Not just manufacturing but 3D Printing is influencing all industries
As the price of 3D printers is continuously declining, more and more businesses are seeing the potential of investing in prospective technology to drive the next generation of business innovation.
The thought of taking a concept from the screen to an object is itself appealing. But the application of 3D printing goes way beyond this construct. 3D printers are propelling a new revolution helping businesses differentiate and innovate their business models and bringing in speed, quality and customizations.
In fact, 93% of the companies currently utilizing the technology see significant reductions in the time-to-market to market and are enjoying faster turnaround times, from concept to product launch.
What’s brilliant to see is that the benefits of the 3D printing technology aren’t limiting themselves to the manufacturing industry – almost all sectors are seeing potential in adapting this technology to make better their avenues of business. The potential application of this product is endless.
Never before in humanity have we seen such advancements of this calibre where we could easily replicate objects. With its reliability, 3D technology is immersively advancing the medicine, automotive, and education sectors rapidly.
Meanwhile, the filmmaking industry has already seen the practical use of 3D printing for a considerable period. The other crucial sector that sees significant contributions from 3D printing is the architectural industry. There is a complete takeover of the traditional methods to create a more accessible, futuristic and cost-saving solution.
In this article, we look at the types of 3D printing technologies in brief currently in use and the two ends to which 3D tech has its impact – film making and architecture.
The 3D Printing Technology
3D printing is also termed an additive process where layers of material are built to create a part. This opposes the traditional form of manufacturing where the design is cut from a large block, eventually contributing towards less wastage.
In this process of additive manufacturing, various 3D printing materials are used, including thermoplastics such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), metals (including powders), resins, and ceramics.
When analyzing the technologies behind 3d printing, a broad three category division can be shortlisted.
Sinistering – where materials are heated, not to their melting point, and then created into products. Metal powder is utilized for direct metal laser sinistering.
Melting – includes powder bed fusion, electron beam melting, and then proceeding to direct energy deposition. Here, lasers, electron beams are used to print objects by melting the materials together.
Stereolithography – uses photopolymerization to create parts. This method uses the correct light source to interact with the materials selectively to solidify a cross-section of the object in thin layers.
3D Printing in filmmaking
The world of filmmaking is one of the most innovative areas where 3D printing shows a lot of promise. Award-winning movies and box office successful movies such as Iron Man and Black Panther have shown the success rate of 3D printing in designing props, sets, and parts of all kinds.
The film industry is at a stage where now it can unleash the potential of 3D printing and the design freedom to provide an immersive experience to the viewer. Today, technology has taken the film industry to places we’ve never seen before.
The aim is to provide the viewer with an experience as realistic as possible – or at least a near-abstract.
While film producers and directors dedicate their 100% to this mission, they need to pay attention to even the finer details to make a production successful. In usual times, creating costumes that are detailed to the tiniest elements could take weeks or even months. This process is also heavily labour-intensive, especially when it’s being made for a large set of characters.
But, the introduction of 3D printing allows this process to be reproduced with ease. The costume designers could develop one model, 3D print it, and then print it several times within a concise period.
The other use case that comes with 3D printing in the cinematic world is creating prototypes and printing several different versions easily to compare. This provides greater flexibility where even a tiny part breaks or is damaged during a set; it can be easily replaced.
With 3D printing, the need to have a separate printing facility is eliminated. The printing can place on-site, with the printers relatively easy to transport.
Today we see an exodus of CGI used in filmmaking. The special effects and digital models in movie animations can be of high quality, but the viewer could easily distinguish the two. At times like this, the film directors often look to develop 3D models of elements and limit the use of CGI.
3D printing is seen as a cost-effective, more realistic alternative ahead of CGI where it could be used to augment the special effects and create inexpensive props.
Here, the 3D printer comes in handy in getting a product from concept to design quickly.
3D and Architecture
Architecture, one of the oldest industries is seen a massive turnaround, thanks to 3D printing. 3D printing is slowly transforming the architecture sphere and is showcasing that the technology is no longer a value addition but a necessity.
From concept models to construction, 3D printing has a lot to offer for architects.
Here are three essential innovations that 3D printing is bringing to shape the industry.
1 Concept Models
The starting point of an architect is a concept made; to visualize an idea abut but often, the plans get missed with the hours’ work needed in getting a handmade concept model.
With 3D printing, a highly detailed model can be produced quickly, thanks to a CAD program, making work highly efficient.
2 Customized, detailed design
Architects have the creative pursuit to bring in new designs and styles. But in this effort to create something entirely new, they might not have that unique style anywhere to be found.
At this point, with 3D printing, architects can quickly produce their new designs and even take that piece to develop them in large quantities.
3 Interior Design
3D printing will provide power to interior designers. Architects could be designing objects such as lamps, panels, and other decorative objects to be used as finished products to enhance the final design.
The Future is 3D
If these advancements from filmmaking and architecture are any indication, we will see more 3D printing inclusions with time to come. While there are limitations for the technology at certain junctions, 3D printing will soon become the disruptive force in business.
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