3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) has become the form of future manufacturing and it has been getting more advanced with novel modifications. In addition to newer inventions in 3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping has been one of the main advantages of 3D Printing.
As the applications for 3D Printing surge, companies are beginning to find new opportunities to create robust business models and expansion plans with this technology.
Let’s take a look into different industries and how they are leveraging the power of 3D Printing.
Aerospace and Defence
The aerospace and Defence industries are leading the way in the utilization of additive manufacturing or 3D Printing for a long time. 3D Printing was initially used to produce custom tooling equipment like jigs and fixtures on demand. Today, both of these industries are heavily dependent on prototype creation for research and development.
Additionally, 3D Printing enabled these industries to develop lightweight and durable components like ducts, wall panels, and metal parts.
The advantages of using 3D Printing in Aerospace and Defence include weight reduction, material efficiency, manufacturing of complex design parts, etc.
In the automotive sector, rapid prototyping currently is the prime application of 3D Printing, and companies also implement it in applications like tooling. Thus, automotive companies can efficiently produce tooling aids at a low cost, which greatly improves efficiency on the factory floor. Likewise, tooling can also be customized to increase functionality at a lower cost than traditional methods.
With rapid prototyping, 3D Printing offers automotive companies to quickly test and validate part designs before they are mass-produced. Likewise, manufacturers have also started using 3D Printing to create complex interior and exterior luxury parts.
One of the most complex and critical medical devices need accuracy to create its intricate parts. With the help of low-cost rapid prototyping, medical device manufacturers can easily design and test new products. These days, patient-specific device creation is on the rise, and with 3D Printing, devices like prosthetics, implants, etc. can be produced quicker than the conventional manufacturing processes. These on-demand requirements of patients previously took a considerable amount of time. However, rapid prototyping with 3D Printing has greatly reduced the manufacturing time of these implants, leading to improved healthcare.
The current Covid-19 situation has increased the demand for face shields, eye protectors, and masks. Considering the demand of this situation, many innovative manufacturers are adopting 3D Printing to develop protective shields and glasses.
Consumer products like footwear, beauty-cosmetics packaging, jewellery, bicycles, etc. are always in high demand and consumers expect variety in all. In recent years, with improvements in 3D Printing machines and materials used in them, costs have been coming down. This in turn helped industries to access 3D Printing cost-effectively.
Thus, utilizing 3D Printing, manufacturers can easily create low-cost castings to test the look and feel of their upcoming product. With successful testing, they can kick-start mass production to bring a range of products to the market.
3D Printing in the construction industry offers various ways of fabricating buildings or construction components. It has a wide array of applications like additive welding, and powder bonding (polymer bond, sintering, and reactive bond). Therefore, construction companies are also utilizing 3D Printing for advantages like faster construction, lower labor costs, greater complexity and accuracy, functional integration, and less waste.
Today, 3D Printing is positively impacting our world from aerospace, automotive to medicine to consumer goods and construction industries. Likewise, countless applications of 3D Printing are being developed in different industries.
In conclusion, 3D Printing has clearly transformed the way most industries manufacture and bring their products to the end-user. Accuracy, reliability, low research and development costs, high productivity, and improved quality are a few of the many benefits of 3D Printing. Additionally, the future of 3D Printing or additive manufacturing seems brighter because it is excessively proving its importance in various industries.