IoT and 3D printing: these technology build better product

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IoT and 3D printing: these technology build better product

Postby 3dtech » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:53 pm

Combining 3D printing and IoT

Disruptive technologies can be even more useful when they’re combined together. Indeed, that’s what the history clearly showed. For instance, when the PC was created, it was disruptive, but it became a true revolution when it got combined with other technologies such as the Internet.


When it comes to IoT, how can it be combined with 3D printing to create the best use cases? Here are 4 ways to use these two technologies together in a smart way.

Creating the best enclosures for IoT objects thanks to 3D printing

First, let’s start with the most obvious use you can make of 3D printing for IoT projects: using additive manufacturing for enclosures. Indeed, IoT objects are electronic devices, thus, they need an enclosure. Good news: 3D printing is a great technology for this use. It allows the creation of enclosures that perfectly fit the product.
Additive manufacturing is particularly useful during the prototyping process of electronic devices. Since the components might change regularly during this step, it will impact the shape and size of the enclosure. If you’re working with injection molding, you can’t adapt easily to these modifications. But thanks to 3D printing, you can do it in a heartbeat, with no additional costs.

Creating custom-made products thanks to the data collected with IoT

With IoT devices, you collect some data. This information can be truly useful to build the best products. If you combine this with 3D printing, the potential is impressive. Indeed, you can collect data with IoT devices, and then use it to create custom-made products, which are easy to manufacture at a low cost with 3D printing.

For instance, you can create custom-made 3D printed running shoes, based on the data collected during a running test made with connected running shoes. They can learn how your feet behave during a running session and create the perfect shoe according to this.

3D printing IoT devices without electronics

For that one, we’re getting started. But this new application of 3D printing for IoT devices will become key over the next few years. Indeed, it is starting to be possible to 3D print electronic components, such as circuit boards, with conductive ink.

There are several benefits we can get from this innovation. First, it can speed up the process of manufacturing electronic components. But most of all, it totally removes the existing constraint of having 2D circuit boards, which currently implies a lot of limits when it comes to the shape of the connected object. Thus, 3D printed circuit boards will be able to have different shapes, and it will give the opportunity to build better products.
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Another important benefit from 3D printed circuit boards is that it allows the creation of objects that are truly optimized in terms of weight. For sectors such as health care, aeronautics, or military, which are active users of IoT devices, that’s a key factor.


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