We are on the doorstep of a technological revolution right now, and some folks aren’t even aware. Though printing has long been vital, the evolution of printing into 3D printing has been revolutionary for what it can help accomplish on so many levels. From having the ability to make artificial limbs far more affordable to potentially making it possible to print out very intricate valves for heart transplants, 3D printing is set to change the world in ways that most of humanity didn’t even think was technologically possible.
Let’s take a moment to explore some of the mind-blowing benefits of 3D printing and some of the ways it will most certainly change how we live for the better. For many, it already has.
The Evolution of Technology
One needs to understand, for technology to stay pertinent, it needs to evolve like people do. That is what 3D printers are. The next step in the evolution of office printers.
And most people I know, myself included, need to still use a normal printer regularly, whether it is for printing out bills or tax information, printers are evolving, but not in such a way where they are making their older technology invalid, which is refreshing to see (as it usually works the other way around).
So what can these crazy things do? Let’s touch on accessibility first, as some see them as far more daunting than they really are.
Size and Affordability
What is amazing here is the tech is evolving so fast what was once thought to be an impossible thing for individuals to own, financially speaking, has changed a great deal, very quickly. What once were cumbersome, massive printers you needed a lab for, now you can buy 3D printers at much more affordable prices (and in much more reasonable sizes), meaning the possibilities on this list are available and open to almost anyone.
So availability and accessibility are there. Still a bit on the pricey side, but once you see what these things are capable of, you realize, they pay for themselves after a few uses.
How so, you ask?
From Car Parts to Toys
So how can a machine like this pay for itself?
The first time you print out a toy your kid wants it saves you money you get to put back in your pocket (and yes, you can print toys). There may be a leaky valve under your sink you can print out and save yourself the worry and time for a repairman to come out and do the same thing, all while charging you an arm and a leg. And these are basic things that the printer can do. Heck, you can even print out acoustic guitars (minus the strings, of course). Doesn’t get much cooler than that.
But once you begin to look deeper into the technology itself, you realize the potential for it is mind-blowing and inevitably life-changing.
Artificial Limbs and Pricey Replacements
Did you know there are MANY people in the world right now walking around without limbs because they do not have insurance to cover the cost of an artificial limb? Artificial limbs are INCREDIBLY expensive, and are not an option for many for that exact reason. The prosthetics just cost too much, and the upkeep of it as well as replacement cost if something happens would derail many families financially.
The 3D printing of limbs cost dimes to dollars and you can even mod them out for kids to look like superheroes or cyborgs (which you know would also help kids deal and cope with that loss). So yes, 3D printers can print out toys, but it can also print out heart valves and artificial limbs. I dare you to watch the above video and NOT SMILE.
See what I mean by life-changing?
But wait, there’s more….
One aspect of 3D printing that scares people is the fact that one can easily make weapons on a 3D printer. Yes, we mean guns. But one needs to understand, when good, powerful tech falls into the RIGHT hands, there is no threat of abuse of such technology, and that has been the case thus far, so the worry can lessen.
The reality is that the ease and low cost of 3D printing weapons could greatly cut the cost of military funding (which in turn would save taxpayers some money, which is never seen as a bad thing). That along with its potential in the area of aerospace and infrastructure makes it something well worth investing in.
The benefits of this technology are infinite at this point. It really is life-changing, and the world needs to educate itself in the area of 3D printing lest they get technologically left behind in its wake.