The rapid progression of industrial technology has meant things that seemed impossible, and only deemed fit for a science fiction movie, are now a reality. Using a 3D printer allows the user to customize the exact details and requirements of the item they want to create making the possibilities limitless.

Three-dimensional printing has become far more advanced as a technology and grown in stature in recent years. A 3D printer works by a selected melted material being squeezed through the printer’s nozzle. The 3D printer equipment prints the scanned item; it builds up layers at a time based on a CAD design until the model is fully formed into a solid object.

Its capabilities of designing, modifying, and precision print-on-demand have cut down production costs, and its quality execution has turned it into a commodity that has infiltrated every type of industry.

The expansion and innovation of 3D printing systems has increased the quality of care and products within the medical industry. It’s changing the consumer marketplace, inspiring the education systems, and proving to cut costs and production time in digital manufacturing. It holds the promise of an exciting future.

Advancement in the Medical Industry

The rapid progression of this technology in the medical field has been a breath of fresh air. The advancement of 3D printing as a technology has meant operators can create almost anything they want as this includes replicated body parts.

Medical professionals using 3D printing technology are making the impossible possible. Doctors and surgeons can now access a new breed of customized prosthetic thanks to 3D printers. Better quality prosthetics are now affordable and being made at frightening speeds. The process is cheaper than the older traditional methods and more versatile. Patient’s lives are being transformed, higher quality of life is now available, and it’s all down to 3D printing technology.

In the past, creating a suitable prosthetic for a child was very difficult. Children grow rapidly at different stages of their life, meaning any prosthetic is soon outgrown and needs replaced. This is a very costly process, unlike that of an adult, who has a prosthetic fitted that lasts as long as the adult wants it.

Today, traditional prosthetics can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $75,000. If you are using a 3D printer to print a prosthetic part the cost is more in the hundreds range. Using 3D printers to create prosthetics is an excellent way to cut costs but not quality.

It’s simple to see the benefits that patients are getting by medical professionals using 3D printing. It also means they receive a custom-fit prosthetic making it less of a hindrance and more of an actual extension of the body. A much-needed prosthetic can be created for a fraction of the cost exactly to the patient’s requirements.

Recent news has brought forth reports of a student who created a prosthetic for a child. It has been made with moveable parts and actually grows as the child grows, setting new precedents for the technology and its capabilities. It is just one example of how 3D printing is radically changing the medical field.

In Sudan, Africa, a war-torn country there has been success stories regarding 3D printing. One story involved a 14-year-old boy who experienced the tragedy of having both his arms blown off in an air strike. The boy was left severely limited without the use of his arms or hands turning simple chores like washing, writing, eating, and playing impossible. That changed for the boy because he was fitted with two 3D printed Robohands to help.

Initially, a CAT scan of the injured area would need to be taken to collect information, and then based on the scan the 3D printer is used to make the required prosthetic, and in most cases, can be made in as little as a day. The technology of 3D printing is not exclusive to creating prosthetic limbs; however, it is one area this technology has boomed.

Another medical area it has boomed is in reconstructive surgery, and has been responsible for printing facial parts to repair the faces of those who have been in serious accidents. In addition, patients have received ears, trachea splints, knee joints, or parts of their skull replaced all successfully with the assistance of 3D printing technology.

With the implementation of 3D printing into our medical facilities, including hospitals and clinics throughout the world, it has meant that they can now offer custom designed and created prosthetics and deliver it when it is most needed. We are looking at a future, where things like hip and knee replacement needs are met in a matter of hours, not weeks or months, which is the current standard of practice.

The technology is extremely advanced, and the quality of the services and products that are available on today’s market are of a higher quality.

Advancements in the Consumer Marketplace

The reason that 3D printers are becoming increasingly popular is due in part to printers now retailing at cheaper prices. Companies are coming to the realization that 3D printers are no longer in price ranges that hurts the wallet. The affordable prices of desktop 3D printing systems is improving their business, products, and raising the bar on quality. It is now that we start to see the full effect what this technology is bringing to the consumer marketplace.

