2018 saw an explosion in 3D printing. In addition to growing as a consumer product (the millionth 3D printer was purchased in 2017), 3D printers have been in the news, and even the focus of art exhibits. Here’s a recap of the biggest advancements in 3D printing in 2018.
3D Printing Advances in 2018
3D printing is a complex, but increasingly common, way of manufacturing virtually designed items using thermoplastics. Thermoplastics turn to liquid when heated and can be molded with pinpoint precision. More importantly, thermoplastics do not weaken upon cooling. This makes them the perfect medium for multidimensional printing. In 2018, the world did some pretty amazing stuff with 3D printing, from commerce to creativity.
Supply-Chain Support. Scanning to take measurements rather than doing them by hand, which takes more time and increases the chance for human error, makes digital supply chains realistic. They are more efficient and will increase productivity.
Medical Miracles. Prosthesis and other medical devices designed by three dimensional printers are one thing but the applications go much farther. A team of women scientists designed and printed biosynthetic ovaries for a female mouse. She went on to birth a healthy litter of pups. Now the scientists have moved on to replicating the procedure in pigs.
Edible Etchings. From chocolate to cake decorating, culinary art and 3D printing have combined to bring food art to a new level. And it’s not just chocolate and sugar, Californians have printed beer and coffee.
Thermoplastic Printing Will Continue To Increase
Sculpteo recently shared stats on the current state of printing in 3D and they speak volumes not only about the proliferation of structured printing but the benefits businesses see because of it. The most telling statistic is that 93% of companies that used the technology this year gained competitive advantages like reducing time-to market and enjoying shorter production runs.
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