The future of 3D printing is now. It has a huge impact in manufacturing as it has been most beneficial in generating prototypes. However, the technology was not only disruptive in this industry, but the affected sectors discussed below will never be the same again.
Medicine: The most affected, in our view, is the medical industry. Health solutions will be tailored to fit specific patients. In July, Korean doctors successfully concluded a 3D printed pelvic implant for a teenage girl experiencing from one of the most usual forms of bone cancer. In August, a mother came up with the idea of a 3D-printed ‘Pill Coater’, which scientifically and securely covers the most horribly tasting pills in melted chocolate. The idea came from her son, who, not being able to tolerate the aftertaste of the pills in his mouth, requested to his mother that she glaze his pills with liquid chocolate.
Food: Chocolates and cheese, among others, can be 3D printed and shaped into company logos and names, or exclusive objects. A Chinese startup mass produced eagle-shaped 3D printed mooncake popularly consumed at the Mid-Autumn Festival. Katjes, the third largest German candy maker, has begun 3D printing gummy treats on-demand with the Magic Candy Factory at Grün-Ohr Café in Berlin.
Military: Much of the equipment for the military is complex and manufactured in small numbers. Many components are tailored and spare parts are continually required. 3D printing will ascertain prompt manufacture of replacement parts on-site in far-off areas. Raytheon Company, a high-tech company, has discovered a method to 3D print guided missiles, hopeful that ultimately warfighters will be able to print warheads right in the combat zone. British Royal Air Force fighter jets have successfully flown with 3D printed parts created by defense company BAE systems, at a Royal Air Force base in Norfolk.
The Army contracted the Maryland Robotics Center to design Robo-Raven, a 3D-printed UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), as a surveillance tool. Its 3D printed parts are infused with a real bird’s swiftness and are powered by solar cells attached to the wings.
Electronics: 3D printing is perfect for the intricate geometric components required in minute, compressed electronic circuit boards that use numerous materials such as plastics and metal. Tiny batteries have been produced through 3D printing, which can set tiny robots and devices in motion.
Automotive: 3D printing will generate vehicle parts and even entire cars. Toyota Motors asked Belgium-based 3D printing service bureau and software developer Materialise to design, simplify, and create a large-scale low-density car seat prototype through 3D printing. Arizona-based startup Local Motors plans to release their first fleet of road-ready, 3D printed cars next year.
3D printing will alter the method manufacturing is done today. Furthermore, it has the capability of aiding to meet the needs of people around the globe. Clean drinking water, cheap power sources, and other basic human needs will be inexpensive because of 3D printing, which will benefit the less fortunate in third world countries. It can serve significant public reasons as well as be a catalyst of economic progress.