Why jump into 3D printing? First off, what is 3D printing? This technology is a way of manufacturing which relies on the layer by layer creation of products from a wide variety of materials. Let me elaborate on the process. Basically, a 3D artist would create a design. That said design would be inputted into a 3D printer, and the printer would use the design as a blueprint for the product. The printer would then stack and fuse layers on top of layers of various materials, making the exact model. So in a nutshell, 3D printing is the layer by layer creation of almost anything out of a wide variety of materials. There are so many materials to choose from - they could be metals, plastics, ceramics, precious metals, mechanically strong materials, and flexible materials. Depending on which printing company you visit, some have over 50 to choose from! Just imagine though: virtually anything can be created out of virtually any material.
This is inspiring, as almost anything can be produced! Just imagine the impact on the biomedical industry - life would be so much easier on people requiring prosthetic's and implants. What about the mechanical engineering industry? If one very specific part was needed in a very specific size, 3D printing could alleviate that problem! Let me give another example.
3D printing can be great for a wide variety of people in a wide variety of niches. Perhaps a product designer needs a prototype of a design before he or she asks investors to spend $10,000 to outsource the production on whatever that product is. How much more confident would the investors and the product developer be assuming that there was a visible, 1:1 ratio, functional product developed by 3D printing to see? The investors would know exactly what they were getting into, and the product developer would know the exact functionality of the product... or the lack of functionality. This would make the process go by much smoother when dealing with investors, and product development.
Perhaps that said product designer wanted to sell his or her product on a much smaller scale? Perhaps only 10-50 widgets needed to be produced. Why would that said product developer even think about dealing with a massive manufacturing plant which would gouge him or her, when that person could simply have the design 3D printed as many times as necessary. 3D printing could save the day again by providing a much less expensive alternative.
In addition, architects could use 3D printing as a very valuable service. Perhaps there was a proposal to launch a new subdivision. That would take a large amount of funding and work to promote and produce. Well... a very large amount to be a little bit more specific. Having a physical landscape to see through 3D Printing would be great for investors, as it might make or break the decision.
All in all, 3D printing can greatly serve a wide variety of industries. This technology has the power to change the world! Just imagine, creating anything out of virtually anything. Product developers and 3D designers should be jumping at the idea!