Thursday, 7 April 2016
3D Printing: A Technology to Save and Improve Quality of Life
Along with increasing adoption in aerospace and automobile industry, healthcare sector is also adopting it to save lives and improve quality of lives of people.
3D printing is a process of making three dimensional objects from a digital file. It is also known as additive manufacturing as successive layers of material are layered down until the entire 3D printed object is created. Each of these layers is a thinly sliced cross-sectioned horizontally to obtain the final object. Most of the printing techniques need computer aid design (CAD) file for printing machine to process the object. The information regarding dimensional representation of an object is included in this file. If printing machine is not compatible with CAD file format, then it must be converted into other formats that a machine can understand. There is another format known as Standard Tessellation Language (STL) that is commonly used for stereolithography and other additive manufacturing processes. There are various 3D printing technologies used for printing objects as follows:
Digital Light Processing(DLP)
Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
Selective laser melting (SLM)
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)
Laminated object manufacturing (LOM).
With advancements in technology, 3D printing has gained prominence in variety of application as it provides convenience and flexibility. Following are recent trends in 3D printing Industry:
3D printing is a strength of aerospace and automobile industry.
Aerospace industry has adopted 3D printing technology to use parts manufactured using 3D printing. These components are making airplanes lighter and increasing fuel efficiency. Similarly, automobile manufacturers are also including 3D printed components to make lighter vehicles. It would increase fuel efficiency and lower the cost of vehicles.
Along with increasing adoption in aerospace and automobile industry, healthcare sector is also adopting it to save lives and improve quality of lives of people. It is implanting it in bone implants, orthodontic devices, and prosthetic limbs. As technology advances, arteries and veins produced from 3D printing would be used in operations. Ongoing research in healthcare sector includes nano- medicine, printing of organs, and pharmaceuticals.
Companies are taking help of this technology to design products according to the need of customers without any additional costs. It gives them a competitive advantage as they are fulfilling the needs of customers at the same price. Bringing innovation in products is also easier, so companies can provide more options to customers in less time. For designers, the option of using 3D printer enables them to design products faster and innovate rapidly.
Analysts studying the market have revealed a thorough information about changing market dynamics and how market would shape in the future. Allied Market Research has published a report titled, “World 3D Printing Market - Opportunities and Forecasts 2014 - 2020.” As per the report, the world 3D printing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21% from 2015 to 2020. The market generated $2,811.8 million in 2014 and would reach $8,683.7 million by 2020. The report offers an extensive analysis of drivers & challenges, opportunities, dominant segments, and competitive intelligence. Furthermore, the study offers analysis of key manufacturers, SWOT analysis, value chain analysis, and estimations through 2014 to 2020 for each segment of the industry.