With every passing year, 3D printing or rapid prototyping services have grown and marched into every sector. We see 3D printed products everywhere but we may never know the full extent to which 3D printing has reached. From cars to planes, furniture to buildings and even food! With new methods being developed, new materials being used and new applications being applied, rapid prototyping services are slowly being accepted as the game changer that it was meant to be when it first started.
An industrial city in the modern world could not have asked for anything better than this sort of technology. Although still considered to be a young field, it is rapidly revolutionizing our world and experts are no longer ignoring it. Design, medicine, construction and countless other fields have been affected by rapid prototyping services and continue to be affected at great speeds.
Over the past few years many innovations have been noted in different fields that involve rapid prototyping services. Mentioned below are just a few of those.
Rapid prototyping services have had a great effect on this particular field and continue to advance it. In the field of Biomedicine, 3D printing technology has the capability to significantly improve people’s lives for the better. In fact, arguably this is the field in which 3D printing can help out the most. Specifically tailored one-off items are becoming more and more in demand. Prosthetics and 3D printed implants have already changed the lives of thousands but what if we could go further? What if we could help give a paralyzed person the chance to walk once more? Well Scott Summit of 3D Systems and Ekso Bionics teamed up to do just that. The Ekso Bionics suit can fit the body of a client perfectly and allow them to walk again without the use of their legs. 3D Systems scans a client’s body and then develops parts to fit to their exact needs. Ekso Bionic now produces this system for anyone who may need it.
One of the complaints against 3D printing is that the size of 3D printed object is restricted by the size of the 3D printer itself. This came across the vision of a group of Dutch manufacturers. They decided to invent their own method. They managed to create a robotic arm which can print metal strong enough for public structures such as bridges. Working with several other companies, they’ve even managed to print a model of a bridge which may even become an entire canal in Amsterdam. Who knows? In the future we may even see machines creating bridges as we walk by.
3D printing is done by printing layer over layer until the product is complete. This has some disadvantages though. This method limits the use of certain materials, has an increased chance of flaws and the final product is ultimately not as strong as it could be. Joseph DeSimone, CEO of Carbon3D, having been influenced by the villain in “Terminator 2,” has made progress in solving these problems. Using a “Continuous Liquid Interface Production” method they can create products or structures up to a hundred times faster than other printers. According to DeSimone, it even has the potential to be a 1000 times faster! This company is and will be a giant player in the 3D printing field for years to come.
Who doesn’t want to pay less? As 3D printers find their way into many households, the price is becoming more and more a factor. Massive companies have no problem dishing out thousands of dollars to purchase one of these devices but the average person can’t spend so much. Many companies have been marketing their products towards these households. The China based company XYZ has made efforts to help the cause in an unprecedented way. Simon Shen, CEO of XYZ, has proposed to distribute 3D printers to every school in China. Such a feat would not only be amazing, it would potentially inspire Entrepreneurs around the world. With such efforts being undertaken by CEOs in China, it comes as no surprise that China continues to surprise the world with the potentials it carries both economically and technologically.
Taking it to Space
We tend to think of rocket engines as massively complicated devices, which should be handled only by experts, and we are probably right to think that. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t print it out. Through the use of rapid prototyping services we can have cheaper costs, allowing room for developers to retest prototypes at a more efficient rate. SpaceX has been doing just that for years now and they finally got their 3D printed ‘SuperDraco’ rocket engine off the ground. This innovation is opening up doors to massive new opportunities in space travel.
Print on the Go
Imagine being able to print products as you sit on the train. Professor Jeng-Ywan Jeng of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, has invented a printer that uses the light of a cellphone to print objects. While it is still in the development stage, many test prints have been checked and seem to be very well made. This will lower costs to print dramatically and of course as an added bonus we could potentially have the ability to print on the go.
With innovations like these pushing rapid prototyping services to the forefront of society, we can look forward to a promising future of many more innovations to come.
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