3D printing refers to the method of creating 3 dimensional solid objects by layering materials on top of one another. It is used in various ways as develop tools, design and architecture features. 3D printers have gained so much popularity that they have entered the list of office supplies and are easily available throughout South Africa.
Here are some industries where 3D printers are being extensively used:
- Aviation: The latest addition to office supplies has found a niche in aircraft manufacturing which is indeed an important sector. Many big names use the technology to their advantage. The biggest advantage of 3D printing in the aviation industry is its ability to print light components.
- Engineering: There are several ways in which 3D printing is impacting the engineering industry all over the world. The main use it has found in the engineering sector is printing prototypes for testing in the wind tunnels. The technology gives a quicker response on how the feature will work and shortens the time of development.
- Healthcare: The sector which benefitted the most from 3D printing is healthcare. It is used to make lightweight and cheaper prosthetics. It has also been used to train and help surgeons. When planning to carry out a transplant, a 3D model is used to get a clear image of the complex surgical procedure.
- Architecture: Making models of houses and buildings has become a lot easier with 3D printing. The design created by the architect is checked as it is printed out using the printer with no room for errors. 3D printed houses have also been made for research purposes.
- Automotive: In the automotive industry too, 3D printing has found its place in printing models of upcoming cars. The accurate models are not only design accurate but also perfect prototypes for various tests.
- Fashion industry: The fashion industry has utilised the technology for making 3D printed shoes and clothes. Big brands have started manufacturing shoes with 3D soles. Not only the prototypes, but even the real shoes are being manufactured with 3D printed soles.
- Education: In the field of education, 3D printing has helped in boosting the creativity and exploring different problem-solving techniques among the students. This allows design students to print out dummies of their designs and test them.
- Aerospace: the technology has become a vital tool for aerospace engineers. It has made rapid prototyping and part manufacturing easy and cost-efficient. Having printers on-site ensures that trade secrets never get leaked. Also, this facilitates astronaut training using prototypes.
- Jewellery: This industry requires intricate details in all its products. The expert jewellery makers are embracing the technology for testing product designs and for casting purposes too.
With the huge benefits and the versatility of being used in almost every industry, 3D printing is sure to have a bright future. Now that it is easily available at office supplies, a printing revolution is definitely around.