The Impact of 3D Printing On The World
To anyone who has not yet seen it in action, 3D printing probably sounds futuristic – like a hover car out of a sci-fi series. In reality, the process is actually a lot more straightforward, and isn’t vastly different from its 2D counterpart. The difference being, instead of spraying toner onto paper, each model is produced through plastic resin. This resin will continue to mount in height until there are enough layers to form the shape that you have programmed the printer to produce in CAD/CAM related software.
Despite its simplicity, being able to produce objects of any shape or size will open possibilities for numerous industries. It will also reduce the amount of time invested which would otherwise be wasted in preparing the materials and merging them in such a way that it forms the finished product.
The first implication that 3D printing will have is quality control and customisation. No longer will you have to go through the effort of retooling the entire model just to meet individual customers’ needs. You would just need to make a few edits to the instructions that were set up within the software in order to match the preferences of each person.
One disadvantage is the loss of jobs for workers who would otherwise be involved in the manual production of everyday manufactured goods. Once 3D printing is pushed out into the mainstream, becomes a more affordable prospect and the software used to create the print instructions becomes easier to grasp – individuals will start turning towards this as an alternative.
As a result, this will cause various businesses to rethink their strategies and operations from the supply stage, to manufacturing, leading up to retailing.
There are many more ways in which this type of technology will influence the way in which we do business but these factors could change dramatically over the forthcoming years so I can only provide a vision as to what is yet to come.