3D Printing in the Future: 10 ways our lives will be impacted by 3D printers
1. Revolution In Customization
In the future, you will be able to buy a product, customize it to your exact specifications, and then have it 3D-printed and dropped off right at your doorstep. Customization will be a huge part of business in the future as a result. The strongest companies will be the ones that allow for their products to be the most tailored to individual consumers and their preferences.
People will also be able to create custom objects from their own designs used in their own personal 3D printers, eliminating the need for buying it from a business if the person has the necessary skills. Overall, the potential enjoyment that people can get from what they are buying/producing will be increased.
2. Lives Will Be Saved By 3D Printing
In the medical field, 3D-printed implants will help to increase the quality of life for many people in society. Due to the incredible customization abilities of 3D printers, human body parts will be fitted exactly to individuals and their differences, helping to make better titanium bone implants, prosthetic limbs and devices used by dentists.
The technology will allow new discoveries in medicine to happen faster, since cost and time doing research will be reduced through 3D prototypes. A patient being rushed into the emergency room for heart problems will be more likely to be saved since the necessary arteries/implants will be instantly printed in a nearby room to prepare for surgery.
3. Business Models Will Be Influenced By 3D Printing
With 3D printing changing so many aspects of our society, businesses will have to adapt their strategies in order to better fit their consumers. For example, instead of making a deal where customers get reduced shipping charges from purchasing a certain product, companies may have to find a new way to make themselves stand out because 3D printed products will arrive instantly to their consumers. As a result, there will be little incentive to purchase the product based on a reduced shipping rate since the consumers of the future may never need to pay for shipping again. Business models will have to change to fit this.
Advertising will change to incorporate the new wave of 3D printing technology, where consumers may get discounts on certain materials or future purchases through their 3D printers. With personal 3D printers at home, companies will have to work harder to get people to notice their products since they may be less exposed to the outside world. If 3D printing technology makes production so much easier and less costly, more companies will manufacture in homes. Import and export trade will change drastically and relationships between countries will change accordingly.
Everything from new car models to food and clothing will be designed more rapidly, helping to bring inventions to the market faster. Since 3D printers reduce the time need to transform a concept into a product, designers will be able to focus more on the actual function of the product. Designers will be able to instantly reprint designs as they work with other designers at the table, a process that would have taken days if not weeks in the past when it had to be made by hand. This will grow the economy as a whole at a faster pace, and will let creative genius flourish.
5. Schools and 3D Printing
It will not be unrealistic to see your children bringing home 3D printed projects from school in the future. A number of middle and high schools already have access to 3D printers, but this number will increase substantially as 3D printer costs continue to fall. Many more colleges and higher levels of education will adopt 3D printers for research and practical use in the classroom.
Engineering students will be able to bring their work to life much more easily and efficiently than before. Mathematics students will be able to physically produce geometric shapes from their own personal 3D printers, helping to explain concepts to themselves and others. The potential use for 3D printers in Art is huge, where the amount of detail possible with a students’ project will increase greatly. Art students will be able to print their concepts before their project is complete, helping to create a detailed roadmap of the processes needed to complete their project.
6. Property Rights and 3D Printing
As manufacturers and designers realize that their designs may be replicated on 3D printers, the concept of property rights will be called into question. 3D printers will become so advanced that users will be able to point at an object in the world with a laser scanner that will read and copy the information of the object, allowing it to be instantly printed on the 3D printer.
With the possibility of literally anything being copied, high-profile cases over copyrighted designs of objects will be on the rise. The results could be similar to how piracy has affected the music industry, where illegal file sharing has been blamed for declines in revenue and the shrinking of the industry.
7. Products That Defy Logic
In the future products will be made that can only be created using 3D printers. They will combine new materials that seem magical compared to today’s manufactured products, and will be a testament to the advancement of the technology. A lot of the changes in 3D printing many not even be completely foreseeable right now since they will be so advanced and game changing.
Although fantastical now, things like teleportation may one day be incorporated into 3D printing if the printers are capable of materializing atoms to form a person from one place to the next. In general, any innovations that happen in society will likely be tied to 3D printing as well, because it will allow for these inventions to be produced more easily and efficiently. 3D printing technology will interact with new technologies to create “magical” things.
8. Better, Cheaper, Cleaner Factories
Some specialty components are already being produced on 3D printers in factories, but this is on a very small scale. In the future 3D printers will improve assembly line efficiency, reduce the amount of workers needed to operate machinery, and lessen waste from what is being produced. Car companies will eventually be able to print cars directly from 3D printers in one piece, an advancement that will be incredible to see and will improve the automotive business even more.
9. Malls and 3D Print Shops
In the future, 3D printers will begin to pop up at shops in the mall where high-quality 3D printing services will be made available to those passing by. While these shops may first start off as catering to niche industries, they will eventually branch out into the consumer market for personal use.
3D print shops could one day be the place where one picks up their customized products that they have ordered from the Internet, which would revolutionize how the world ships products. 3D printers in malls could also influence food, where someone will be able to walk up to a cafe and have their delicious bagel and espresso coffee printed instantly from a 3D printer.
10. Stronger Materials
Although some car companies are already using 3D-printed parts that are sturdy enough to be used in products, this number will increase greatly in the future and many other sectors will take advantage of industrial strength material. A lot of the applications of 3D printing are still just prototypes that are not strong enough to actually be used in production.
In the future, airlines will start building planes that are made of many different 3D-printed parts, which will allow the aircraft to be lighter and more fuel-efficient. The military will start to use the technology much more for specially customized defense systems, where weapons and machinery will be built on the spot in order to fit the situation at hand. 3D printers will be able to provide repairs to these things, even in the heat of battle.
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