We are all familiar with 3D printing as this revolutionary manufacturing technology has completely changed the manufacturing industry by providing a fast as well as a reliable option for complicated designs and production. Ever since 3D printing was first introduced, there have been constant advancements in its types and overall methodology. Therefore, it is getting adopted in numerous fields, making it one of the most versatile methods of manufacturing objects.
Today, you can find 3D printing technology being used in many different industries such as medical, engineering, construction, prototyping, and much more. Because this method is highly used and popular, it is necessary to keep its massive advantages and some limitations in mind. As there is a noticeable growth in the popularity of 3D printing over the past years, it is unlikely to be replaced by any other similar manufacturing technology.
In this article, we will take a look at some major advantages that are available with 3D printing technology. If you want to know all of the applications and various advantages of 3D printing regarding various fields, make sure you stick until the end of this article.
What Does 3D Printing Enable?
3D printing simply enables you to develop almost any structure that you can design on a digital designing platform. Once you finish the design, you will have to convert the file into an STL format where it generates a layer by layer structure of the design.
Once this file is obtained, you can directly feed this design to the 3D printer and develop the object on the printing space.
There are many different types of 3D printers that utilize different technologies to generate the 3D object from a digital file. While the methods may differ a lot, the core mechanism of a 3D printer is similar in all variants: generation of objects in a layered pattern.
This allows you to generate almost any complicated shape under a given time period. You can also print certain parts that you can install in the 3D printer itself to increase its efficiency and performance.
What Are The Advantages of 3D Printing?
1. Instant generation of ideas
2. Production of complicated objects is possible
3. Overall procedure is very easy
4. Easy to adapt
5. A Large number of applications
6. Cheaper 3D printer is easily available
7. Filament cost is less
8. Print quality is manageable
9. Final product durability can be adjusted
10. Printing time is adjustable
11. Control over all parameters
12. Assembly of 3D printed parts is easy
13. Dimensions are accurate
14. No extra process is required
15. Cost saving for hobbyists
16. Makes prototyping easier
17. Little to no waste materials
18. More accurate than manual machining
19. Safer working environment
20. Constantly improving technology
Advantages of 3D Printing in Industry Level
Now that you know the basic advantages of 3D printing in general, let’s talk about how it benefits users on a commercial level. As we all know, almost all industrial and commercial operations benefit when a certain technology manages to reduce the time required for production.
This is possible by introducing 3D printing technology in various industries. This way, one can easily create a prototype model or any other complicated model with more than 50% time saving as compared to traditional methods. Also, 3D printing has made a lot of things possible in many other fields such as dentistry and medicine which were not possible before. Let’s take a look at other advantages of 3D printing.
Advantages of 3D Printing In Dentistry
As complex modeling is possible in 3D printing, dentists and dental surgeons can create a 3D model of the internal structure of the human mouth to study it more accurately. It also allows the creation of various types of molds that can be used to create highly durable and resilient molds that can withstand enormous amounts of temperature and pressure.
One of the best implementations of 3D printing technology in dentistry is the creation of fake teeth that are required to fill gaps. Instead of adjusting predesigned standard teeth, doctors can design custom teeth according to the patient’s requirement and deliver long-lasting results.
3D Printing Benefits To Society
3D printing generates very less residue material which is required to scrap once the production is done. In many 3D printing technologies, there is little to no residue material generated at all. This way, 3D printing ultimately prevents any sort of harm to the environment that is observed in traditional manufacturing technologies.
Also, 3D printing does not create any unnecessary sounds or vibration which could not be contained within a room. Therefore, it is an ideal option for hobbyists to try out their designs right in their homes without any problem. The same goes for the required raw material for the 3D printing as it creates a great use for waste plastic which generally does not have any other purpose.
Advantages of 3D Printing in Medicine
Instead of plastic dummies, studying doctors can now practice on a well-developed 3D printed structure of a human body before performing any critical operation. These structures are generated with precise similarities with the actual human body that helps doctors to practice on a much similar basis.
One more advantage of 3D printing that is great for medicines is that you can 3D print the shells of different capsules by providing perfect raw material. This reduces the time required for the preparation of large quantities of doses and helps to deliver the medicine faster. The same can be said for outer plastic shells of medicines that we usually see in hospitals.
3D printing in Construction Projects
3D printing has managed to simplify the visualization of a structure well before beginning its construction. Architects and engineers utilize the 3D printing technology to generate a 3D model of their design before starting to work on it to get a vague idea about its looks. This delivers a perfect vision of what changes need to be made to make the construction look superior.
Also, 3D printed models are generated at quite a decent pace, and creating multiple iterations is possible before deciding the perfect option. This also includes making major or minor changes in the digital file which is certainly an easy task for an engineer or an architect. This saves a lot of time in the long run as the projects can be finished much faster and the time needed for the development of 3D models is significantly reduced.
What are the Cons of 3D Printing?
After looking at all of the advantages that are mentioned above, 3D printing technology might seem to be the best manufacturing technology amongst all and the most used option in the near future. But, let us assure you that it is certainly not the case, While it provides tonnes of advantages, it cannot completely replace traditional methods due to the following limitations:
1. Difficulties In Installations
While getting results from a 3D printer is really easy, installing one and getting it up and running is equally difficult and time-consuming. One needs to have a large space to be able to install a perfect 3D printer that can associate with a versatile range of applications.
2. Power Requirement
A 3D printer requires a considerable amount of power to run. This is because of the high-temperature requirement and a large number of motors installed for the movement of the printing nozzle. This requirement changes for different types of 3D printers.
3. Limited Materials Available
If you take a look at the market, you will find that there is currently a very limited number of raw materials available that can be used as filaments for 3D printers. There are only a handful of 3D printers that can use metal instead of plastic for printing.
4. Structural Integrity Is Weaker
The object is generated layer by layer in a 3D printer. Therefore, it is quite difficult to get durable structural integrity in 3D printed objects. These objects can withstand a certain amount of pressure and force at first, but the durability decreases over time.
After going through all of the major advantages of 3D printing technology, there should not be any doubt left on the fact that 3D printing is one of the best inventions in recent years. You can find out the basic advantages and benefits of 3D printing in various industries mentioned in our article. We have given a brief introduction about how 3D printing manages to make a substantial change in every field.
Although, you can also find some drastic limitations of 3D printing mentioned above that limit its applications. It is right now far from perfect and a lot of upgrades are required to the 3D printing methodology before it can replace the traditional manufacturing processes completely. Until then, it remains a perfect option for hobbyists to try out different designs and also professionals that can utilize it in various fields such as dentistry, medicine, construction, etc.