In recent years, 3D printing has evolved much beyond even recreating something as complex as possible. As the designers, enthusiasts and hobbyists are turning their ideas into reality through digital manufacturing now, 3D printing is moving towards becoming a mainstream of digital manufacturing. 3D printing is a quickly expanding field. Though 3D printing is now utilized in a variety of applications, this concept is relatively new for the Indian industry.
3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology that allows for production of physical objects from digital data, constructing an object of virtually any shape layer-by-layer, by depositing material layers in sequence. In the early years, 3D printing was restricted to large industries or research labs that used industrial 3D printers for rapid prototyping. But now, because of the proliferation of desktop fused deposition modeling (FDM) based 3D printers, this technology is being utilized in every field like Industrial, Space, Medical, Defense, Automobiles, Home accessories etc.
3D Printing is getting popular because of improved performance, lower manufacturing costs, deliver higher quality and reduced product weight and greater efficiency in a growing number of industries. Because of the expiry of patents of previous technologies like stereo lithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF), the open source community is taking advantage of it to increase their role in the enhancement of 3D printing technology.
3D printing is important where true customization to the unique characteristics of the customer is valuable. However, the research has been introduced on adding more functionalities and materials in 3D printing in the future.
NASA has already tested a 3D printer on the International Space Station, and recently announced its requirement for a high-resolution 3D printer to produce spacecraft parts during deep space missions. The US Army has also experimented with a truck-mounted 3D printer capable of outputting spare tank and other vehicle components in the battlefield. One of the future oriented application of 3D printer is to create replacement organs for the human body. This is known as bio-printing, and is an area that is rapidly developing. So 3D printing has a bright future, both here on Earth and in space.
The future belongs to low-cost 3D printing. As awareness about the technology grows and more users come on board, even the types of 3D printers will increase. In short, there is already something for everyone, no matter how specialized their need, and that is only set to grow. People will invest in 3D printers as they start to become affordable. Eventually, as 3D print technology becomes omnipresent, users will start approaching specialized shops in order to get quality that stands out from what can be achieved at home. Customers will upload their 3D designs which would then be 3D printed using industrial 3D printers and delivered to the customer.
So if you get your 3D printer, you know you can actually do a lot more than you imagine.