3D Printing As A Future
In 1981, Hideo Kodama studied and published the first printed solid model in Japan. The appropriate terms to describe technologies that build 3D objects by adding layers of material are known as Rapid Prototyping, Additive Manufacturing, and 3D Printing (Types of 3D printers). However, six years later, Charles Hull an American inventor created the first SLA printer around 1987. Which was the first device of its kind to be able to print a virtual file, and the cost to purchase one was around $300k (Flynt). Nowadays, this type of technology plays an important role in the economy, because it became a useful tool for many work areas such as engineers, scientist, and designers.
Additive manufacturing is the ramification of manufacturing technology that includes 3D printing. AM is the current terminology established by the ATSM international (Crawford). The term refers to the process of creating an object by adding layers. The earliest use of additive manufacturing was during late 80s and early 90s in rapid prototyping. This allowed manufactures to experience more physically the prototypes before getting to the final product. Shortening reproduction time than with any other tool.
However, rapid prototyping uses computer-aided design (CAD) software, which allows designers to create models, then machines follow the software patterns to determine how to build the object. The process of creating the object is known as “printing” its cross segments layer by layer is known as 3D printing (Crawford). There is some of basic principles behind additive manufacturing which was first observe in caves, by dripping water that create layers and layers of minerals deposits, therefore accumulate to form stalagmites and stalactites . In contrast, to these natural formations, 3D printers add new layers to get a precise object (Crawford). There are many reasons why this type of printing is growing exponentially. One reason relies on prototype and parts for large industry, like automobile industry. Also, it can be used in the medical field to create prosthetic parts, or even to make furniture, sculptures or some large-scale product improvement. Another advantage of creating objects using 3D printing technology instead of traditional manufacturing methods is the reduction of waste. As the construction material is added layer after layer, the waste is almost zero, and during the production, it is used only the material needed for obtaining the final object (Pîrjan and Petroşanu). However, there are some disadvantages and limitations like any other technology.
The lack of regulations regarding 3D printing, for example anyone could print guns or military parts, even drugs and chemical weapons. In order to prevent this, some rules and limitations must be done such as software limitations and parental control. This type of printing continues to develop increasingly due to the affordable and accessible ways to produce prototypes in industrial scales. Nowadays, in some school 3D printing is already available for projects. Yet, this type of technology is still expensive for most of the people in both equipment and materials. For example, products like the affordable 3D printing at home can cost around $9000. Still, people love the idea of being able to make all kinds of custom products such as jewelry, household items, or even a complete house, drones or human parts. There seems to be no limitations. In the end, technology is in constant evolution where people prefer an effortless way to create things, environmentally and user-friendly.