The technological advancements we keep coming up has been completely overwhelming. Long gone are the days when kids are using phones with noisy keypads; in fact, some of us joke about working hard just to get to the letter “s” when we texted. Gaming consoles have also evolved, from the classic Gameboy to the Nintendo Switch, all kinds of portable consoles have enabled gamers to continue playing their favourites even when on-the-go.
However, do you know which innovation has everyone gagging? It is not the smartphones, it is the 3D printing technology. We have companies out there like Konica Minolta which offers 3D direct metal printers because it is increasingly becoming in demand. 3D printing is slowly becoming so commonplace, because a lot of people are finding ways to incorporate it in the office, in the medical field, even at comic conventions.
Looking at how people make use of this technology is always fun and interesting. Just recently, a saw a picture of a cosplayer who 3D printed Bucky Barnes’ metal arm, a staple of the Marvel character, to his specific arm size. But what are the advantages of 3D printing?
If there is one thing 3D printing is known for, it is its time efficiency. In fact, the longest part of development is not the printing itself, it is in the creation of the concept. But once you have a working concept, you can have it printed that same day. It definitely cuts time from what would have been a month- or week-long development to just a couple of hours.
Traditional manufacturing costs way too much. In fact, with 3D printing, companies can save up to 70% of the usual costs. You can create tools or parts through additive manufacturing techniques which have rates that are much lower.
Eco-friendly and sustainable
The use of plastic and metal objects usually produces quite a significant waste, and a lot of the surplus material cannot be used anymore. 3D printing not only reduces the waste, but it also takes less energy to be able to churn out products. Not to mention, you will be able to build different objects through the use of 3D printers without the help of other specialised machines, so it is also cost effective.
Easy testing and gathering of product feedback
With the help of 3D printers, you can create an effective prototype which you can test yourselves. If you find something that does not work, you can easily change the design and create another one without worrying about how much it will cost and how much time it is going to take. At the same time, once you are satisfied with what you have, you can easily gather customer feedback through another round of testing. Using the latest prototype, you can ask your customers to use your product and to discuss with you what they liked and what they did not like.
Almost anyone can get themselves 3D printer. Each machine varies only in size and in how you want to use it. Like what was mentioned before, even cosplayers have 3D printers at home to help them create their own costumes, what more for entrepreneurs who are creating helpful everyday devices.
3D printers still have a lot of advancing to do. But the things that we can do with it now means that we can only expect amazing things in the future.
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