From what was just an idea many years ago 3D printing is now very much here and it has greatly improved so many areas of fabrication and manufacturing. With each month that passes we seem to find new and better things that we can do with this technology. There is more availability of 3D printers now which is why we are seeing faster advancements, for example you can easily pick up a 3D commercial printer from Konica Minolta. This kind of availability just wasn’t there in the past.
Today then, we are going to take a look at different trends which can be found throughout this industry right now and what those trends mean in terms of how they will be put to use.
Back in 2018 we saw a house design which could be printed for just under $4000 and it sent waves through the community. In the two years that have passed this has been a real focus for many design companies and last month we saw the very first 3D printed home built in Antwerp, Belgium. The idea that a printing machine can spew out concrete with such precision is absolutely mind-blowing and this is exactly why this is one of the hottest trends around. If we can 3D print budget homes then the impact that could have would be immense.
Now that we understand how this tech can be applied to so many aspects of our lives, the next challenge is to try and open up 3D printing as an option for every material that we have. It is for this reason that manufacturing company Jabil opened up their Materials Innovation Center, with a view of exploring the path to printing a larger range of materials. We are still restricted in terms of the 3D polymer options that we have, and so research and testing has certainly been ramped up this year and by the end of the year we could see some big improvements.
Metal binder jetting
Another clear challenge within this industry has been finding the way in which to produce high volume 3D printing. This would not only increase availability but it would also lower the cost of both production and of the product itself. What we may see change this is a new technology trend called metal binder jetting. Using this technology the hope is that we can see increased speeds with high quality results, using cheaper materials to do so.
Sensors are also a hot topic right now as more manufacturers seek to amass as much data as they can in order to increase the quality and the ability of their printers. There are a couple of beta versions of software out at the moment and once they begin to get rolled out fully we will see data become a big part of the 3D printing landscape.
As the year progresses these are the key trends where printing experts will be focusing on.
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