How 3D Printing is Altering the Landscape for Different Industries

3D printing is prevalent in multiple industries, including graphic arts, architecture, engineering, medical, and HVAC. Let’s look at some of the ways 3D printing can improve various industries, as the possibilities are endless.

3D Printing Facilities and Accessibility

Many industries act as a middleman between you and your finished project. For example, a service like this 3D printing in Los Angeles, will take your CAD design (or make one for you) and create a finished 3D model for you to use. 

These facilities are similar to printing companies who will hire graphic artists and buy a printing press to create a brochure. A 3D printing business staffs multiple different creatives and tech graduates that help ensure your project become a reality. 

Medical Industries

3D printing has been used to print organs from a patient’s own cells. Now, patients won’t have to wait for an organ donor in the future. Anthony Atala at Wake Forest’s Regenerative Medicine created artificial scaffolds with living cells. 

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At the University of Michigan, doctors inserted a 3D-printed lung splint inpatient Kaiba Gionfriddo in early 2019 to help him breathe correctly. Three weeks after the procedure, Kaiba no longer needed a ventilator to breathe. The medical industry can only benefit if more doctors use this technology.

3D printing has already made usable prosthetics, a workable human jaw, and a bionic ear. Hakuhodo Kettle, a Japanese school that helps the blind, partnered with Yahoo! to create a voice recognition device to help with education. 

Aerospace Industry

A recent NASA rocket engine injector made from a 3D printer passed a hot fire test where a rocket engine injector generated 1- times more thrust than any 3D injector made in the past. This shows the rapid improvement 3D printing has made in the past 10 years.

NASA wants to send multiple 3D printers into outer space as a factory hub to fix technology that breaks in orbit. Astronauts won’t have to carry spare parts into their ships, only extra filaments which are lighter and more compact. 

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Niki Werkheiser, the lead for 3D printing at NASA’s Marshall Space GFLight Center, said that the design for parts would be preloaded into the printer or uploaded from the ground. The test mission in 2014 was a success, which means more items will be 3D printed from space in the future.

Automotive Industry

3D printing, in its infancy, was initially used in the automotive industry to draft prototypes. Now, the automotive sector can create whole cars, including all individual parts, for a more cost-effective price. 

Ford Motor Company already uses 3D printing to make prototypes of many parts in their vehicles, such as brake rotors, cylinder heads, vents, and shift knobs. Urbee 2, which is a vehicle entirely made from 3D printing filaments, has seen a test run in New York and San Francisco. It’s expected that these cars will use less energy and less gas because the engine doesn’t need a lot of torque to move the light frame and parts.

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