With technology like 3D printing, we can only expect better things to come in the future. This can be estimated due to the impact that the technology has already had. Few experience in their lifetimes such an influential and intriguing technology. It seems that 3D printing technology is well advanced and it is to be able to get high quality results every time.

When the computer first came on the scene, years ago, it was oversized and took up space. Of course, the first computers had many skeptics that didn’t believe they would ever take off. Today, everyone walks around with cell phones in their pockets that function to most of the capabilities of a PC.

Today, 3D printers are no longer assigned to laboratories or engineers; they are becoming increasingly popular in filmmaking, art production, fashion, schools, colleges, and making its way into homes. Simply, take a trip down to your local office supplies store and browse the 3D printer that suits your needs and price range. It’s that simple.

Having one of these printing systems in your home means you can download an open source blueprint from online, print it, and have a few hours later. So, now you can imagine a future where you send downloaded info to your own 3D printer and get what you want when we need it the most without leaving the house.

What’s exciting is that absolutely no one knows, for sure, how 3D printing will be in the future and the direction it will be taken. The technologies of 3D scanning and 3D printing has yet to fully evolve but combine the two and it’s easy to agree that the future will not be a dull or boring one.

Advancements in the Education Systems

The possibilities 3D printing possesses are endless. The technology is versatile and has multiple uses. Should parents push and promote the involvement of 3D printers in their children’s education? And, should it be implemented at a young age?

Schools should be looking to introduce 3D printers to children at young level of education. Three-dimensional printers have a great way of drawing a crowd and grabbing the attention of those who use it. With so many designs and product parts available over the internet, bringing in 3D printers to the classroom could change the next generation for the better.

Introducing 3D printers at classroom level could improve the attention span of pupils and could help encourage higher learning levels of future world leaders, medics, specialists and engineers. The only known obstacle that could stop 3D printers from being brought into education systems is the cost of the technology, materials parts, and products.

There is good news on the horizon. It is already known that 3D printing equipment have come down in cost significantly. They are now sitting in a more reasonable and affordable price bracket. This should encourage the education boards in all retrospective countries to push the boat out, and show that they are willing to invest in the children’s future and nurture the quality of education of the generations after them.

Government officials have been known to say they are looking at ways that could improve education levels and standards, 3D printing is a solution, right before them, and it is a viable option to make this become reality.

The medical industry, the consumer marketplace, and the education systems are all changing because of this technology. There is one industry that has seen a complete overhaul due to the rapid growth of it, and that’s additive manufacturing.

Advancements in Additive Manufacturing

In the manufacturing industry, the traditional way things, has and is, still being replaced with more companies turning to 3D printers to make their businesses more efficient, and better their products.

Using 3D printers in manufacturing, and using the additive manufacturing process “coined” with 3D printers allows companies to create products on demand, and specific to customer need and requirements. Along with the cost cutting advantages and the reduction in time that is needed in product creation, many companies are experiencing an increase in profit. It’s all these attributes and more that is making 3D printing more and more popular as the days go by.

As a society, not all of us fully understand 3D printing capabilities. This could be down to lack of information or perhaps fear of what’s actually involved with using the technology. This can be helped by reading up on the inner workings of three-dimensional printing. Or, taking the time read how it is affecting the lives of individuals daily. Also, perhaps more information needs to be issued from the manufacturers of 3D printer should be made available.

Advancements in the Future

The technology of 3D printing is progressive and it’s nowhere near reaching its full potential. Yet, it has already made a tremendous impact tremendously on the way that industries produce products and services, which in turn affects the consumer. If this is what 3D printing creates even at such an early stage in its development, then the future that we will be living in will be far more advanced than we could ever imagine.

The acceptance of 3D print technology in the medical field has already shown us that it has the power and influence to change lives. With better quality products and cheaper production costs, it’s no wonder every industry sector is experimenting with 3D printing in their efforts to control their own line of business.

The reality is this, whether you understand 3D printing or not, it has emerged as a powerhouse, and is a major player in the molding of the future. The way things are going and the influence that 3D printers have already had on us, points toward a future where 3D printing is more advanced, more compact, and more involved in our daily lives.