What Happened To 3D Printing – 3D Printing got a lot of hype when it emerged. With technology innovations, people got impressed and gave so much publicity to the product without understanding its drawbacks. The much-hyped 3D printing technology lost its advertising when people got to know about its defects. To understand what happened to 3D Printing, we first need to understand what 3D printing is:
What Is 3D Printing?
3D painting has emerged from 2D Printing, which is done on a smooth surface. With 3D Printing, it is possible to create tangible objects with the help of computer designs. Palpable means that the thing created provides a sense of touch, and people can feel it. With the aid of a computer, the printer uses metallurgy, which arranges the layers of the object. The metallurgy gets a particular signal from the computer and then puts the layers.
You can select the type of printing materials; it depends on the type of object you want to print. The material can be metal, cement, powdered plastic, or liquid. The computer and printer collaborate to form designs and fuse the layers step by step to create an object. 3D printer technology turns the imagination and virtual world into reality. It goes into the depth of vision and turns that object into reality.
Businesses generate prototypes of different parts of equipment
Currently, it is not used because of its slow process. For the same reason, it is not in mass production. But it has helped small-scale businesses generate prototypes of different parts of equipment, small device parts, and tools needed in extensive equipment. How it helps the manufacturers? The development of features by 3D Printing reduces the cost of it and also reduces lead time. Developing such parts from scratch till the end of it saves a lot of time. It is because 3D Printing can make shapes of complex objects, and that’s how it reduces time as well as cost.
This got the hype when 3D Printing emerged, but the promotion went down due to several reasons. It is time-consuming, costs a lot to create more oversized objects, the designs are not precise, uses electricity and material eco-unfriendly, the plans have copyright issues, and 3D Printing requires post-processing. Moreover, the mental inspiration to create designs is tough for a human because it requires that it be unique and not a copy of some other artist or someone’s plan on the internet.
However, 3D Printing has a lot of potential in the future development of technology only if its challenges are overcome. It has greatly helped in developing medical equipment and making residential houses. This has helped in creating artificial organs to assist surgeons during surgery. It has also helped the architectures to make models for their work. It also helps small-scale businesses with making the small parts with great precision. These advantages have helped the industries, but 3D Printing has a long way to go because of its challenges.
What Happened To 3D Printing?
The hype of 3D printers went down after some time. It is because of several reasons which are discussed below:
It Is Slow:
3D Printing requires time due to its complexity as it is conducted layer by layer. The time taken to print the things will depend on the size of the printer and the quality it produces. The more the work involved with product development, the slower the printers will work. The material used also slows down the print speed as different materials need different extrusion and varying times to adhere and set. Post-processing is also one of the factors that can affect printing speed.
It involves cleaning, rinsing, and drying printed parts. Each technology has its post-processing requirements depending on the size and geometry of 3D printed parts. Smaller pieces may take a matter of minutes to clean, whereas more significant, more complex ones can take several hours of post-processing. Moreover, infill is the internal structure of the 3D printer that affects the print speed with more difficult patterns, taking longer to produce.
3D printing technology is not eco-friendly. It needs a high voltage socket and specialized cartridges, making it challenging to use and manage. It uses a lot of electricity which releases harmful rays into the environment. When used in enclosed spaces, 3D printers produce toxic emissions as they can decrease air quality. People may also let out carcinogenic particles into the air during additive manufacturing. These harmful organic substances can enter into human air pathways, increasing the risk of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The most commonly used 3D printers have a plastic filament that ends up in landfills and can negatively affect the environment. Even though making models of 3D print from synthetic raw materials reduces waste generation, the machine still gives off the excess of plastic waste that is non-biodegradable.
Inaccuracy Of Designs:
As 3D Printing is directly related to the type of machine or processed, some printers with lower tolerances cannot make the final designs similar to those of original compositions. 3D printers can provide accurate and precise results of small parts and devices, but it loses its accuracy for more extensive equipment. Variations in cooling and curing also result in internal stresses that can lead to wrapping or shrinkage. However, people can fix this in post-processing, but they must consider that this will further increase the time and cost of production. Accuracy will also decrease as part sizes become more extensive, making it difficult to attain perfection in printing large-sized designs.
3D Printing eliminates many stages used in subtractive manufacturing as it can make product designs and prototypes in a matter of hours. As a result, it does not require much labor cost, so adopting 3D printing technology may decrease manufacturing jobs. It could negatively affect the economy as there is a drastic decline in manufacturing jobs. It is a significant disadvantage for countries that rely on a large number of low-skill jobs. As 3D Printing reduces a person’s effort, an increase in unemployment rises with effort reduction.
Before doing 3D printing, you need to imagine and build the thing in your mind. It is not an ordinary skill, and very few people can do it. Most people cannot mentally design, process, model, and interrogate a 4D design of an idea into an actual product inside their brain. During this mental process, you spend a lot of time with a pen and paper, sketching out pieces to solve design problems that you discovered inside your brain. This phase can sometimes be frustrating for many people who do not think or work this way. Furthermore, it is necessary that the design you make is unique and not a copy of someone else’s plan. The real inspiration, in addition to unique ideas, is frustrating enough.
