A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013

A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013
A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013 - Book by Saifullah Shafiq

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Trend of 3D Printing

The concept of 3D printing has brought a disruptive transition in the tech hub. There was a time when it was used for the sake of prototyping but now it is being widely adopted by industries for the production of large objects. It is anticipated that by 2027 a skyrocketing growth will take place as more and more companies are incorporating and installing 3D elements in their design and manufacturing processes. Almost a decade ago, around 233,000 3D printers were delivered to hobbyists and also for industrial and commercial purposes. The different raw materials and hardware required for it are quite inexpensive and developments are taking place to improve the quality of these inputs and make it more affordable for the users. 

What is 3D Printing?

The creation of small or large three dimensional (tangible or solid) objects with the help of digital files is known as 3D printing or additive manufacturing. In this additive method, multiple layers (thinly sliced) of raw materials are laid down which collectively make up the finished product/object with less wastage of materials. It also allows companies to produce complex objects and shapes that do not require much material. This method is completely different from traditional or subtractive manufacturing in which cutting and carving (more wastage) is done to produce a product.

There are many free 3D software tools that beginners can use to make such models. One such tool is Tinkercad which they can access through their browser, later they can export the model in the form of a printable file. In the next step you use the slicing software in order to make uncountable layers of your 3D model. After the process of slicing, your file can be fed into the 3D printer through a USB to produce a layer by layer physical object. 

Applications of 3D printing

Today 3D models are being used almost everywhere, mainly because it is relatively less costly and faster than other technologies. Whether you talk about movie props, dental products, prosthetics, construction and manufacturing tools or even replicas of ancient objects, it is swaying in every field. Some examples are discussed below:

1. Aviation Industry: A number of different strong and sturdy structures are being produced using 3D printing technology because such objects are lightweight and made to perfection. Since it minimizes the chances of errors, critical parts are also produced such as air ducts, fuel nozzles and brackets etc. Boeing and Airbus are few of many companies that have incorporated this technology.

2. Consumer Products: 3D printing can be used to produce large volumes of products too. For example Adidas once produced 5000 articles of shoes for its customers and their midsoles were made using 3D printing. Similarly, eyewear frames are being made using 3D printing because of its accuracy in terms of measurements. 3D print lenses are thin, light weight, excellent in terms of quality and provide clear vision. Also, it greatly reduces inventory cost and minimizes resource wastage, unlike traditional glass lenses.

3. Construction: Today, houses and buildings are being constructed using 3D printing and are available in the market for sale. This construction is done either on site or off site. The 3D printer prints large concrete, clay, metal, or polymer objects through a number of layers and it can create complex surfaces too. This method requires less materials, lowers labor cost and is fast enough to create multiple story buildings.

3D printing is all set to serve all market niches. It is opening doors for businesses, making the manufacturing and supply chain processes efficient and more resilient. It is also giving rise to personalized consumer goods which can be quickly produced according to customer demand. 


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