What do you do when — you have a great product idea, or you broke something which cannot be fixed, or need something which cannot be purchased?
Most of us will — forget the idea, thinking it’s impossible to make on your own; purchase another one when you break the old one; forget about it as it is not available.
We unconsciously make these choices every day and spend a lot more money than necessary. Not anymore. 3D printing will change the way we get products.
3D printing is a manufacturing process that can transform CAD designs into real-world objects. Just upload the CAD design to the printer, press print, and voila Baby Yoda model is ready.
You can print anything as long as it fits inside the printer. Camera holder, speaker case, Xbox stand, cable management accessories, camera accessories, phone cases, you can print it all.
According to Mordor Intelligence, The 3D printing market was valued at USD 13.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach a value of USD 63.46 billion by 2025, ata CAGR of 29.48% over the forecast period 2020–2025
Every home will have a 3D printer
3D printing technology has been around for decades, it was created by Charles W. Hull in the mid-1980s and used Stereolithography technology. Now, we have a variety of 3D printing technologies for all kinds of purposes. This is just the beginning of ‘The 4th Industrial Revolution’ and you can print it with your own hands.
If you can think it, you can print it.
Why buy a 3D printer
3D printing can open a plethora of opportunities for anyone eager to learn. Just like a regular printer, 3D printers will soon be in every home and will become easier to operate; but unlike regular printers, 3D printers can provide you with more opportunities.
Apart from a few fixes and maintenance, you don’t have to worry about anything. You can program the printer to print automatically on a new order. This can be a side hustle of yours to make some extra money.
The future of semi-3D printable products is here. Companies such as Print+, Edelkrone, IKEA, ASUS, and many more are already selling products that require you to 3D print another half of the product to make it all work.
These companies provide you with non-printable parts such as electronics and metal parts and expect you to print plastic parts yourselves through the CAD design they provide. You can even change these designs and customize it as per your needs.
This will reduce the shipping costs, manufacturing costs, and labor for the manufacturers, and provide us with cheaper, more customizable products.
Futuristic and cool, isn’t it?
A 3D printer is a money-making machine; You are making money as long as it prints, and the amount of money is proportional to the speed of the print * the number of printers.
Most of the readily available 3D printers can only work with plastics, are limited to certain sizes, come with a learning curve, and cheap once requires a lot of maintenance — It’s not as negative as it sounds —
All of this will change. 3D printers are already a norm for prototype design, repair parts, and testing in many industries. 3D printed cars, rockets, bikes are all being manufactured in small numbers. 3D printed heart, lungs, and other organs are in R&D.
It is just a matter of time, and soon we will make our own products using the bought CAD files, or our imagination. We will make our own organs and medicines — This one will take some time.
We have a long way to go, but all the big things start small. It is just a matter of time when 3D printing will become as normal as cooking. AR revolution, LiDAR technology in regular devices, and AI are fueling the growth of the 3D printing industry.
But this industry is still under-regulated and poses threats in a lot of ways. With the advancements in this technology, illegal weapons and drugs will become easier to manufacture. The digital divide will widen the gap between rich and poor, and traditional manufacturers will initially suffer losses.
As with any technology, 3D printing has its own social implications and negative use cases. It is up to the user and the government to regulate how it’s used.