The technology of 3D printing is now so advanced and effective that it easily has the power to change the very world we live in, and the future that is still to come. Three-dimensional printing has rapidly progressed by its early achievements of creating trinkets and small toys. Three-dimensional printer systems have now entered into the mainstream and are a real asset to those who use them for business or personal projects.
These advanced printers are no longer restricted to the darkened labs of scientists, nor is it exclusive to engineers as they go about their business. The evolution of 3D printing is happening in the same manner as the computer when it first came on the scene. When the first computer arrived on the scene, it was ridiculed and jeered; many believed it would never take off because of its bulkiness and size.
Today, we live in the information age, a world where computers are used in nearly every country and in nearly every household. It would be hard even to try to imagine the world now without computers or computer use. Even cell phones today have the capability of internet search, what was once bulky, oversized, and laughed at now fits in the front or back pocket of our jeans!
It won’t be long before 3D printing becomes mobile and soon used directly from devices we carry around every day. By simply 3D scanning objects and/or items of interest it is already possible for you to send that data to a linked 3D printer device and have that item printed before you even get home from work.
What makes this type of printing technology so impressive is that it is not limited to a specific use. It is incredibly versatile with many functions making it possible for multiple uses.
It’s Changing Nature
At the beginning of this year, we shared a story of how a zoo in Poland turned to 3D printing, in an effort to save the life of one of the penguins. Unfortunately, the penguin had suffered a broken beak, either from a fight or from falling and damaging it. Either way, the penguin would have died if the beak was left in its damaged state.
A polish firm called Omni3D heard about the penguin’s case and offered to design and print a replacement beak, which was based on another penguin’s beak. The injured penguin was fitted with a replacement beak made from nylon and it worked! It not only improved the penguin’s life it is responsible for its survival allowing it to feed itself.
This case was a success and shows the positive attributes that implementing 3D printing can have, offering hope where initially there was none.
This penguin, fitted with a reconstructed beak, is only the second case in the world where 3D printers and 3D printing technology saved a bird’s life. The whole process was time consuming with three manufactured beaks being created. There had to be more than one replicated beak to ensure an exact match could be found.
Amazingly, after the model beaks had been created, the penguin’s natural beak started to grow back. This case shows the incredible versatility of 3D printing technologies. It is capable of crossing different frontiers and meeting the multiple demands required of it.
It’s easy to agree 3D printing has entered mainstream technology devices, and the way things are headed, we could be seeing more of these printers in homes within the next 15-20 years. This shows the technologies real potential for growth. It’s not much different from the idea that 20 years ago hardly anyone had heard of Wi-Fi. Today, we couldn’t live without it. The prediction is that three-dimensional printers will soon be a big part of our lives and involved in most of our daily duties.
It’s Changing Food, the Film Industry, and Travel
Three-dimensional printing is even challenging the way we prepare our food. A firm in Barcelona has created a printer that is exclusive to printing food. The Foodini, a food printer, retails at around €1,000 and is available from www.naturalmachines.com .
It won’t put chefs out of business just yet, but it can do a few cool things like make bread sticks and print off ravioli. Other examples include NASA, who has used it to create 3D printed pizza and want to take the first 3D printer into space. This proves there is credible traction behind 3D printer systems and the many ways it can be of use is being explored and embraced by every industry.
The ability to print solid forms and create exact replicas of items makes it widely used within the film industry. The suit in the recent Robocop film to James Bond classic SkyFall, 3D printing had its hand in both of them. In SkyFall, the producers recreated a smaller scale version of the Aston Martin to use in a scene where the car is blown up. It proved to be a success, and the obvious cheaper alternative to destroying a genuine classic. It could become the way of the future, where classic cars collectors make and replicate favorite models using 3D printers to bring them to life.
The idea of 3D printed clothes from Finnish artist, Janne Kyttanen, is set to revolutionize the way we all pack and travel. Vacations are great, but packing all those clothes can be a nightmare, especially if you have a large family. It’s all good to pack a suitcase, but then imagine the feeling of arriving to the resort only to find no suitcase or clothes.
