Of all the latest technologies, 3D printing is one of the most innovative. It has the potential to definitively revolutionize the economy and traditional production methods, because, as already demonstrated in the last 10 years, this technology is able to produce an almost unlimited number of objects from an increasing number of materials.
Also, in context of the development and massive investments, 3D printing machines have been reduced so that they can be purchased and used by consumers and small businesses. Given the speed with which 3D printing is evolving, it is no wonder that objects made through this process are becoming more common and widespread around us.
Thus, we will present 5 interesting facts about 3D Printing to help you increase your knowledge about this innovative way of manufacturing:
1. Extrusion printing (FDM) is the most popular and common method of 3D printing
Although there is a greater number of manufacturing types (their number is increasing over time), including stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS), extrusion printing is the most commonly used 3D printing method. It uses a thermoplastic filament to deposit layer upon layer of material, thus creating the projected object.
2. 3D printed food is closer than you think
Although it is still in its early stages, 3D printing using culinary ingredients has begun to take shape for several years. Research and studies have been done in this regard and, although it is currently limited to soft ingredients such as chocolate, sauces or liquid doughs, scientists are confident that technology has the potential to change the way we cook and eat.
In 2013, NASA funded a project to make a 3D printer for pizza. In 2017, such a printer was created and presented at the International Pizza Exhibition in Las Vegas.
3. The number of materials is increasing every year
The most popular material used for 3D printing is plastic. As it is an easy to use, cheap and with a fairly high resistance material, plastic is used by both hobbyists and small entrepreneurs to create various objects and parts.
However, with the increase in popularity and its applications, the number of materials has increased. Nowadays it is possible to create objects with different materials, such as:
- Metals (stainless steel, copper, gold, aluminum is used);
- Different types of plastic (PLA, ABS, Polyamide);
- Fiber glass;
- Culinary ingredients;
- Organic materials (bone for implants).
4. 3D printing is used in the clothing industry
Although it may seem like an idea straight from a SF movie, 3D printed clothes and shoes are closer to us every day. Many companies have begun using 3D printing to create sports shoes, and fashion designers are using this process to create clothes and prototypes. Thus, they can better present their ideas and use this way to create complex models, which is impossible to do with other methods.
5. 3D printing is being used more and more often in the medical industry
The health sector benefits from this technology, which is a much easier and more efficient way to create medical prostheses of the highest quality. In the near future, scientists hope to be able to use the 3D printer to make personalized organs for patients, which is a massive step ahead to save lives.
As we can notice, 3D printing has the potential to change almost every aspect of our lives. Even if it is still in its early stages, it will completely change the way we live in the near future.