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The Positive Effects That 3D Printing Accessibility Has on Society

3D Printing Accessibility

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3D printing technology has been termed as “the technology of the future,” and of the many reasons is because of its accessibility. It is possible that with zero investment, you can get a product of your wish at your place. Isn’t that amazing? With the development of 3D printing service providers and 3D repositories, you can freely download the design file of a product that you like the most and upload it on a 3D printing service provider’s website. After that, you can get an instant quote, which will tell you how much it will cost to get that product shipped at your place?

Such accessibility was never possible before with any traditional manufacturing technology. Moreover, for the same reason, the society was never changed in the same way as it is right now, by 3D printing technology. Below mentioned are the top five positive effects of 3D printing’s accessibility on society.

1)  The technology has revolutionized manufacturing sector

The technology has revolutionized manufacturing sector

Image Source: formlabs

3D printers are becoming more and more accessible. It has been some years since the cheapest 3D printer available in the market is under $500. This has enabled people to buy 3D printers and print the things they need at their own place. People can get a 3D printer according to their choice or budget preference after which they can solve their daily life problems by 3D printing their solutions.

Many household goods can be 3D printed using a 3D printer. In case they do not know how to 3D design that object, there are online 3D printing repositories from which they can download the 3D design file for free. If you’re looking for a cheap Affordable 3D Printer, you can read Pick3dprinter’s list of The Best Cheap 3D Printers Under $500.

For example, if you wish to 3D print a lamp, either you can 3D design file for a customized lamp using any 3D software available online, or download 3D design file from repositories such as Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, or Cults or any other.

After doing so, you can slice that file, convert it into g-codes and feed it into a 3D printer. Whereas with traditional manufacturing technologies all you had in terms of options for buying lamps was, go out from shop to shop or online stores and search for the design that suits you the most and buy it.

2)  Personalization is given importance

Image Source: 3dnatives

With previous manufacturing technologies, everything was about standardization. The logic was simple: Increase the number of pieces of parts to decrease its cost. Whereas with 3D printing technology, it is possible to mass customize. The ease of use of 3D printing software lets you make minor edits, very less laborsome than the workforce and efforts needed in traditional manufacturing technology for customization.

People who were willing to pay more for getting customized products were still not getting the response that they needed because it was not possible, and are getting satisfied using 3D printing technology. For example, if you wish to buy a smartphone cover with your name printed on it, it has become possible. Another example of household items. Say you wish to 3D print a charging station for your own or a lamp of your own style, you can easily do so.

3)  Medical Care has become cheaper

Medical Care has become cheaper
Image Source: nih

There are 3D printers available in the market that are completely used for developing medicare products. With previous technologies, there was a limitation in printing parts related to anatomy because of standardization. But 3D printing technology enables you to 3D print a part or functional prototype according to the person’s biology.

Doctors can use 3D printers in their hospitals to develop parts specific to patient needs. They no longer need to stock parts or functional prototypes for medical emergencies. And all of this sums up and results in a decrease in the cost of medical parts and functional prototypes.

In fact, custom 3D printed titanium and polymer implants have already been implanted in thousands of patients worldwide with excellent results. Today’s additive manufacturing technology can produce high-quality 3D printed hip, spinal, knee replacements at cheaper costs.

4)  Increase in cultural and archaeological preservation

Increase in cultural and archaeological preservation
Image Source: 3dnatives

3D Scanning in combination with 3D printing technology is working wonders in re-creating the destroyed Buddhas in Afghanistan and Syria. Priceless artefacts at the burial site and even the full mummy of Tutankhamon has been worked upon.

It is the accessibility of 3D design files that permits artists, students as well as the archaeologists to work on it, remotely, at the same time. 3D printing also authorizes you to give any painting a physical form and hence let them touch and feel the aesthetics of it and reproduce it anywhere in the world.

5)  STEM Education

STEM Education
Image Source: mailmunch

The ability to produce physical objects from once imagination is a hands-on way for kids of any age to learn and engage in a variety of subjects. There are 3D printers and programs that are specifically manufactured for classrooms, such as GE Additive’s Education Program.

The increasing number of kids are willing to learn CAD design, programming, and manufacturing processes. By not limiting their learning only to textbooks, 3D printing technology gives them a way to experiment what they have learnt and see if it works or not, at that very moment. This kind of learning inculcates in them a very strong sense of confidence and an ability to learn from their own mistakes.

The Conclusion

There are many other positive effects apart from these five as well that 3D printing accessibility has on our society. And there will be more as the technology is still in its nascent stage and constantly evolving and attaching itself to various industries. The more this technology is becoming accessible, the more it is becoming specific and employed for developing daily life solutions.

There are more options available for 3D printing materials in the market than before, there are more industries in which parts and functional prototypes developed using 3D printing technology are employed and so on. Having stated so, the future favours this manufacturing technology over traditional ones because of its accessible and flexible nature. It is more customer-centric than other technologies and that’s exactly what people are looking for!

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