3D printing is rapidly infiltrating a multitude of marketplaces. From city council boards interested in reducing the carbon footprint of future buildings, to doctors intrigued by the possibility of printing live tissue, there are numerous marketplaces that can benefit from using 3D technologies. As the capabilities and benefits of 3D printing continue to expand, the following sectors are sure to see an increase in use.
1. Achieving A Positive Environmental Impact In Manufacturing.
Traditional manufacturing techniques can not only be dirty, but they can also be wasteful and lead to a larger carbon footprint. 3D printing offers the potential to lessen waste and lower the carbon footprint of manufacturing companies by:
- Maintaining a heightened focus on only using the required amount of raw materials, such as biodegradable PLA plastic filament, needed to create specific objects. By working in tandem these two tactics cab reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing.
- Thanks to 3D printing, individual parts can be replaced rather than throwing away an entire product, which increases their lifespan and reduces byproduct waste.
- 3D printing can be used to produce and assemble the parts and products locally, which means that only the raw materials will need to be shipped, thus reducing the carbon footprint caused by the transportation of goods.
- Manufactured parts can be made to order, which means that there will be a reduced number of unsold products that would have otherwise found their way to landfills.
2. Innovations Within The Educational Sector.
3D printers offer a unique opportunity for students of all ages to see innovation in the making. Whether it is helping students gain an intimate understanding of engineering, helping architects develop environmentally friendly buildings, or encouraging medical advancements, 3D printers have the ability to change the way we learn.
3. Interstellar Applications In Zero Gravity.
Arguably the most innovate and logical 3D marketplace can be found in space. 3D printing can be used to create tools, parts, and necessary gadgets for astronauts while they are in space. In fact, recent studies suggest that the use of 3D printing can accelerate the creation of necessary building parts for the International Space Station. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has set the stage to launch the very first 3D printer into space in the hopes that it will increase the self-sufficient capabilities of zero gravity space missions.
4. Mass Manufacturing Of Highly Sought After Items.
In theory, mass manufacturing is another budding 3D marketplace. Large-scale printers will hopefully be able to produce items more quickly, which could lead to the mass production of printed food, electronics, toys, and even military machinery. Speaking of the latter application, when 3D guns have already been printed, it stands to reason that the technology will soon catch up to rapidly produce customized replacements and parts for other types of military machines. Similarly, the automotive industry has already begun to use 3D printing to test parts. Ford reportedly uses the technology to not only test parts, but to eventually optimize the efficiencies for making replacement parts.
5. Changing Medicine And Healthcare.
Bioprinting is arguably the fastest growing sector to adopt 3D printing. The technology is used to making living tissue. This emerging marketplace is set to pave the way for future medicinal advances, including using 3D technologies to not only print living tissue, but to transplant this tissue into viable patients. From the National Eye Institute, to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, to the Human Methodist Research Institute, there are countless organizations that hope to use 3D technologies to more efficiently create cells. Eventually it is also hoped that the innovative technology will be used in the development of complex organs, barring any setbacks held by political, moral, or ethical concerns. Time will tell just how large the impact of 3D technologies will be on the medical and healthcare marketplaces.
The Bottom Line: Countless 3D Marketplaces Are Emerging.
The moral of the story is clear, 3D marketplaces are emerging in all corners of the globe and across industries. From manufacturing to education, interstellar special operations to mass production environments, and the proven advances within the medical fields, one thing is certain, 3D technologies are powerful innovators and influencers. Stay tuned for additional insights into future and developing 3D marketplaces.