Medical · Science · Technology

From Digital to Real

3D Printing or additive manufacturing (AM) works by combining multiple processes that are streamlined, in order to make a three-dimensional object. This is not restricted in terms of shape and can be derived from 3D models or other data sources that are electronic in nature. It happens by the use of additive processes; this means that each layer and the subsequent ones are constructed through controlling the computer.

To put it very simply, if we require a part of a television that is not in production anymore (because of how old it is), or even need something as complex as a prototype for a particular organ in the human body – 3D Printing would work towards making this a reality.

The Mechanism

The basic mechanism behind 3D Printers is that they create a three-dimensional object through the means of layers. Each layer is constructed separately, and it is the building of many successive layers of this kind that completes the object. However, different 3D Printers use different kinds of technologies in order to engage in additive manufacturing. In order to understand this better, you can read more in this article.

However, the breakthrough that 3D Printing has brought about is not limited just to the field of technology; it could benefit almost every industry there is. Some important areas where this technology can cause dramatic improvement is in the automotive industry (in terms of speed), housing (in terms of real estate business), healthcare (in terms of life services), aerospace technology (in terms of research and development), food etc.

Customization is the Key

One thing that has definitely come forth through the advancement of technology in the past few decades is an increasing awareness of customer needs – it has become a very important aspect in the recent times. This can be achieved at the product development level itself, by means of customization, which allows customers to choose the specifics and details of the product. 3D printing boosts the process of product development because it converts the digital prototype into a physical model. This reduces the chances of errors because the technology works using a specified set of dimensions (values).

Like previously discussed, 3D Printing allows for advancement in nearly every field and hence, must be employed as an efficient technology for the same. Some of the advancements are discussed below.

Healthcare

Owing to heading a ball while playing football, a patient ended up getting injured in the neck. Closer examination of his spine revealed to the doctors that he had a rare bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. The tumor, which was growing in the second vertebra, was malignant in nature. As a consequence, there was a need for it to be removed and replaced.

However, very recently, a group of doctors used 3D printing to design a bone to fit perfectly into the individual’s spine. The technology had been employed to serve this purpose and the clinical trials for the same began in 2012. He was the first person to receive this form of treatment. A month has passed post-surgery, and the patient is doing well. To get more information about the same, you can refer to this article.

Aerospace

One of the biggest names in the aerospace industry intends on using the process of 3D printing in the manufacturing process to produce parts for aircrafts and spacecrafts. The future of the industry lies in using the technology in every aspect – from making parts to use in assembling the aircraft, to eventually constructing the entire aircraft. You can read more about it in this article.

Architecture

3D printing is becomes an obvious option in the field of real estate because of the customization options it offers to a person. A real estate client would have the opportunity to achieve perfection in every aspect – even at the brick by brick level – from the drawing room to the garage. One architect employed his innovation by using his custom-made 3D printer in order to create a castle. The construction was built using a quick-setting mix of sand and concrete – one that made layers 10 mm tall and 30 mm wide.

His ultimate goal is to print a two-storey house and every aspect of it, including the roof, with this technology. The castle worked as a test-run to check the calibration of the printer and the construction techniques used. To have a detailed understanding, you can refer more about it here.

Thereby, from the overall look at the 3D printers, it seems like the next big advancement in the field of technology.