5 Surprising Industrial Uses for 3D Printing
Are you skeptical about the importance of 3D printing? Don’t be! Discover how scientists and engineers use 3D printing to revolutionize the industrial world.
3D printing has been around for several decades, but it has only really taken off in both the industrial and hobbyist sectors within the last few years. In fact, there are probably lots of things most people don’t realize are made using 3D technology, including items in the medical, automotive, and aerospace industries. Learn five surprising industrial uses for 3D printing.
Lightweight Aircraft Parts
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that weight is a major factor in airplane design. The heavier a plane is, the more fuel is required to propel it through the skies. In order to reduce the amount of fuel needed and to lower the carbon footprint of air travel, engineers use 3D printing to make lightweight parts from plastics and resins.
Another amazing thing about 3D printing is that it doesn’t create much waste if any. Since 3D printing uses the additive method of fabrication, you don’t end up with piles of leftover material. Instead, you use exactly the amount you need. In the industrial world, engineers have figured out how to 3D print directly onto equipment that needs repairing to reduce time and waste.
Custom Medical Devices
Since every person’s body is slightly different, it makes sense that medical implants and other devices should be as personalized as possible. Now, thanks to 3D printing, we can make hip replacement parts and dental implants that fit your body like they were made for you—because they were!
Thanks to engineers, 3D printing is now even more efficient for fabrication because of conveyor belts. Conveyors benefit 3D printing by allowing you to print lots of items, one after the other. Since the belt moves each item out of the way of the next one, there’s no need to stop the printer after each job.
In the world of mechanical engineering, another industrial use for 3D printing is making consumables. These are items like drill bits, which aren’t useful after a certain amount of use. Now, fabrication workshops can simply print the bits they need instead of running to the hardware store.
As technology continues to evolve, engineers work to make it useful to everyday people. 3D printing has the power to lower costs, reduce environmental impacts, and create less waste.