Gone are the days that offices and manufacturers opted to use one dimensional colour laser printers. Humanity has leveraged its technological knowledge and creativity by inventing 3D printers. The world is drawing near to the time when 3D printers will be as popular as inkjet printers. Earlier this year, Marketbot launched its newest 3D printer, the Replicator. This 3D printing machine is currently priced at around $1,999 per unit and can produce items in two colours. They also released a one-colour version at a lower price of $1,799. This is Marketbot’s first attempt at marketing 3D printers to non-commercial, household consumers.
3D printing is one of the coolest printing technologies ever made in history. It is easy to operate. Once users choose a file for printing and transmit it to a printer via a 3D or CAD application, the 3D printer uses resin or plastic to make a three-dimensional piece of art. For example, parts of the much speculated and highly acclaimed Iron Man 2 costume were made using 3D printers.
3D Printers at Lower Costs
Although 3D printing has been around for some time now, what makes Marketbot’s recent investment extraordinary is that it is targeting everyday users by slashing prices. Even if the price is still expensive for an everyday household, these devices used to be priced at hundreds of thousands of dollars. As the manufacturing volume and new cost efficient designs is driving prices lower, it is wise to expect further significant drops in ‘everyday consumer’ pricing soon.
Instead of viewing these printers as high-tech curiosities, think about the things they potentially replace in a workplace or home. A 3D printer is a great way to move from a design to a product quickly and takes on many duties that would normally require sophisticated tools or hiring personnel. It is like someone has found a way to implement Star Trek-like magic. Instead of beaming space objects to the planet’s surface, 3D printers starts from digital files and ideas and creates tangible, fabulous objects.
How 3D Printing is Slowly Changing the World
Recently, the Biomedical Research Institute of Hasselt University in Belgium announced the successful implantation of a 3D-printed jawbone on an 83-year old woman. The woman suffered from a debilitating chronic bone infection. The patient in question can now chew and speak with her new transplant. Scientists at the Drexel University, US have been working on recreating original fossil scans of prehistoric dinosaurs using 3D printing technology. The 3D replicas have helped researchers answer questions pertaining to how these gigantic animals reproduced and moved.
Designers are also using 3D printers to build and test prototypes, perfecting products before the manufacturing process starts. Engineers and architectures have also used 3D printing to reduce costs, increase innovation, and speed up production. Today, 3D construction plans and building models are made conveniently, efficiently, and in a short span of time. The 3D manufacturing process simply minimizes risk and cost. Testing cars and automotive parts for efficiency and safety is now quicker and easier with 3D printers.
This is only a small sample of real life uses of 3D printers. As the prices drop, this impressive technology will definitely become more visible in everyday life.
Are you planning on getting a 3D printer in the foreseeable future? What uses do you have for one in your everyday life?
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