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3D Printing Trends – 3 Trends To Think About

3D printing becomes industrial strength. Once reserved for prototypes and toys, 3D printing will become industrial strength. You will take a flight on an airliner that includes 3D-printed components, making it lighter and more fuel efficient. In fact, there are aircrafts that already contain some 3D-printed components. Overall, the number of 3D printed parts in planes, cars and even appliances will increase without you knowing. But do you care?

3D printing keeps saving lives. 3D-printed medical implants will improve the quality of life of someone close to you. Because 3D printing allows products to be custom-matched to an exact body shape, it is being used today for making better titanium bone implants, prosthetic limbs and orthodontic devices. Experiments in printing soft tissue are underway, and may soon allow printed veins and arteries to be used in operations. Today’s research into medical applications of 3D printing covers nano-medicine, pharmaceuticals and even printing of organs. Taken to the extreme, 3D printing could one day enable custom medicines and reduce if not eliminate the organ donor shortage.

Customization becomes the norm. You will buy a product, customized to your exact specifications, which is 3D-printed and delivered to your doorstep. Innovative companies will use 3D printing technologies to give themselves a competitive advantage by offering customization at the same price as their competitor’s standard products. At first this may range from novelty items like custom smartphone cases or ergonomic improvements to standard tools, but it will rapidly expand to new markets. The leaders will adjust their sales, distribution and marketing channels to take advantage of their capability to provide customization direct to the customer.

Learn More about how to run a 3D Printing Business

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3D Printing Discussion – 7 Problems Created By 3D Printing

3D printing might halt development in the developing world and inhibit societies there from becoming wealthier and more democratic.

Ultimately there is no money in 3D printing. Meaning, that it will suck the value out of any and all manufacturing while becoming cheaper approaching the point of free. This might lead to mass unemployment or at its most extreme the cessation of much of the economic activity on this world.

By decoupling people from companies, states, society at large 3D printing might accelerate our current trend towards ever less trust in each other and institutions.

Criminals could use 3D printing for crime. As ATM scammers have already done.

The 3D printing bookof accurate face masks that resemble other people would wreak havoc on the way crime is fought now and make all witness testimony unreliable. How do you catch someone if you don’t know what he looks like? If he’s discarded his fully articulated realistic face mask to reveal his own face or perhaps even another mask beneath and then enters a crowd. Face Off, All the time.

If machines without recyclable materials predominate then impulse 3D printing could cause an adverse environmental impact.

3D printing will make terrorists & spree killers more powerful and will also let armies iteratively improve their war fighting capability.

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3D Printing Problems – What Critics Are Saying About 3D Printing

1. 3D printers are energy hogs
When melting plastic with heat or lasers, 3D printers consume about 50 to 100 times more electrical energy than injection molding to make an item of the same weight, according to research by Loughborough University. In 2009, research at MIT’s Environmentally Benign Manufacturing program showed that laser direct metal deposition (where metal powder is fused together) used hundreds of times the electricity as traditional casting or machining. Because of this, 3D printers are better for small batch runs. Industrial-sized 3D printers may not be the answer to lessening our use of coal power any time soon. That may be true, but can we print less? Are we comparing apples to apples?

2. Unhealthy air emissions
3D printers may pose a health risk when used in the home, according to researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The emissions from desktop 3D printers are similar to burning a cigarette or cooking on a gas or electric stove. The 2013 study was the first to measure these airborne particle emissions from desktop 3D printers. While heating the plastic and printing small figures, the machines using PLA filament emitted 20 billion ultrafine particles per minute, and the ABS emitted up to 200 billion particles per minute. These particles can settle in the lungs or the bloodstream and pose health risk, especially for those with asthma. True to a point, but the technology is moving towards cleaner air and self contained units

3. Reliance on plastics
One of the biggest environmental movements in recent history has been to reduce reliance on plastics, from grocery bags to water bottles to household objects that can be made from recycled materials instead. The most popular—and cheapest—3D printers use plastic filament. Though using raw materials reduces the amount of waste in general, the machines still leave unused or excess plastic in the print beds. PLA is biodegradable, but ABS filament is still the most commonly used type of plastic. The plastic byproduct ends up in landfills. If 3D printing is going to be industrialized, that byproduct or other recycled plastic needs to be reused. Again true, but no need for alarms. We are printing from more and more materials.

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3D Printing Trends From PWC Report

In 3-D printing, hundreds or thousands of layers of material are “printed” layer upon layer using various materials, or “inks,”2 most commonly plastic polymers and metals. The many different printing technologies are generally material dependent. (See the sidebar “3-D printing technologies.”) For instance, fused filament fabrication (FFF) is used with plastics, stereolithography with photosensitive polymers, laser sintering with metals, and so on.

3-D printing technologies
The printers must be improved in three areas to seize the opportunities that exist beyond today’s predominant use case of rapid prototyping:

Performance: Improve key performance characteristics, such as speed, resolution, autonomous operation, ease of use, reliability, and repeatability.

Multi-material capability and diversity: Incorporate multiple types of materials, including the ability to mix materials while printing a single object.

Finished products: Provide the ability to print fully functional and active systems that incorporate many modules, such as embedded sensors, batteries, electronics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and others.

Today’s 3-D printers are concentrated at two ends of a spectrum: high cost–high capability and low cost–low capability. (See Figure 2.) High-end printers are generally targeted at enterprises and 3-D printing service bureaus; low-end printers, which are often derivatives of open source RepRap3 printers, are targeted at consumers and hobbyists.

