3D Printing

3D Printing

DEFINITION of 3D printing

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design, by depositing thin layers of material – in the form of liquid or powdered plastic, metal or cement – which is fused.


3D printing technology is already increasing manufacturing productivity and has the potential to massively disrupt the manufacturing logistics and inventory management industries – if it can be successfully used in mass production , and if the manufacturing becomes more local.

However, 3D printing speeds are still too slow for mass production. For the moment, the technology mainly reduces the development times of prototypes of parts and devices, and the tools necessary for their realization. This is a huge advantage for smaller scale manufacturers as it reduces costs and time to market. Since 3D printing can create complex and complex shapes using fewer materials than subtractive manufacturing processes like milling, it is used in hydroforming, stamping, injection molding and other processes .

3D printing has incredible potential

Car and aircraft manufacturers have taken the lead in 3D manufacturing, using technology to transform the design and production of monohulls and fuselage, as well as the design and production of the powertrain. Boeing uses 3D printed titanium parts in the construction of its 787 Dreamliner airliner. The US and Israeli air forces are already using 3D printers to make spare parts. GE, which sees itself at the forefront of the industrial internet, created a helicopter engine in 2020 with 16 parts instead of 900 – a sign of the magnitude of the impact that 3D printing could have. on supply chains.

In medical sciences, 3D printing is used to personalize implants. And this technology may soon revolutionize dentistry. In the future, organs and body parts could be created using 3D printing techniques.

In fashion, Nike. Adidas and New Balance are using 3D printing to prototype faster than ever and create custom shoes. In 2020, Nike revealed that it manufactured the first 3D printed textile upper in performance shoes, called Flyprint – which precisely designs the textile by unwinding a spool of thermoplastic filament which is deposited in melted layers.

In the construction industry, companies around the world are making breakthroughs in home 3D printing. Using layers of concrete, homes can be built in 48 hours, which is stronger than ordinary concrete block and only a fraction of the price.

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