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Council Post: 12 Tech Experts Discuss Innovative…

Council Post: 12 Tech Experts Discuss Innovative…

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In the 1980s, printing first broke free from the constraints of 2D with the construction of the world’s earliest 3D printers. Enabling the creation of physical objects from digital files, 3D printing might have been expected to find limited usage in producing simple parts and structures. However, its potential has proven to be far greater—and it’s still being discovered.

From easily manufacturing industrial components to creating edible food products—and quite a lot more—3D technology could revolutionize the ways we live, work and play—even how we meet our bodily needs. Below, 12 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss innovative applications of 3D printing that have already seen success and others they see on the horizon.

1. Orthopedic Devices And Custom Implants

Today, 3D printing technology is widely used in millions of medical devices that are implanted in patients. Specifically, orthopedics devices such as hip and knee replacements are commonly 3D-printed, which has reduced production time and manufacturing costs. 3D printing has also allowed for rapid prototyping and production in complex cases requiring custom, patient-specific implants. – Nitin Goyal, Zimmer Biomet

2. Human Organs

Medical 3D printing is progressing from dental implants and prosthetics to human organs. As the science advances, this technology is expected to end the need for organ donors for transplants. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, in September 2022 there are nearly 106,000 adults and children on the U.S. national organ transplant waiting list. – Shelli Brunswick, Space Foundation

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3. Spare Parts For Vehicles And Appliances

3D printing can be used to create spare parts—from parts for airplane engines to kitchen fixtures that are no longer mass-produced. The ability to provide a long tail for certain spare parts is going to be a game changer. It will extend the usage and lifetime of products across the board. – Guy Courtin, Tecsys Inc.

4. Personal Protective And Medical Equipment

During the Covid-19 pandemic, 3D printing was widely used to print masks, which were much needed at that time. It became a huge success by easily addressing gaps. I also see innovative 3D-printed products in the healthcare space, such as prosthetic limbs for both humans and pets, which will reduce the cost of healthcare to a large extent. Manufacturers will also provide 3D designs so that consumers can print after-market parts at home, adding new revenue lines. – Buyan Thyagarajan, Eigen X

5. Housing Construction Materials

3D printing is massively transforming the housing industry. It’s reducing construction costs compared to traditional methods and alleviating the strain on natural resources by using environmentally friendly materials. What’s more, 3D printing is now central to many humanitarian-focused projects that work to uplift living standards by addressing issues such as housing shortages and homelessness. – Jeff Wong, EY

6. Home DIY Materials And Arts And Crafts

3D printing at home is revolutionary. With 3D printers available for under $800 and affordable materials, people will apply 3D printing to multiple residential use cases. From DIY and home repair enthusiasts to creators of decorative arts and crafts, many people can benefit from 3D printing at home. Collaborative networks of enthusiasts will build larger use cases, and new revenue-generating streams for work-from-home creators will rise. – Spiros Liolis, Micro Focus

7. Architectural And Urban Planning Models

Among the biggest users of 3D printing will be the architecture and urban planning sectors. A lot of time is spent in these disciplines in modeling plans digitally, with limited tangible artifacts created. 3D printing will allow the traditional model-making and miniature physical replica creation aspects of this industry to reemerge, and the people who will occupy the proposed spaces will be able to better relate to a 3D print model. – Tishampati Dhar, Aerometrex LTD.

8. Supplies And Components For The Space Station

One of the most innovative ways 3D printing will positively affect our society is through its use in space applications. Rather than sending manned space operations to deliver supplies, parts and various components to the Space Station, space-born 3D printing can deliver the same value without the costly space flight. This approach will undoubtedly revolutionize tomorrow’s space program. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

9. Custom Water Features

Manufacturing unique parts with 3D printers came first. Now, we are seeing 3D-printed homes making housing more affordable in developing countries. What’s next? More niche solutions will take hold soon. For example, 3D-printed pools are being developed by companies like San Juan Pools. The customizability of 3D printing makes it a great option for residential and commercial water feature construction. – Nicholas Domnisch, EES Health

10. Models For Education And Training

The application of 3D printing in education is a real game changer. Whether studying engineering, manufacturing or healthcare, students can use 3D models for designing, prototyping or practicing their skills. This means that we are now raising a whole generation of 3D-empowered future professionals who will have the skills and the means to revolutionize any and all industries. – Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor

12. Prototypes For Functional Testing

The use of 3D printers for functional testing is one of the most modern methods employed in innovative development. In most cases, it is necessary to build models to test a new mechanism assembly, but it takes too long and is too expensive to manufacture a copy of each of the individual components using traditional methods. 3D printers can make the process fast and affordable. This is also suitable for digital twins. – Ivan Shkvarun, Social Links

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