There is a lot of news around for 3-D printing or additive manufacturing. But is it really worth it or it is just another invention too flashy but far from reality. Let see what 3-D printing is all about.
3-D printing is a technology where blueprints of a three dimensional object can be fed into the device and the device in turn materialize the blueprint. This is like the sci-fi movies where anything can be created by cloning it by a supercomputer. Back to the ground reality, 3-D printing can definitely do this now and this mechanical printing can bring a lot more expertise into the product built.
There is a lot of debate going on around how good it is or maturity of this technology or efficiency of this technology, but for sure this is the time to start involving additive manufacturing to your strategy. Technologically known as stereolithography, 3-D printing was invented by Chuck Hull of 3 D Systems. Though initially this was never too popular but with regular new inventions and market leaders adopting 3-D printing for their businesses, 3-D printing is now the next big thing. Giant organizations like GE and Google have already started using 3-D printing for their production lines. There would certainly be more bigger names coming up in future with the scope of 3-D printing evolving day by day.
“Technologically known as stereolithography, 3-D printing was invented by Chuck Hull of 3 D Systems.”
Just a couple of days back, I came across an article about a couple of Chef’s who are using 3-D printing reinvent the food industry. These are the new generation of Chef’s who are not only good at making scrumptious food but are good at making prototypes and blueprints for the eatables as well. Now that’s what I call Geeky!
This certainly shows that 3-D printing is not just limited to the production line ups but is already spreading its arms across other non-production dimensions as sophisticated as food. As another example, medical practitioners are using this technology to create body parts which were earlier difficult to generated. This reminds me of another article on this subject I read about the experience of a gentleman with 3-D printed crown for his broken tooth. Dentist was able to create that crown almost instantaneously in front of the patient using the 3-D imaging of the broken tooth. These two examples are surely good enough to show how important and strategically important 3-D printing becomes from any organization’s point of view.
“3-D printing is being used by people like Chef’s and medical practitioners which makes it even more promising looking at the widespread horizon it has got! “
Currently if we see the output and throughput of any 3-D printing system it looks very slow and impractical to think of it as a industrial level substitute for lightning fast robotic machine lines. But never to forget the fact that it is beginning of a new technology and advancements in this technology. At the rise it is slow but as production and technology takes it forward, this might emerge as a substitute for the robotic machines becoming more efficient and delivering more value. The question is how fast it will happen. If the trends and the evolution of this industry is seen the change is near. There is an entire industry working towards making 3-D printing more efficient and increase its throughput. Business managers can choose to wait till the wave matures but that might be at the cost of losing the technological and operational edge and losing out on the competition.
It is debatable whether it brings the next industrial revolution or not but certainly it is something which cannot be ignored!