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How 3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing industry

3D printing has revolutionized manufacturing as production companies and even domestic users can make complex designs for their projects.

voxelab aquila x2 3d printer
Image: Marc Townley / KnowTechie

3D printing is a massive industry that has been beneficial for businesses and domestic affairs. However, it has a few social and industrial ramifications that the system has to address. 

3D printing is creating objects with the help of additive technology.

3D printing techniques like direct casting, powder bed fusion, direct energy deposition, and fused filament fabrication have revolutionized the additive manufacturing industry. 

Additive manufacturing is an industrial term for 3D printing, as the prototypes and products are created by adding layers of raw material. 

In 1981, Dr. Hedio Kodama introduced the idea of additive manufacturing, becoming a 13.84-billion-dollar industry in 2021. In forty years, the idea became huge, and we saw automation in the manufacturing business. 

Industrial advantages

toybox printer 3d printing
Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

The manufacturing industry uses large-scale 3D printers to create a massive quantity of products and prototypes in a controlled environment.

A large-scale printer has multiple advantages, considering the technological evolution that has made it faster and more efficient.

Lower cost

The cost of making prototypes was high before additive technology came into being. As a result, companies had to use expensive raw materials before 3d printing technology became the new way to create prototypes. 

3D printing has also lowered labor costs; the printer doesn’t need complex tools or other prototype management help.

Production and manufacturing have become automated; machines are now capable of developing and joining parts.

Relatively environmentally safe

The subtractive manufacturing techniques, molding, and powder bed fusion were harmful to the workers. In addition, the waste they created was dangerous to the environment.

The metal scraps and metal powers were hazardous to human life. These waste materials needed proper recycling, and industries did not have the resources for that.

Today, environmentally safe materials are being produced for 3D printers. The waste from additive manufacturing is also considerably less than from subtractive manufacturing.

Faster manufacturing

Before 3d printing, prototype development took weeks and even months. Designers had to make multiple designs and give extensive instructions to production departments for prototype development.

Today, a design is made on an STL file and is sent to the 3d printer for production. 

Companies like Massivit 3D and Proto Labs have revolutionized the process by producing daily prototypes. This acceleration in manufacturing has allowed car, plane, and boat manufacturing companies to experiment with new and compact parts for their upcoming models. 

One of the reasons behind technological advancement is the feasibility of designing in a virtual space and developing them in days.

You can create an original design with the help of advanced software in a few days with a good idea. 

Geographically complex shapes

A8 Desktop 3D Printer - Image: YouTube

3D printing has revolutionized manufacturing as production companies and even domestic users can make complex designs for their projects. If you can design it on software, you can have it in your hands.

The complex shapes and geometric designs offer to enhance future technology and machines.

Many engineers are working on fuel diffusion parts for cars that will enhance combustion and improve the car’s fuel economy. 

Drawbacks

Despite the positive impacts of 3d printing on industrial manufacturing, it also has a dark side. In the wrong hands, 3d printing can become dangerous.

Here are a few drawbacks of 3d printing,

Law and enforcement complications

A person can 3D print a gun, a complicated explosive device, or a weapon.

The complex designs benefit technological industries and engineers, but they can become a drawback as people can print guns in their homes.

The federal law allows people to build firearms in their homes, so one cannot report these people. 

People are free to build guns and weapons, and with the advanced technology of 3d printers, a person can make them within days.

People can illegally manufacture as many guns as they like, which threatens the security of other civilians. Law and enforcement do not have the right to stop these producers.

The issue of copyright is that people can make copies of copyrighted designs. Anyone can steal and manufacture someone’s compositions.

This copyright infringement is harmful to the creators as it exploits their rights.

Environmental hazard

The domestication of 3D printers can be harmful as people usually use filaments for creating designs.

The thing is, filaments can be lethal to the environment. These filaments can be recycled, but the process is very complex, and most people do not recycle their waste. 

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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