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3D Printing Book Debunks Five Myths Of 3D Printing

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Let’s 3D bunk these myths. Most new technologies get pushback. The resistance comes from people who are afraid of it, who can’t grasp the relevance, who don’t understand new technology in general, or those who have entrenched interests in keeping the status quo. Many radio stations fought television’s market entrance. The survivors grasped the new technology (TV) and added it to their portfolios. NBC has radio stations AND TV stations.
So let’s 3D bunk these myths one by one.

Myth #1: 3D printing will not catch on because it is too technical. The interesting question is, too technical for who? Engineers and manufacturing technicians have always been technical people. These practitioners have been dealing with design drawings and specifications and blueprints (print and electronic) for decades, so they will clearly grasp new technologies quickly. However, the consumer will also. The “how” of 3D printing won’t be interesting to many of us; we will be interested in the benefits of it. What will it do for my business, my brand, or my needs?

As 3D printing applications mature, so does their ease of use. Right now there are even iPhone and iPad apps that allow consumers to create, augment, design, and order 3D-printed specialty products by tracing their fingers over a tablet computer. The apps get easier to use and cost less and less over time. My nine-year-old can design and print her own tea cups. Too technical? Not true.

Myth #2: Most people won’t do any 3D printing because they aren’t manufacturing people. The best part about myths is that there can be some truth to them. In this case, the statement is true; most people are not manufacturing people. But most people are not plumbers either! Does this mean the entire field of plumbing hasn’t gotten more advanced, more accessible to the consumer (look at all the plumbing parts available in Home Depot) and more user friendly? Since we as people are still going to need “stuff,” we are still going to need “stuff” made. 3D printing is another way to make “stuff.” Even if everyone doesn’t become a home manufacturer, we are still consumers.

Myth #3: 3D printing will never replace traditional assembly line manufacturing. There is truth to this as well. Assembly lines with large economies of scale will not go away. Those assembly lines may move from country to country, but won’t disappear as a methodology. But who says 3D printing has to replace it? Can’t it augment it? Just as TV did not replace radio, this rapid prototyping and incredible customization will add to assembly line’s capabilities. And once the small runs available through 3D printing are utilized, we can go back to the large runs to get the per unit cost down.

Myth #4: 3D printers are very slow and take a long time to make one product, so who can wait? If the 13,000 audiologists (people who fit patients with hearing aids) service clients one at a time and can manufacture on demand for each patient, then the wait is even less than ordering a hearing aid. Over and over again we hear of one-off needs for people that are satisfied by 3D printing. Let’s also not forget that early computers were slow. Early Internet access was dial-up. Early cars went 15 miles/hour. This technology will get faster and faster.

Myth #5: You can only make plastic junk from 3D printers. Not true. While some experts are fighting to make 3D printers faster, others are working on using different materials to feed into the 3D printer. Currently 3D printers can work with glass, metal alloys, stem cells (to make kidneys and other body parts) food, pharmaceuticals, plastics, dental materials, photo-polymers, resins, bacteria, and the list goes on and on.

Read How to 3D Print Money for the next five 3D printing Myths.

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3D Printing Online Learning Course – Available For 3D Printing Enthusiasts


This course focusses on running the business of 3D Printing. A no-nonsence approach to sales, marketing, advertising and finance in the 3D Printing world. The learning model works well in the fragmented 3D Printing learning space.

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Big Data And 3D Printing – 5 Reasons People Fear Big Data Analytics

So, with 3D Printing and the Internet of Things happening, it takes us to one key place: data analytics.

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Will Big Data Enhance 3D Printing?

Here are 4 Ways Big Data and 3D Printing Go Hand In Hand

1. Data Enables Custom Manufacturing. The efficiency and customization power of 3D printing could turn production inside out. Instead of mass producing goods and trying to sell as many as possible, companies can now build products on request.

The data implication? Huge backlogs of CAD (computer-aided design) files corresponding to the items they create. Imagine a catalog, but on a much larger scale. These files can be massive and complex, which inevitably means they’ll require more server space, stringent security, and keen archival methods.

2. Data Feeds Quality Assurance. GE Aviation says it will be building more than 100,000 engine components with 3D printing by 2020. This method is faster and more efficient in terms of labor, but it also requires more advanced quality control. Countless factors can affect the outcome of the final product, including temperature, alignment, deflection, shrinkage, expansion, structural integrity, and more.

3. 3D Printing and Data Visualization. As the global data pool multiplies, companies in all sectors are searching for innovative ways to make sense of their data.

Two researchers at MIT proved 3D printing’s utility as a data visualization tool when they fabricated a 3D scale model of the MIT campus and used colored lights from a projector to display various data about the school, such as building height and Twitter posts by location.

The advantage of the model, they said, is that it provides a fixed framework for displaying variable data inputs.

4. Printing Data Storage. There has been some speculation about the possibility of 3D printing storage drives, server components, circuit boards, and other technology. In theory, these printed drives could host the data used for printing other tangible goods.

Big Data will be used everywhere.

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3D Printing Slideshow and Big Data Trends – What Is The Connection?

Where does Big Data and 3D Printing Meet?

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3D Printing And Big Data – More And More Big Things Coming

big data

3D Printing Industry growth leads to Big Data use. What many people don’t know about 3D Printing is that the technology is data driven. CAD drawings are created and and used. Many are purchase or downloaded for free off the internet.
Once a product is built, it is easy to embed the Internet of Things (IOT) into it: tracking devices, GPS, temperature regulators, calculators, calorie counters and the list goes on.

What does this mean for Big Data? Well, the very definition is that Big Data takes information from many different sources and makes sense of them. For more information see the slideshow below.

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