What area will 3D printing impact the most?

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What area will 3D printing impact the most?

Postby 3dtech » Sun May 21, 2017 10:56 pm

3D printing will impact the following areas significantly:

Product Development & Prototyping: 3D printing is used widely in prototyping already but many companies just design something, have engineering squish the contents in it, maybe do some research, maybe talk to marketing and then produce it. This is a silly way of making things. Some companies like Apple make a thing and then iterate, shave away all the unnecessary and come up with beautiful things. Other companies 3D print a prototype and then test it extensively, show it to customers, test ergonomics, ask people what they think and then improve it. The more iterative and research based product development becomes the more success these companies will have with it. So I expect outsized impacts on product development and the bottom lines of companies that use 3D printing extensively.
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Personalized medicine: By using CAT and MRI scans to visualize a surgery, plan the procedure and 3D print a personalized implant better patient outcomes will be achieved. This is the same for prosthetics & many medical devices. I've heard estimates of this being a $7,000,000,000 revenue opportunity and it would change medicine a lot. FDA approval has been granted for several 3D printed medical implants. The process has also been used already for over 100,000 surgical guides whereby an individualized 3D print is placed in the body or in the mouth in order to tell the surgeon where to cut and is later removed. There are over 10,000,000 people wearing 3D printed hearing aids.

Aerospace:
The Dreamliner and Airbus A380 already use 3D printed parts. Additionally F18's and other aircraft have benefitted from 3D printed parts on retrofitting projects. Aerospace is low volume production and is ideally suited for 3D printing. Additionally 3D printing can make heating ducts in a way that other processes can not. 3D printed airplane wiring and weight optimized parts are in of itself their own revolutions in this industry. Additionally all the aircraft majors are doing extensive research and development in 3D printing including a Rolls Royce project to try to 3D print aircraft engines.

Automobile Manufacturing:
Car companies already extensively use 3D printing for concept cars and other prototypes. They are extending their use as is shown by Daimler's co-development of Concept Laser's R1000 metal printer as well as use of 3D printing in Formula 1. 3D printing can be used to cut down on labour costs, customize and personalize platforms, allow for customization of individual cars and the development of new things such as heatsinks, ducting, engine, battery & structural parts that can not be produced with another technology.
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Low volume manufacturing:
Small production runs can be made with 3D printing or one could combine a 3D print with existing technology. This dramatically lowers the barriers to entry for any and all industry and manufacturing. Allowing individual designers at home to develop products that compete head on with established markets or explore new niches. This means that the world will be flatter than we can imagine.

Gifts, jewelry, toys, hobby items, interior decoration and fashion accessories: These are all markets where home 3D printers and especially 3D printing services can make significant impacts by letting people design and make personalized & individualized things that mean more to them or fit the use case of the product better.
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Re: What area will 3D printing impact the most?

Postby Ordant » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:55 am

Nice Answer! Trying things from the 2D world in the 3D world. That is, at least the current major use. Medical applications, one-off fancy goods, gifts and related things are less common.

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Re: What area will 3D printing impact the most?

Postby Amanda Kate » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:48 pm

This is great post about 3D paintings. I like reading it. Thank you.
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