3 Advancements in the 3D Printing World
3D printers have been exciting many with their potential since the first one was created in the 1980s. As with computers, the very first ones were extremely expensive and primitive compared to newer models today. This technology is continually advancing, and listed below are a few of the more recent breakthroughs in 3D printing that have the potential to change the world.
- 3D Printing of Organs
Continuing developments in medical devices, surgical procedures and pharmaceuticals have caused medicine to relentlessly advance and the human lifespan to keep climbing. One remaining shortcoming, however, has been the availability of organs for transplants, but 3D printing is set to create a breakthrough on this front.
This technology was first employed to create a construct out of cells in 2003. Printing using human cells is already being done, and the technology is only going to become more refined over time. Given the multitude of people waiting on new organs for their survival, this application of 3D printing could well be the most profound over the next few decades.
- 3D Printing in Multiple Colors
Since their first creation, one thing holding back 3D printers has been the fact that they can only print in a single color. Today, there are industrial-grade 3d printers that do have multicolor output and even a few consumer models although they are prohibitively expensive compared to their monochrome cousins. They accomplish this by using multiple filaments that blend together to create varied colors. Affordable color printing is one of the biggest things holding 3d printing back from becoming a household thing. The next advancement may be the biggest reason.
- 3D Printing With Multiple Materials
Multiple colors may make a printed object look prettier, but being able to print an object that is made from different materials is an infinitely more practical breakthrough from the standpoint of the variety of things you could create. Traditionally, a plastic filament is used in the standard 3D printing process. Advancements in adding other materials to these plastic filaments are expected to continue throughout this year and next. Affordable printers that can create items in multiple colors and materials will revolutionize manufacturing.
A Brave New World
Unlike the world of computers, 3D printing is still in its infancy. Its ramifications for the near future in the fields of medicine and manufacturing in general will undoubtedly be life altering for how we live. It’s only in the past couple years that people have started seeing consumer 3D printers advertised, which is a reflection of how far the technology has already come in terms of price and usefulness. While the technology still has a ways to go and consumer models are currently only in the homes of the most avant-garde and tech savvy among us, it’s not hard to see a day when advanced versions will be in nearly every home.