Industries that will be Changed by 3D Printing
by Theresa Schempp
Out of all the new technology that will change life as we know it, 3D printing is arguably the most profound. 3D printing spans across all aspects of our lives, creating a reality that had only been seen in Sci-fi movies. Scientists are creating entire organs, which many believe will expand our lifespans to well over 100 years, and still be as physically fit as we were in our 30s. Boeing has already implemented 3D printing to build their airplanes, with 30 parts of the 787 Dreamliner airplane created by 3D printers.
Because 3D printing can be implemented in any industry, here are five industries that may implement 3D printing the fastest:
Construction: In China, a 3D printer built 10 houses in a single day. For realtors, this could bring the ability to sell a house that it totally customizable to the home owners. In addition, home renovators could easily create a customer’s specific needs, making construction a matter of weeks compared to a matter of years.
Medicine/Pharmaceuticals: Scientists are working on 3D printing primarily to implement into the medical field, where vitamins to human skin can be created to promote a healthier population. If 3D printing becomes accessible in most medical industries, healthcare as we know it will change forever.
Culinary: One of the biggest challenges our growing population currently faces is our availability of food. Overfishing has massively depleted our oceans, and farming has posed both environmental and ethical problems that has propelled the issue of climate change. To provide a single cow, it must be fed 20,000 gallons of water and 10,000 pounds of grain over its lifetime. With 3D printing, scientists have been able to print a plant that grows after being printed. This could not only provide more food options around the world (where seasonal items become irrelevant), but could even solve world hunger.
Transportation: In the same way houses can be built in a single day, Ford has been using 3D printing to create car parts since 2015. Designer cars may become readily available to the average person, and even create safer travel into space (NASA is a top funder for several 3D printing projects).
Small Businesses, though sometimes expected to be behind in innovation due to resources, may prove to benefit the greatest from 3D printing. While it is an investment, the lasting progress that your business may see could prove to be worth the initial cost. These benefits include:
Cuts shipping and manufacturing costs: Having a 3D printer means that you can create items in-house, which cuts outsourcing and shipping costs that you would face. This is one of the most compelling arguments for the investment of 3D printing, because over time your shipping and manufacturing costs could virtually disappear, and you would save more money than you paid for the printer.
Total customization: What makes your business different from any other one? This question is posed to every small business, and many times they fail to make a statement compared to bigger companies. However, to promote your brand and product (quickly), you can create everything from a logo to your actual product that you can customize to fit your needs and the needs of your clients.
Rapid creation and innovation: This is a benefit of the customization stated above, because as you quickly create new and different things, you can see almost instantly where there needs to be changes. Instead of spending money on outsourcing manufacturing, only to see the issue weeks later and spend more money to correct it, you can create the perfect item after only a few trials. This promotes innovation in your workplace, and your business will shift and change at a faster rate, allowing it to compete on a level other business took much longer to reach.
Sustainable use of resources: 3D printing allows your business to create and manufacture, while also reducing waste. It has become imperative for businesses to create an economic as well as environmentally-conscious model, and a business that incorporates 3D printing could easily reduce its waste by almost half.
Promotes the expansion of technology use in the world: While this is a very broad and usually intangible benefit for your business, success can only be seen through expanding ideas and doing things differently. As a small business, the opportunity to discover and create new things is what grows your business, and ultimately the business sector you work in. As you change and better your business, you do in fact change and better the world.