3D printing economic questions and considerations
3D printing economic questions and considerations
Three dimensional printing refers to a procedure that employs the formation of solid three dimensional objects that can take the form of any shape desired based on the designs of a digital model. In order to achieve a three dimensional print output, one is required to utilize the additive procedure that involves the use of successive material layers that are laid in arrangement such that different shapes are displayed. There have been considerations of three dimensional printing as technique of traditional machining that greatly relies on material removal through use of methods such as drilling and cutting which is part of the subtractive procedure. I) History of 3D printing technology
The historical development and context of 3D printing technology Three dimensional printing has existed for over thirty years, long before it was popularized. From the 1980s this technology utilized the inclusion of a layer fused in powdered material with the combination of a laser as well as dispersion of plastic that was melted through a nozzle system and resin that was photo-cursed. Nonetheless, three dimensional printers remained expense ice and where characterized as being sluggish with inefficiencies as the industry redeveloped at a slow pace during that era (Lanzetta & Sachs, 2003). The rapid popularization and growth of three dimensional printing begun only after the start of the twenty first century as several obstacles were broken which reduce the varied barriers that made the technology accessible and available to potential customers and users alike. Today accessing or purchasing a three dimensional printer is easy in addition to being utilized for varying purposes. The widespread possibilities of the private utilization of this technology have created a potential significance in changing the ways in which products are formulated and manufactured. Consequently there is a belief that the “explosive” popularity and rise of three dimensional printing in the workplace and home setting with continue
to grow exponentially than two dimensional printing technologies ever was. II) The technology of 3D printing
This technology provides for additive manufacturing as opposed to traditional subtractive methods. The procedures involved in three dimensional printing involve minimal stages that bear resemblance to the traditional printing forms; it begins with development of the prototype using specialized software. Thereafter the model has to be adjusted to fit three dimensional setting such that it can be printed in three dimensions. The model building process can take duration of many hours to several days or even more that one week in some cases which is all dependant on the approach and complexities of the specific project (Gobry, 2011). Such procedure involve the application of sophisticated modeling technologies that present restrain in the use of three dimensional printing which has led to an increase in the number of specialized software programs that are readily available to the users or customers alike. Some of these software programs are simplified in use, such that it would not require the expertise of a designer or architect as the only people that can use them. As the model waits readily, a transformation occurs along its horizontal cross sections that need to be extremely thin.
Such upcoming layers have a compounding effect on the entire structure of the model as they are arranged in a stack formation. The next stage involves the data being sent to the printer that performs an analysis where after it begins printing, three dimensional printers lay down layers in a successive manner in powdered layers or material in form of sheets as a way of constructing the model in a cross section series format (Ratto & Ree, 2012). 3D printing technology allows us to easily make our own weapons This process is known as the “additive process” whereby the object if formulated in the layering of layered materials, which is in comparison to traditional machining procedures also known as the subtractive process that employ the utilization of methods such as cutting and drilling. The main benefit of this additive construction process is it creates the possibility of creation of models, of nearly any shape and complexity (Lanzetta & Sachs, 2003). Nonetheless, such a process can take a considerable amount of time which is dependent on the sizing and formation of specific models. III) Social and cultural effects of 3D printing technology
The psychological considerations and sociological effects, media influence In today’s age one may find it unimaginable to live without the use of a printer, the use of traditional printers in works of study, on job needs as well as for entertainment purposes is ever present. As such this creates convenience in terms of the possibilities those digital print information providers in the forms of text, images as well as in paper form which can then be used for varied purposes (Reisin, 2009). Nonetheless, the convenience is greater in the possibilities of realistic tangible three dimensional print objects which are applicable in our daily lives. Three dimensional printing technologies provide possibilities that have marked the start of a new printing era in our daily lives as well as the field of manufacturing.
The political and legal influences of 3D printing technology Three dimensional printing and its emerging rise in the field of printing and the varying applications that it provides, show promise that open the path to immense and new possibilities in the customization of a new age known as “social manufacturing”. The main theoretical aspects behind this manufacturing concept, aims at establishing a form of framework that allows users to formulate products on the basis of their preferential tastes and styles. Customers then will be able to purchase digital models of their desired products, in addition applying modifications to these products on the same basis of their preferential tastes as well as send this information to a digital three dimensional printer to get a realistic product (Gobry, 2011). Technology implications for the environment
Three dimensional printers will not be a necessity in the construction of immense production plants that would otherwise have been used in the production of certain products which may be associated with adverse effects such as pollution of the environment and depletion of natural resources. Three dimensional printing is an environmentally friendly technology that provides more sustainability than its predecessor, since there is a reduced demand for raw material as well as low energy and operational and maintenance costs. Furthermore, three dimensional printing creates flexibility in businesses as specific product items can be manufactured in varying methods minus the high costs of maintaining and upgrading the machinery equipment of a company (Reisin, 2009). Economic questions and considerations
What is the cost of 3D printing?
When 3D printers came about the cost was unbearably high, but aimed towards commercial use. The cost of 3D printing varies in price according to what type do it yourself or commercial use. Do it yourself 3D printers can range from $1,000 and up, but industrial grade 3D printers can range up to $1 million. The cost of 3D printers will decline in the future do to making 3D printers available in mass quanity.