In 3D Printing, large volumes may be more cost-effective to produce as it is considered a fixed cost, unlike more conventional techniques like injection molding. Although the initial investment for 3D Printing may be lower than other manufacturing methods, once scaled up to produce large volumes for mass production, the cost per unit does not reduce as it would with injection molding.
Restricted Build Size:
Currently, 3D printers have small print chambers which restrict the size of parts that people can print. For more significant printing designs, separate components are printed and then joined together after production. It can increase costs and time for more significant parts because the printer needs to print more parts before manual labor is used to join the pieces.
The process of making and finishing objects by 3D printers is time-consuming. Even if you have completed the model, you still need to convert data to make the model more accurate and precise. After a few repetitions of this process, the object is somehow completed. But This repetition is annoying and takes time. If your project is not accurate, then it means that you are not specialized in the printer machine and software you use. So this process is quite frustrating.
Some people don’t repeat the process of improving the accuracy and give up early; they jump to the printing process, which is why most such objects fail. Even to choose software for Printing, you need to waste hours. It would help if you had the perfect software to make your designs. It sounds effortless, but copying your imagination into software is quite a long process and complicated.
You need software that can copy your precision, accuracy, geometry according to your brain. To find such software, you have to do research. In between choosing the software, you need to decide the payment of the software, and you need to decide which one is the fastest or the easiest and
It would be best if you were an expert on the software you choose to work with. Even choosing software needs a lot of time. Some of the best printing software are tinker CAD, Cero, fusion 360, Auto CAD, etc. The whole process requires patience, energy, and time.
3D Printing requires post-processing as well. Even if you click on the print button and the steps are completed, you still need to recheck the steps. Post-processing is often overlooked, and this is the step where people can correct most errors. Errors include wrong precision and accuracy and wrong geometry. These errors are most common in objects which have moving parts and are more extensive. The arrangement of moving parts requires a very accurate assembling of layers.
Post-processing also includes cleaning the parts, and this cleaning is done to remove some layers to have the smooth surface the designer has in mind. The post-processing has several methods: chemical cleansing, sanding, water jetting, air and heat drying, assembly, and chemical soaking. Post-processing depends on the size of the object; larger objects require a more extended period. So due to post-processing, people cannot use 3D Printing for mass production. Post-processing is a long process, and most people want to give up on this stage. 3D Printing isn’t a magical process but requires a lot of time. You can’t just print an object and then hold it in your hands. You need to perform post-processing so that the thing you have is accurate, smooth, precise, and consists of perfect geometry just like you imagined.
3D Printing comes up with copyright issues as well. The design you want to print must be unique, and it is of your own. Thinking of plans for 3D printing objects is quite crucial for a human being. People tend to copy someone else’s creation in such a case, thinking that nobody will know. Some even look for plans on the internet and copy them. Such methods have a chance of copyright issues. Whoever design’s your copy can file a copyright case on you. They can even take that product or destroy it because you have copied their designs. It comes with fraud and scam cases as well. Many people copy designs that are the exact copy of the original one. In such cases, the customer cannot differentiate between the original and fake one and buy the fake one, which is unfair to both the designer and the customer.
How Has 3D Printing Helped?
Since 3D printing service reduces the time and effort of the manufacturer to create a prototype, now many people can emphasize the research and design of a product. The manufacturer can invest their time in making a perfect product as the production cycle time is reduced. 3D Printing leads to a reduction of wastes, and thus, there is no requirement of reducing, reusing, and recycling the waste materials now and then. Due to the high degree of accuracy and precision, one can even print the minor details neatly. Therefore it can benefit the industry that ultimately helps society by providing quality products. The prosthetics are out of the reach of impoverished people, but they do not need to worry as 3D Printing has made everything easy and affordable for all. It is also being used for surgery, with replicas of hearts and organs being used to help surgeons.
In Bioprinting, 3D printing, which uses ink made of human cells and tissue, is making massive strides. Pills can be produced using the 3D printing process of Binder Jetting that is used to treat conditions such as epilepsy. They can also use this technology to create architectural scale models, enabling a faster turnaround of the scale model. Many building projects like residential houses and pedestrian bridges are developed by parametric and computational design, allowing optimal distribution of materials while maximizing structural performance. Moreover, 3D printing techniques have served to inspire artists all over the world. With metal 3D Printing especially, artists now can create beautiful intricate pieces. Banks was a famous British Street artist whose work has been rendered from 2D to 3D using powder binding 3D printing.
The hype or 3D printing technology went down as the years passed. I want to say nothing happened to 3S Printing. Just the promotion went down. Whenever a new product is introduced in the market, the human psyche gets excited to see and try newly invented products. People were excited to try the product, but soon they realized the challenges of 3D Printing and its whole process. Although 3D Printing has served in the medical and architecture field, it has a long way to go. 3D Printing has even helped small-scale businesses by making then small devices and parts of larger equipment. But it has a lot of potential in future markets and mass production once the problems it faces are lessened.