3D Printing Technology
3D printing is an emerging technology, which, if properly harnessed, has the potential to radically change the world and how things are done. 3D printing technology enables the printing of three dimensional objects off computer modeled renders and through various processes. 3D printing has existed for decades and has morphed from a simplistic technology into a complex one. In recent times, there has been an upswing in public awareness of this technology and consequently an increase in its usage. This essay, sets out to describe how 3D printing will change the contemporary world.
The major development associated with 3D printing has been the growth of an open source culture centered around the creation and sharing of 3D models of common items, such as household appliances. People are equipped with the means and knowledge required to produce a wide variety of goods. Therefore, the upsurge in the sharing of 3D models at no cost has enabled the growth of an industry geared towards the production of 3D related consumables that can be used by any ordinary person. Hence, it has had the effect of changing how people buy and consume products, albeit on a relatively small scale.
In addition, 3D printing is used to aid the production processes in the factories. The support in the manufacturing processes is evident in the product development and testing phase where 3D renders of prototypes can be easily and rapidly created. Thus, it results in improved efficiency and enables product development teams to identify and fix problems early in the development process. Therefore, rapid prototyping that is enabled by 3D technology stands a chance of completely changing the world of manufacturing.
Further, 3D technology will make a huge impact on the education and research sectors. The technology enables students pursuing highly technical subjects to quickly design and produce models of a wide number of items, while not relying on traditionally expensive methods of doing so. Mostly, it is applicable to students of engineering, architecture and graphic design. At lower levels of education, the technology can be used to pique the interests of young students by enabling the execution of interesting and simple class projects. The technology can a be used to help schools duplicate science learning equipment at low cost.
Finally, the emerging 3D printing technology, is projected to create a drastic effect on how people produce and consume goods, as well as how students conduct their learning activities. However, for this to happen, much needs to be done in the areas of access and regulatory control, and only then will the technology change the world.
Published on December 9th, 2015