Plastics
Another company has found a way of using additive manufacturing technology to recycle wastes from plastics into glass frames that are fully recyclable. To prevent the sunglasses from becoming waste again, their customers can swap their old sunglasses for a new pair. The old frames recycled and new sunglasses printed.
Making Prosthetic Body Parts
In the healthcare sector, technology is used to make a perfectly fitting tailor-made prosthetic arms and artificial body parts. They continue to help patients that have lost their limbs and giving them a new lease of living a normal life.
Who knows, maybe soon you’ll be living in a 3D printed house! In Denmark, Texas, and France, they’ve already been put up. It’s becoming an asset for the construction industry.
There are different printing methods and materials to choose from. For example synthetic resin and concrete. The printer liquefies the material and prints it layer for layer in a special jet. This process is made possible through a preset digital construction plan.
The additive manufacturing technology continues to revolutionize the world, and as with any other technology it has its shortcoming. Imagine your old lawn mower stops working because a small bearing has gone missing.
Instead of buying a new one or taking it to a shop for repair, you download the required data, print it out and repair the mower yourself. It boosts sustainability but, on the other hand, product piracy and printing guns look frightening.
What do you make of it?