The future is now here! In less than a decade, 3D printing has taken over manufacturing. It has surely replaced an entire fleet of manufacturing systems from initial conception to manufacturing. In the early days the use of the technology was confined to developing single prototypes. However with the entry of new materials the application has ballooned. While 3D printing/3D printing technology is still in infancy, it has already shown massive potential in the field of Robotics, Architecture, Design, Fashion, Automotive, Entertainment, Art, Food, Health and so on.
- In Robotics for instance, Intel has launched a friendly walking robot Jimmy, a less sophisticated version of the droid that will be on sale for a little over $1500. To appease consumers, 3D printing blueprints are free so it can be constructed using a 3D printer.
- Fashion is also one field that can benefit from 3d technology in the future. Experiments are ongoing regarding hats, from headpieces to dresses, to shoes and jewelry.
- Automotive companies are now in the fold of entirely using 3D printing/3D printing technology in the design of concept cars.
- The medical field is as well joining the 3D technology of the future. Application is in the 3D printing of bones and cartilage replacements and the development of medical devices.
- In art, 3D printers are now used to duplicate the works of the masters. This allows the precise recreation of art pieces.
What will happen in the future is no longer anticipated, because the signs point to 3D printing/3D printing technology as the future of design and manufacturing. 3d technology in the future is now really clear as practically all fields of manufacturing are switching gears and now rely entirely on this technology. However, for the moment 3D technology is limited to parts manufacturing. Let us wait for the perfection of 4D technology that is much more sophisticated since it involves automatic assembly processes.
The first time I saw 3D printing in action was really impressive. The demo resulted in a precise machine part prototype conceived in a computer and crafted by a 3D printer. The entire process looked so surreal because how can a printer produce a 3-dimensional object? It involves creating an object out of nowhere using a few and select materials. This emerging technology will surely revolutionize the way Industries perceive manufacturing the world over.