10 Ways 3D Printing is Positively Impacting Life
With the advent of technology that has the ability to bring ideas to life before your very eyes, 3D printers have begun to take their place in lives of people around the world. The interesting thing about 3D Printing becoming increasingly common in modern times is that is has begun to actually create some relatively positive impacts in different areas. Here are some of the more exciting ways 3D printers are being used for good…
- Assisting in Medical Advances
The medical field is certainly no stranger to using futuristic technology to solve problems, but 3D printing has ushered in a new wave of unique solutions for a variety of needs. People have found ways to leverage 3D Printers to create everything from finger splints to replacements for human bones and 3D print models have even been used to construct some of the more delicate parts of the human body – like blood vessels and synthetic organs. By creating avenues for medical professionals and patients alike to access more personal and cost-effective solutions, 3D printing is creating a better form of healthcare for all.
- Wearables of the Future
Clothing seems like something that might not need the advances of 3D printing technology, but it is something that fashion runways have seen benefit from. 3D printing helps imagine clothing before it hits the runway, and it has also provided footwear and other accessories that are necessary for the catwalk. When it comes to footwear specifically, major shoe companies have even gotten in on the trend in recent years with Nike creating a shoe with 3D printed components that is available at retail. There is also
- Sparing Animals in Labs
Researchers have been working with 3D-printing to manufacture many different things, including pizza slices that sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie (well…kind of). However, one of the biggest innovations that has taken place so far is the potential creation of flesh and organs via 3D printer. Researchers have shown the possibility of printed samples of living cell tissue that is meant to make animal testing obsolete. Because this cell tissue is closer to human tissue, this would mean that the results of testing would be more accurate than testing on lab animals that are typically used. Creating a more accurate path to testing treatments for human patients and saving the cure little white rats in the process is a great development spurred by 3D printing.
- Helping Disabled People
Sure, this does kind of go hand in hand with the medical advances section. But for people with lifelong disabilities, this is kind of a big deal. Currently one of the biggest hurdles to recovering from losing a limb or a vital part of the body is that access to artificial limbs or prosthetics cost a fortune and will likely need to be replaced periodically. 3D printing is helping those that cannot afford the more expensive medical necessities by providing some with low cost alternatives to historically expensive equipment. Prosthetic limbs are now easier to access for many as a result. Having the ability to print objects that increase the convenience of day to day life at a much lower cost than typically required is certainly a positive advancement for those with disabilities.
- Tools for Astronauts
When you’re working in space you can’t necessarily run back out to the garage and grab the tools you forgot you need in order to do your job. Luckily, since 3D printers have been created astronauts have been able to supplement their tools in space with 3D-printed tools. The plastics used are hard enough to make things like functional wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers but also ensure they are light enough to not cause significant concern if someone loses their grip and sends them careening through the International Space Station in zero gravity. The schematics for the tools are simply digital transmitted to the station and can be printed on board. This is not just a positive application, but a really cool one too!
- A Use for Trashed Plastic Bottles
Many people have likely heard recent news stories around the amount of non-biodegradable plastic waste that is filling up landfills and littering the world’s oceans. A portion of this plastic is made up from your run-of-the-mill water/soft drink bottles that are thrown away by people after they’ve quenched their thirst. Some forward-thinking 3D Printing enthusiasts have actually come up with ways to utilize these bottles to create a recycled PET filament that can be heated and extruded by many FDM printers. A lower cost 3D Printer filament and reduction in waste product is a positive outcome for all!
- Helping Small Businesses
Often small businesses will have to turn to larger businesses in order to complete necessary tasks, like banner creation, business card creation, or other necessary marketing. Having to outsource these tasks can take up time and money in the span of a small business’s “life” – and could jeopardize the longevity and vitality of a small business. While it is not likely that a small business could 3D print a large banner at a reasonable cost, having a desktop 3D printer as a small business can serve several cost-saving and practical purposes such as creating unique business cards, tools, or trinkets for trade shows. A small business may even be able to reduce production costs by printing components for their own products and not having to outsource to a large vendor. Having the ability to create these items in house, and without the overhead of outsourcing, can certainly mean positive outcomes for the small business owner.
- Changing Manufacturing
Sometimes, ideas seem great and then fail. This is how many machines come to life, including some of the most complex jet engines available on the market. However, the complexity of certain creations can be cured through using a 3D printer. The plastics used within the printers in combination with the mathematical and architectural precision of a 3D printer results in the ability to generate a working, small scale model without the cost of mocking up the real thing. This allows manufacturing businesses to reduce costs for proof-of-concept work and opens up the ability to test ideas in a safe way.
- Inexpensive Housing Solutions
While it is likely not the goal of the 3D printing community to put others out of jobs, there are certainly ways in which it can improve upon current industries. One of these industries is without a doubt the housing industry, which has seen many great innovations in recent years. However, 3D printing has provided a way to create interesting living structures for much less cost, and in fact has been tried out worldwide, most famously by Hushang Tengda in Beijing. 3D-printed housing means that places with housing crises and lack of funding might have a bright, safe, roofed future to look forward to because of the technology.
- Driving Innovation through Communities
Like most developing, cutting edge technologies 3D printing has fostered many communities where people can have dialogue and share their ideas. These communities are great places for people to see the latest models and creations for both; hobby and practical use. In many cases people’s designs and ideas are modified and re-tooled by others to create innovations that push beyond existing conventions. 3D printing communities provide an incubator of sorts where everyone from professionals to enthusiasts can showcase and discuss their innovations which often inspires others to create further and drive the advancement of the practicality of the field.
At 3D Printing Supply Store, we couldn’t be happier to see 3D printing influencing life in so many positive ways! We hope that you have some big ideas of your own that will also help make the world a little better, one print at a time. Be sure to check out the selection of 3D Printers, Filament, Software, and Books available in the shop!