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The Wonders of 3D Printing



You’ve probably heard of 3D printers. They are, more or less, exactly what they sound like: printers that print in three-dimensions rather than two. Instead of printing ink onto a sheet of paper, 3D printers print a layer of plastic filament, one tiny slice at a time. When those slices fall directly on top of one another, with each slice unique, incredibly complex designs can be made. From manufacturing parts, to funny figurines, to transplanting organs, the wonders of 3D printing go on, seemingly forever. Let’s take a look at some of the ways 3D printing is being used around the world.

Manufacturing Uses

3D printing is changing the face of modern manufacturing. Even when a business orders from a third party, the turn-around time for a requested product can be less than two days. 3D printing can be used to make and test prototypes within days. This method of creating prototypes dramatically reduces cost, allowing businesses to test multiple prototypes at once. 3D printing also cuts the investment cost of small-batch productions. In addition to these cost-saving advantages, 3D printing also saves a business space. Since items can now be printed at the touch of a button, and their designs are stored virtually, enormous warehouses are no longer needed to store waiting material. To begin exploring the manufacturing uses of 3D printing for your business, contact a 3D printing service.

Medical Uses

One of the most stunning uses of 3D printing is its recent ability to print human organs for transplant. While most of us still have “plastic” in mind, organ 3D printing is accomplished with living cells and smart gel. The organ is printed, and once it’s complete--held in place by the smart gel--the smart gel washes away, leaving only human tissue. While still not ready for medical use, this break-through, once perfected, could change the face of organ transplants forever.

At-Home Uses

As mind-blowing as all this talk of human organs is, you probably weren’t expecting 3D printers to be something you can use at home, as well. Though still expensive, 3D printers are an excellent investment, and will probably save you a great deal of money in the long run. 3D home printers can be used to make almost any common household object, from shower rings to broken knobs. If you need to replace the leg of your couch, just print an exact, 3D replacement. Even safety razors can be 3D printed at home. Besides their long-term financial benefits, 3D printers are also great ways to get your kids interested in science and engineering.

It’s clear that 3D printing has many uses. The simplicity of 3D printing is one of its marvels, making it useful in both manufacturing and personal use. In business or at home, 3D printing saves money every year, and it may one day start saving human lives. The list of uses goes on and on, so if you’ve been caught up in the fascination of 3D printing, keep investigating. 3D printing is sure to keep surprising you.