3D Printing is a relatively new technology, even though it was mentioned as far back as 1997 in Janine Benyus’ book “Biomimicry”. As with any new technology, there are lots of misconceptions floating around. Some people think that 3D printing is too expensive, too technical and harmful to the manufacturing sector. All of these misconceptions couldn’t be farther from the truth.
3D Printing Is Too Expensive
Five years ago, the argument that 3D printing is way too expensive would have held its own weight. Yet, the technology is constantly evolving and competition is driving the cost of 3D printers down. You’d be surprised, but 3D printers are coming in at under $1,000 dollars these days. The Peachy Printer Kit is just $100. This Kickstarter baby is an assemble-yourself kit that can accurately print small objects. The New Matter Mod-T is only $400 and it can fit on the corner of your desk. It’s WIFI-compatible and uses interchangeable cartridges like a traditional printer. These prices are steadily dropping and the quality is steadily improving.
3D Printing Requires Too Much Technical Expertise
3D Printing mainly requires the use of Computer-aided Design software (CAD). CAD programs and apps help create the templates for 3D printing. Lots of people are interested in 3D printing, but lack the technical expertise of how to use CAD. Luckily, the latest market trend is pre-fabrication and user-friendly apps like Tinkercad andMeshmixer. These apps offer tutorials and classes to help build your CAD knowledge while also providing ready-made templates to speed up the learning process. You can use these apps to design your own crafts, toys, gadgets and sculptures. So you don’t need to spend years in a computer design school to use 3D printing.
3D Printing Will Be The Death of Manufacturing
3D printing definitely has the power to change how we manufacture goods. Yet, is it really the deadly pill that some people make it out to be? Companies like Google, GE and Amazon are embracing the market shift because 3D Printing can really save them money and streamline their production lines. Companies will start building the way nature builds: as needed. A recent article in Forbes noted that the 3D printing sector is expected to exceed 21 billion in global revenue by the year 2020. That hardly sounds like the death of manufacturing.
3D Printing is not just a fad. With billions of dollars in projected revenue on the horizon, it’s certainly here to stay. Prices for 3D printers are coming down, the technology is becoming more user-friendly and industry giants aren’t afraid of the changes it can bring to the way we construct manufactured goods. So avoid the misconceptions and let your imagination soar.