8 Surprising Uses of 3D Printing

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 15th June 2021

Back in the mid-1990s, a new technology came about on the market. As time moved on, this advancement would alter the course of the world forever. 

What is this revolutionary product? It’s 3D printing. The machine melds materials on top of each other layer by layer to create a tangible object that people can use. 

They’re mostly found in the homes of hobbyists and on factory floors where they can create cheap replacement parts. This isn’t the only thing that they’re used for, however. 

They’re making strides in the healthcare, automobile, and aerospace industries. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Keep reading to learn more about the many uses of 3D printing. 

1. Healthcare

Prosthetics are a medical need that many families don’t have access to due to the expense. The good news is that this problem is slowly turning into a thing of the past with 3D printing. 

Not only can a printer produce inexpensive results, but the prosthetics are more lightweight and comfortable for the wearer. It’s easier to get a custom fit that can meet a patient’s unique needs. 

3D printing is nothing new in the dental industry. Professionals can print off molds that they can use to create clear aligners, crowns, dentures, and more. 

Using genetic material from a patient, scientists were able to craft a small, functioning heart using this technology. Surgeons sometimes use printing to help them plan things out for complicated surgery as well. As you can see, there’s no end to what can be 3D printed. 

2. Automobiles

We’re not at the point where you can print an entire vehicle and drive it off a dealership lot. Not yet, anyway. That doesn’t mean that the technology isn’t helpful for the industry, though. 

You can only grasp so much about a car’s design by looking at a computer or piece of paper. It can be difficult to spot any real design flaws unless you’re staring at a physical model of the car. 

That’s where having a 3D printer comes in handy. Manufacturers can create actual prototype models of whole vehicles. They don’t function the same way an actual car does, but it’s still enough to see any potential problems. 

Manufacturers can also make low-volume custom parts and jigs using this technology. It speeds up the production process a great deal, and it keeps costs low. 

3. Jewlery

Did you know that you can create your own jewelry business using this online 3D printing service? You can make prototype designs of pieces to see how they’re going to look before you go through with the production process. 

You can also allow customers to custom order pieces. Print off their designs and let them try them on. If they aren’t completely satisfied, they can then make changes to their order. 

4. Housing

Housing isn’t something that every family has the luxury of affording. Home construction isn’t cheap, which is sadly reflected in the final price. 

At least, construction used to not be cheap. There are ways to keep the labor and material costs to a minimum. Certain companies and organizations have taken to using printed materials to create entire homes.

These don’t cost too much to construct, putting housing in people’s reach. Like with cars, architects can make prototypes of homes using a 3D printer. They can then use these models to spot any design flaws and make changes as need be. 

5. Food

Proving that there are no limits to the question of “what can you 3D print”, food comes in as a contender for the strangest one. Using plant proteins, you can print food that has the same texture and taste as regular meat. 

You can’t make a cake out of 3D printing materials, but you can create molds that you can use to give your tasty masterpieces an interesting shape. 

If you do want instant sweets, chocolate is the better option. It melts under intense heat but hardens quickly when exposed to room temperatures. Use this information as you will. 

6. Aerospace

Producing parts for aerospace vessels can be more than a little bit complex. Luckily, printing the needed parts is a viable option. Not only is this production method convenient, but it can keep prices low, too. 

These printed parts are a lot lighter than traditional vessel pieces. This allows manufacturers to opt for speed, safety, and lower fuel consumption. 

7. Fashion

Many big companies such as Nike have taken to 3D printing mid-soles for their shoe lines. Customers can even order custom shoes with soles that fit their unique needs because this technology exists. 

3D printing’s influence on the fashion industry doesn’t end with shoes. It’s possible to use it to create dresses and other textile designs. 

8. Eyewear

If you’re one of the many visually impaired individuals around the world, you know that glasses aren’t the cheapest thing. Not only are they expensive, but it’s hard to find insurance that covers eyewear. 

3D printing is a real gamechanger in this regard. Manufacturers can quickly create frames that can fit your face and hand them to you for a reasonable cost. You still may have to pay an arm and a leg for your prescription, but anything helps. 

Accomplishing Greatness With 3D Printing 

As you can see, 3D printing is a revolutionary piece of technology. As technology advances, so will the number of things humans can create using a bit of material.

These machines aren’t only for hobbyists looking to craft models. They’re for everyone. 

Want to learn more about how technological advances are shaping the world? Check out our blog to keep up with all the latest tech news. 

Categories: Tech