3D printing has come a long way, and its robust applications are transforming several industries. Be it’s automotive, manufacturing, or aerospace, this advancement is creating a significant shift. The evolution of 3d printing over the years is remarkable, which is why industries are leveraging it.
Metal 3d printing has created a new way for manufacturers to drive innovation and develop better products. Compared to conventional technologies, additive manufacturing has proven its mettle in several aspects.
3D Printing for Aerospace
The Aerospace Industry is capitalizing on 3D printing for various reasons that range from creating prototype parts to ease in manufacturing. Metal 3d printing has become an integral part of this industry and delivers outstanding results. The investment in metal additive manufacturing is another crucial advantage that aerospace industries are exploring, other than short lead times, low weight, high rigidity, or high strength.
Further, it also enhances safety measures since design teams can create better prototypes. In addition, engineers analyze them by conducting stress tests and making necessary changes. Additive technology helps companies create lightweight parts to improve aircraft performance and safety. Also, repairing broken components or constructing a replica becomes quick with this advancement.
The automotive industry has been a front runner in the adoption of 3D printing to handle complex designs in a fast and efficient manner. The wide-ranging applications include prototyping, manufacturing, and designing functional components, including brake discs, car parts, door panels, dashboards, etc.
It also provides an economical solution for small production runs when compared with conventional technologies. It makes 3d printing technology a growing trend amongst manufacturers. As metal 3d printing applications are going mainstream, companies are shifting from prototyping to manufacturing. It offers higher design flexibility, allows engineers to prepare lightweight parts, reduces costs and shortens time to market.
Bio-printing has gained popularity in the medical world due to its ability to create body parts using biomaterials. The potential of 3D printing is immense in turning cutting-edge research into practical application. It is used to print various functional living tissues, including bone, cartilage, etc. It would improve the quality of life and cause a shift in paradigms across the medical industry.
The image is used for illustration purposes. Zeal 3D Printing is not the owner or creator of the image. (Image Source: Tom Claes on Unsplash)
As of now, doctors can create personalized prosthetics that are compatible with the patient’s biology. Researchers are also working closely to develop fully-operational 3D printed tissues that will solve various skin diseases.
3D printers are entering the military sphere for different reasons. The technology enables the printing of drones, weapons etc., at a rapid pace and hence acts as a critical enabler during emergencies. Additionally, it is used to print parts of aerial vehicles, underwater vehicles and robotic systems to help soldiers make quick decisions during battle conditions.
Furthermore, 3D printers allow soldiers to maintain their equipment by creating spare parts on demand rather than carrying them in bulk. It reduces logistic costs drastically and delivers an edge over rival forces in many ways. It eliminates the need to carry heavy logistics and ensures that soldiers are always geared up enough.
Architects and designers are beginning to use 3D printers for various applications that range from replicating historical structures, designing custom furniture, etc. 3D printing opens up a new realm of possibilities in the architectural world where everything from single-family homes to skyscrapers can be printed using concrete or other building materials.
In combination with digital technologies, 3D printing allows architects to create better designs and layouts before physical prototyping occurs. In addition, this technology is a boon in providing shelters in emergencies.
Future of 3D Printing
As this technology matures, industries are shifting their focus towards exploring its potential in verticals such as fashion, aerospace, etc. It is being used for printing clothes, shoes, and even fashion accessories. Manufacturers are using 3D printers to create innovative products in a shorter turnaround time.
In addition to that, researchers are also focusing on developing better materials that will improve print resolution and impact strength for a higher degree of customization. The future of 3d printing technology is transforming, and it will bring a massive paradigm shift.