Scientists and engineers are excited about 3D printing as a breakthrough technology. It could be used to create costly things at a low cost, thus lowering the cost of manufacturing. The benefits should flow down to the end user because medical expenses or technical gadgets could become more affordable. However, like anything new, there are two sides to this too. Are there any disadvantages of 3d printing?
To begin with, 3D printing was being used by some engineers and technical experts since the 1980s. However, it has received hype only recently. The availability of 3D printers at cost-effective prices has allowed people to explore the benefits of this technology. Even US President Barack Obama spoke about it in one of his speeches. He said, “(3D printing) …has the potential to revolutionise the way we make almost anything.”
“(3D printing) …has the potential to revolutionise the way we make almost anything.”
Reducing the complexity of medical science
With more viable and cost-effective 3D printing solutions coming to the market, it is expected that the benefits of this technology will spread to almost every field in the near future. Medical science and healthcare are expected to benefit significantly from this technology. Reports suggest that researchers are now busy exploring the possibility of replacing complex human organs with 3D printed objects.
Some researchers at Princeton University have even printed a replica of the outer ear using silver nano particles, human cells and hydrogel. Therefore, it will not be wrong to expect that the new technology will bring some breakthrough changes in the medical stream.
Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing can also make a great difference to the lives of automotive engineers and industrial developers. They will be able to visualize the model or prototype of the product they manufacture, resulting in greater accuracy.
Creative professionals are worried sick
Those who are working in the creative fields are worried about what 3D printing would do to their business. It is already being expected that the retail and sports sectors could also enjoy some significant changes if 3D printing becomes a more viable option in the coming times.
However, designers are worried that this technology could sound the death knell for creativity. Kayne West spoke about it on the show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, “This is what I’m afraid of–because the Internet destroyed the music industry and now, this is what we’re afraid of right now with the textile industry.” He added, “There will come a time when people are making their shoes at home.”
Top 5 Advantages of 3D Printing
- It supports quick development of prototypes
- Offers print on demand, which saves cost and time
- Enables advanced and evolved healthcare
- Makes flexible designs easy to implement
- Useful for product testing
Top 5 Disadvantages of 3D Printing
- Works with limited materials, thus comes with limited flexibility
- Not user friendly
- Known to exude toxic emissions
- Encourages copyright infringement
- Consumes a lot of energy
Tell us what you think about this technology. Would it cause more harm than good? Would it be good to have a check on 3D printing practices?