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3D Printing World Impacts

August 28, 2022

3D printing has revolutionized and changed the way things are made, aiding particularly the medical industry by creating customized and personalized products for its consumers.

Some people around us don’t have the ability to perform what may seem a simple action to us. An easy example is picking up an object using our hands. Thanks to 3D printing, they can be enlightened in their everyday lives and execute these actions with the help of prosthetics. The customization of these products can help each individual facing difficulties perform basic functions they couldn’t previously without this invention.

Besides the medical uses, you can print things like shoe designs, toys, clothing, car parts, and even jewellery. Generally, there are many benefits that come along with this procedure. It allows manufacturers to produce on demand rather than in large quantities, which would eventually turn out as a loss if not sold. It also improves inventory management and reduces warehouse space.

3D printed custom orthoses used in daily life. Photo by Tom Claes via Unsplash

From a practical perspective, 3D printing can save money and material in comparison to ‘subtractive techniques’ because very little raw material is wasted. This new process has transformed manufacturing due to the change of its nature, eventually letting consumers download files for printing complex 3D objects, including for example electronic devices in their homes.

Even though there have been immense innovations since its discovery, 3D printing has been part of our lives for more than 40 years. Chuck Hull was the man who invented 3D printing in 1980 and he initially called it stereolithography.

Stereolithography uses a file which communicates information such as the shape, color, texture, and thickness of the object to be printed.

3D printing is a manufacturing method in which objects are made by fusing or depositing materials-such as plastic, metal, ceramics, powders, liquids, or even living cells layer by layer. Some 3D printers are similar to traditional inkjet printers; however, the end product differs.

In terms of the medical industry, prostheses have been an expensive substitute for lost limbs or other body parts; however, 3D printing has enabled people to spend much less and simultaneously meet their needs.

A big custom orthosis being 3D printed. Photo by Tom Claes via Unsplash

It has resulted in designs that aren’t exclusively produced by medical companies, meaning they aren’t just standard, static products. The fact that they are customized for each individual presents an innovation reflecting personalization, meaning that not only is the product efficient and cheap but it fits each person according to their needs.

Engineers, scientists, and volunteers around the world work on creating prostheses to help people who have commonly lost limbs such as hands, arms, and legs. Bionic hands are generally very expensive starting at about $35,000 and reaching high amounts to even $120,000. Therefore, 3D printed prostheses offer consumers a helping hand at a much lower price, while simultaneously providing the same functionality.

Choosing the size, shape, texture, and color which fits each person best gives a personal touch to meet specific needs.

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