3D printing, or additive manufacturing, goes beyond the capability of printing in the traditional sense of ink on paper. It is a technique in which a digital file is converted to a tangible object. In the last couple years, 3D printing has made headlines around the world, spawned entirely new industries and revolutionised the way manufacturers develop new designs and even produce end-use products. Let's take a dive in the future of 3D printing.
3D printing allows companies and individuals to rapidly prototype ideas for new parts or products and also promises to cut down costs on the creation of products through savings in supply-chains, product waste and storage. The benefits of 3D printing are likely to revolutionise many industries, like the automotive, food, aerospace, and healthcare industries.
From bridges printed to complete replicas of lost architecture, with 3D printing we are able to create exotic forms out of plastic, concrete, metal or even salt.
Even with complex internal structures and geometries, 3D printing can help you addressing problems and finding solutions as you go, all in just a matter of hours.
From rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing, 51 percent of designers use 3D printing in at least 60 percent of their projects.
Never mind the computer on every desktop, tomorrow’s engineers, scientists, designers and problem solvers need the best tools to build their futures - which now includes a 3D printer. 3D printing is quickly getting adopted by schools, universities, and research labs across the world in large part due to its ability to produce affordable and complex models that aid in teaching as well as conducting research.
While the 3D printing process is fascinating and fun, the real importance is found in providing students practice with 3D modeling, a vital skill for many future careers.
As 3D printing itself is a relatively new industry in its own right, there are not yet many degrees available that focus solely on 3D printing, but there are a select few already in existence.
With strong roots in innovation, the Dutch are advancing the applications of 3D printing in key industries. The Netherlands is leading in desktop printers at an international level and Dutch online platforms are leading worldwide - something to be proud of!