3D printing is the creation of a physical object out of a digital file. It is a powerful, yet simple, technology that has the ability to revolutionize the way people think, build, shop, sell, and live. The adoption of 3D printing on a mass scale will greatly influence a number of different industries and professions. The question is: what’s all the hype about?
3D printing involves a high level of customization that puts more control into the hands of the consumer. People can literally build and print their own unique product that they otherwise would have purchased online or in stores. This will affect market trends and the economy as people begin to create for themselves what they need, rather then spending money on somebody else making it for them.
3D printing will support inventors and entrepreneurs in their quest to create new and innovative products that will improve people’s lives. Instead of building an expensive prototype to test out an idea, a 3D printer can be used at a fraction of the cost, and with more opportunity for trial and error. Entrepreneurs looking to get a new product to market have less risk because they can simply create stock in accordance with customer demand.
As 3D printers become more widely owned and used in a personal manner, they will create convenience and a general bettering of peoples’ day-to-day lives. For example, in the household if you have a broken chair that needs a new leg, or a door that is missing a hinge, a 3D printer will allow you to print what you need with ease. In a much larger sense, 3D printing can be used to develop new devices for amputees or people with disabilities. It allows people the opportunity to create solutions to problems they see in everyday life. Isn’t that what engineering is all about?
Engineering is about building a better future. Using bright minds, hard work, and creativity, the engineering profession is set on improving lives, and with every achievement this is surpassed. 3D printing and engineering have everything in common. They are both involved with developing innovative solutions to problems. OSPE takes an inherent interest in any new form of technology that has the ability to make an important impact such as 3D printing. 3D printing and engineering both have and will continue to change the way people live. The hype is real!