Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It is not just a toy maker—3D Printer

It is not just a toy maker—3D Printer

Post for Week 7Yvonne Zhang

The video “Make Your Own Products: 3D Printing Reaches Consumers” shows the fascinate implementation of 3D printers to build models and toys. One model, which traditionally needs to be built for days, will only take hours by 3D printing technology. However, the usage of 3D printing technology is not only limited to build toys. Being developed in 1980s, the 3D printing technology just got people’s attention in recently years due to the lower cost and improvement of technology. There are several kinds of product can be built by 3D printers.

  • Body Parts. Ears, Kidneys, Blood Vessels, Skin Grafts and Bones can be printed by using high-density gel or powder. Hundreds and thousands people need to replace parts of their body each year. Traditional replacement of body parts are hard to successfully incorporate into the body. The new technology will build the body parts with human cells and avoid the rejection.
  • Food. NASA has founded $125,000 grant on 3D printers to make food for astronauts and started with pizza. Multiple materials will be put on the plant by sequence and heated when printing. The creator of this 3D food printer aims to solve the problem of increasing food shortages and cutting down waste.
  • Cars. GM has already used 3D printing technology to build and test the parts of the car. They even use this technology to scan broken parts of the car in the catastrophe and quickly build the parts to replace them. 3D printing can also be used to create all the parts they need and build an entire car. Urbee 2 is the first car which is built by 3D printing technology. It is relatively cheaper and more energy efficiency than traditional cars.
  • Guns. Firearms can also be built in 3D technology if you have a printer and download the model from the internet. Recently, a computer controlled 3D gun printer, which can build aluminum body of gun without regulation and serial numbers, were sold out in 36 hours. Each of them is worth $1,200. It has raised a new issue about gun control, because each one can build their own gun in home and without tracking from government. People worried that this this technology and machine would be misused by criminals.

It is obvious that 3D printing technology has found its position in the industrial sector, especially for manufacturing. It could significantly reduce the time to make product because there is no need to wait for weeks or months for modeling, which would shorten the supply chain and product life cycle. However, there is another question, how about the implementation of 3D printer in daily life? Do people really need it currently? Some people would say they can make their own materials and furniture in home. But if I can order the product from Amazon or IKEA by two-day delivery, why I need to purchase this expensive machine and make it myself? Maybe it is still a fiction for people to widely use 3D printers. The question left for producers is that how could they motive people and make them believe they really need it and want to use it?

Carney, Dan 2013, 3D Printing Can Now Re-create an Entire Classic Car, Popular Mechanics,
Leckart, Steven 2013, 5 Body Parts Scientists Can 3-D Print, Popular Science,
Orsini, Lauren 2014, 10 Crazy Things 3D Printers Can Make Today, ReadWrite,
Souppouris, Aaron 2013, NASA is funding a 3D food printer, and it'll start with pizza, The Verge,

Tea Party 2014, $1,200 Machine for 3D-Printing Guns Sells Out, Tea Party,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.