3D Printing shaping the future lifestyle
Despite its beginning in the 80’s 20th century, 3D printing exists broader in the news for last three to four years. Over this time, scientists and innovators from different fields have been trying it more and more in different industries.
In 2013, McKinsey pointed it as one of the technologies that will transform our lifestyle in the future.
This transformation will have an impact on global economy and therefore the technology is named disruptive.
Now it may feel awkward to accept some (if not most) of the products printed instead of produced the normal way. The normal way may however become the old-fashioned way in the future. Just think of last ten or twenty years and what we see nowadays as a must of existence. Internet, WIFI, mobile technology just to name few. Likely followed by cloud tech, advanced robotics or 3D printing.
Without arguing on the likelihood of scientists’ prediction, let us have a look what we can print in the year 2016.
After more or less successful prototype designs made in the workshops of innovators, 3D printing stepped into the world of haute couture.
The use of the new technology in the industry rather traditional in its production techniques is a critical step forward.
The Costume Institute’s spring 2016 exhibition MANUS x MACHINA held at the MET Gallery in New York presented much more examples of mechanic design vs the manual in the high-end fashion.
Very popular in the area of modern interiors, 3D offers possibility to create forms that would be impossible to make using traditional technologies.
Architects go even further. The ambitious Dutch are using the additive manufacturing technique to build an entire house !
The most questionable of all. When we think of the printed food, we suddenly visualize SF movie scenes. 3D printing so far is used though mostly to craft special design of food to give it a form of an art.
Still the science fiction movies are not far from reality. NASA sponsored a project donating $125.000 for a company to develop a pizza making printer. The printer is to serve astronauts during their missions on Mars. It was presented this year at the Food Loves Tech and is to enter commercial market in 2017
BeeHex at Food Loves Tech 2016
It is hard to assess at this point in time if the 3D Printing technology is just a hype or a real potential. For sure though it brings some advantage to producers. No or less material waste. Lower labor and transport costs with an impact on supply chain. It has also a big advantage in tailored production. An idea can go directly from a computer design to a finished product.
It is still some years to come for a wider consumer usage of this technology but that could speed up as the systems get cheaper and smarter with ongoing attention from research and development units.