The 21st century is a wonderful time to live in. The unstoppable advent of technological innovations brought in dozens of possibilities and conveniences that previous generations couldn’t even dream of. We, on the other hand, have the privilege to use such conveniences daily, even without realizing how rapidly the world has changed over the last few decades. Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, is one particularly promising technology that brings optimization, cost-efficiency, and allows makers to effortlessly turn their wildest and most original projects to reality without having to set a foot outside their flats. On a global scale, it is expected to bring solutions to some of the most challenging problems such as the housing crisis, negative environmental impact, organ bioprinting, and more.
Different 3D printers use different printing technologies, but in general, it all comes down to the fact of consecutive deposition of one layer of material atop another one, shaping and creating the desired model with millimeter-precision. Even though 3D printing is not mainstream, it is an activity to be passionate about. It is a fun and exciting hobby that allows creating neatly-looking objects like original household items, figurines, props, and other products from scratch while improving your creative thinking and other cognitive skills. Besides, you can easily turn your hobby into a profitable business once you get the hang of it.
Production of Household Items
Right off the bat, 3D printers can be used to create a plethora of useful household items. And with all the customization potential 3D printing technologies bring, you’ll have more than enough to create objects with unique and bizarre designs. Aside from being a nice addition to any room, such out of the box items will surely spark your family and friend’s interest. How about replacing your light bulb with a moon?
Or maybe you’d like to take it even one step further by 3D printing a full-size pendant lighting?
Tabletop Miniatures and Figurines
Another application where additive manufacturing shines is the production of accurate neatly-looking figurines. As you can see, the outputs are highly detailed and precise, showing a particularly smooth surface finish.
In case you desire to achieve the smoothest surface finish, look for resin 3D printers. However, it can be a double-edged sword since their FDM counterparts offer a much bigger build volume, providing you with the ability to print larger models or even make several small-scale ones in one go.
Props and Cosplay Items
Aside from the above-mentioned applications, 3D printing can help you make a dozen different props and cosplay items. With a millimeter-precision it provides, the clothes are guaranteed to make a perfect fit.
With additive manufacturing technologies, you can produce a plethora of props for Halloween and other related holidays without having to step outside of your room or home workshop. A unique possibility, isn’t it? Actually, how about wearing a scary 3D printed costume to pull off a jump scare on your spouse? Even if that’s not your kind of thing, you can still create accurate replicas of movie and video games-themed artifacts.
The advent of additive manufacturing technologies and resin 3D printing, in particular, has taken the jewelry industry by storm. The thing is that jewelry pieces became considerably easier to make and customize, since additive technologies eliminated the need for lost-wax casting and hand-carving, thanks to the integration of advanced digital workflow and high-resolution 3D printers. With a greatly reduced amount of manual labor required to create and modify a piece, customizable jewelry is getting more and more accessible to a wider audience.
Prototyping, Reverse Engineering, and Batch Production
3D printers can also be employed to create rare-to-find car parts and their prototypes for sale. Some makers specialize in batch production of hard-to-find car parts like release levers, brake parts, etc. to sell them to local repair shops. The thing is that official manufacturers don’t produce spare parts for classic and discontinued models anymore, so their 3D printed counterparts, as a rule, meet the particularly high demand.
Additive technologies are of great help when it comes to reverse engineering, since 3D scanners allow to create digital models of parts in demand in the blink of an eye, making the development stage a piece of cake.
Moreover, resin 3D printing is widely used in the dental industry since it provides orthodontists with the ability to make highly precise dental models, surgical guides (including biocompatible ones), alignments, splits, and other indispensable tools. Besides, additive technologies promote digital dentistry and allow for quick production of accurate dental models for further employment in the time of need.
As you can see, 3D printing has already opened up a dozen new possibilities for hobbyists, business individuals, and professional applications. Apart from being one of the latest cutting-edge technological solutions that are expected to end some of the global problems, 3D printing is a fun and exciting activity with a warm and welcoming community of passionate makers. With the help of additive technologies, you can effortlessly create almost any kind of three-dimensional object without having to leave your home. Besides, 3D printing technologies are renowned for the optimization and cost-efficiency they bring by greatly reducing the amount of manual labor and production costs.