Janne came up with an idea where travelers could travel light, no suitcases, but rather print the clothes you need from a 3D printer once you arrive to your location. This is forward thinking for sure, but is it too soon for the idea take off? We will need to wait and see.
It’s Changing Artistic Creativity
It’s easy to agree that 3D printing has brought us closer to the technological future; it is single-handedly radicalizing and shaking up things. The introduction of the 3Doodler, which is a pen capable of drawing solid forms in the air, is another incredible example of how ordinary things are advancing.
The 3Doodler works by heating up and softening pre-filled materials. The materials harden once they’ve been exposed to the air surrounding the 3D doodle that has just been made by the user. The 3Doodler allows artists and those among us with artistic creativity to draw out ideas free standing into thin air. The only limit to the 3Doodler is the imagination of the person using it.
The outlook is bright when it comes to 3D printing, our homes could be filled with all types of 3D printed creations in the future. From 3D printed furniture, clothes, toys, shoes, watches, and jewelry all of these items are already created to very high standards and sold on the internet. We can’t possibly comprehend how big 3D printing will eventually become. The way things are going, the influence it is having within many industries, we can make one conclusion; it will be a major player in shaping of the future.
The technology of three-dimensional printing offers its users an entirely new opportunity in creative prowess; it allows large and small companies to better their products, while cutting down on costs and waste. Without hesitation or doubt, it can be said that lives are revolutionized because of the diversity of these innovative machines.
It is possible to print anything including houses, food, clothes, and the most importantly medical devices that improve living quality and saves lives. The technology has tremendous medical capabilities with the chance of creating human organs, which researchers are closer to than we could ever have imagined.
It’s Changing the Future of Medical Solutions
Did you know that these printers are used in the making of high quality 3D printed hearing aids? Efficient hearing devices are made in half the time it used to take, at half the cost in comparison to traditional methods of manufacturing. The funny thing is, there are over 10 million 3D printed hearing aids in circulation worldwide, but most of the people wearing them have never even heard of 3D printing technology.
An average of “18 people die each day waiting on the transplant list in the U.S. alone.”* Now, try to imagine what the count would be worldwide in the countries that have less advanced medical care.
With the advancements in human bio-printing, we could be looking at a future with no transplant lists, a future where a 3D printer actually prints living human organs. Does this sound too far-fetched? Researchers and scientists are on the verge of breakthrough, and already produced early prototypes of a 3D bio-printed kidney. If this 3D printed kidney passes the testing state, then it could open up doors for developing other human organs including eyes, pancreas, and hearts.
We are living in the times where storylines from Science Fiction films are taking place in reality. Today, is a world where smartphones are a necessity; each smartphone containing valuable information and data. Almost ten years ago, the internet search was introduced, it challenged the world to accept it, understand it, and embrace it as the norm. It is impossible now to try to imagine a world without the internet. If the internet were to go void, the world and its economy would dramatically change again.
The technology of 3D printing is doing the same thing, challenging the world to accept it, understand it, and embrace it. There seems to be only a few hurdles to jump for this technology to become a complete success. In 20 years, the idea of printing an organ will no longer be a surprise, maybe it will be widely accepted that clinics and hospitals use them in surgical procedures worldwide. We are on the edge of the fourth dimension, where anything and everything could be possible, as 3D printer systems continue to advance.
It’s important to remember 3D printing technology is still in its primitive stages of development. The power, excitement, and the opportunities this technology possesses are endless. But, with the correct leadership, and high visionary skills, 3D printing is going to be a major part in designing how we see the future.
Take a look around the world, think about the products, the services we use daily, see how it’s been developed into what is today. The evolution of 3D printing is going to change all of that, and is here to stay. Give it time. With so many positive features influencing multiple industries, 3D printing has the potential to be the most talked about advancement and influential technologies of the future.
Explore 3D printing today; see what’s happening around the world. Look into the services and products available to you; they are more affordable than ever before. Take a minute to learn about 3D printing and let it become a part of your life.