3D printers use some of the most unusual materials for printing like glass, ceramic, titanium, steel, cooper, and nylon. Traditional printers use ink cartidges or toners, but 3D printers use material inks that makes it very expensive. These materials used for the production of 3D printers and printing adds to ths already expensive cost of of 3D printers. The 3D printing market is showing signs of a big explosion in the coming years. Businesses and individuals have utilized 3D printers for over three decades, in the creation of prototypes in a cheap and procise manner before the production and manufacture of the final realistic product at these assembly plants. In the past this was impossible in the manufacture of these products with 3D printers only. Today 3D printers can easily be purchased at a lower cost and in a more efficient process than those in previous years, which provide for an better migration process to other manufacturing methods with success. The economic aspects of 3D printing can be examined with the field of Stereo Lithoraphy which involves the generation of solid patterns, though it has had limitation in terms of success in increased accurate shell based investments more so in the casting of applications. Most of the failures have involved cracking of the ceramic investment casting shell, although recent innovations such as the QucikCast that revolves around the “built-style with the creation of new resin based in epoxy material.
From such techniques 3D printing presents several application is vehicle, aviation and medicinal fields, take for example selective laser sintering machinery has been viable as such creating breakthroughs in customization based on mass production in industrial components and prosthetic applications. In analyzing the economic impact of 3D printing we can look at it in four aspects that revolve around, the creation of new businesses, mass production, management of the supply chain, and manufacturing of craft. The stabilized relations that exist between humans and nature have long been based, on the imitation of these self replication mechanisms. The economic benefits of 3D printing as a technology are varied and range from being an additive to the manufacturing process that would allow for new creation if shapes.
Possibility of increased 3D shop based businesses that would provide 3D printing services to anyone that desires these design services; 3D printing would ease the prototyping process that would reduce the investment costs of such ventures; As such in initiating such as open project in the society of equality that exists, it is important to understand that it is important to make such technology readily available, if there is any economic gain that can be made rather that having it in the possession of a single entity that would dominate the market or industry. Questions have been raised concerning the massive unemployment that could arise if 3D printing affected people, who were directly related to the industry. Production of 3D printing
Once everything has been setup the materialization process takes an average of 30 seconds from introducing the light source to solid part. Demand for 3D printing
The demand for 3D printing continues to grow with the sells figures around $1 billion dollars in 2012. By the next fifteen years sales are projected to reach $4 billion dollars in sales. The demand of 3D printing has been driven by multiple factors, but the main factor is increasing the awareness of technology. One problem 3D printing market is facing is a narrow geographic spread. The U.S. and Europe is responsible for the majority of 3D printing, Asian developers will have to follow and create their own 3D printing for the market to explode. The technology for 3D printing is only going to improve in the future making 3D printing product finished product readily available sooner. Supply for 3D Printing
Once 3D printing becomes more mainstream it will help influence the supply chain. 3D printing will be locally manufactured making 3D printing assessable closer to the final destination. 3D printing will be customizable easier, faster, and more efficient for companies made to order products to their end users. Distribution of raw materials for 3D printing will need to see a dramatic shift on how raw materials are distributed. New replacement part models for 3D printers will be available or in stock well in advance. Once 3D printing is main stream businesses will have a blurred boundaries, which will no longer be a competitive business. 3D printing will make the supply more complex and difficult to manage.
IV) How will 3D printing affect the economy?
The evolving technology of 3D printing now allowing consumers to print a variety of objects from home could affect companies that produce such items. 3D printing is said to still be infancy, so once 3D printing matures it could hurt businesses. 3D printing in the future will be able to provide printable furniture, clothes, and even buildings. If this is the case for 3D printing businesses will suffer great loses in the future do to 3D printing. There is a limitation of the companies that exist, which can readily present a new outlook for a model based on businesses that operate on a realistic participation of potential customers in the procedures of product development. Some companies such as Quirky and Shapeways are an example of such companies through the internet platform they allow users with interactive ideas to present their personal concepts for an evaluation and to be have a influence on other users alike (Lanzetta & Sachs, 2003). If the idea presented has real potential, the process of manufacturing is then initiated that begins with design of the prototype by the product-development team.
The contributions of online users in regards to the design of the product, its packaging and marketing aspects as well as price setting are noted and discussed so as to obtain a suitable outcome. When the final concept design is ready to be presented with the use of their three dimensional printers among other technologies, other alternatives such as seeking manufactures that would suit their needs are embarked upon so as to produce such products for sale (Reisin, 2009). Such a concept of products design and manufacture presents several benefits to all parties concerned; in the first place the authors of the models gain the possibility of presenting and producing their products in a realistic setting and not in terms of models. In addition, royalties are provided if there is any possibility of the product being manufactured. Furthermore, a real influence can be created on people in terms of the products that meet their needs and desire more so there can be a direct demonstration of their requirements to the point of the amounts that they needs. As such there can be an evaluation by companies in the demands and responses in the proper creation of products that meet quality standards while rejecting ideas that are undesired or lack popularity.
Three dimensional printing is a highly valuable technology as its almost provides a solution to the difficulties in the transportation products, a relevant example is in the possibilities it provides such as being able to download data of certain components or products which can then be modified using specialized software and the printed with desktop 3D based printers (Gobry, 2011). With such possibilities, three dimensional printing technologies presents valuable benefits, in terms of time and money cost cutting in its simplified results that shown a clear demonstration of the potential that three dimensional printing holds. This technology for instance can be applied in the aerospace industry when certain components breakdown in the space station without the possibility of a rocket launches to deliver the required details and components. A digital model of these details can be sent in form of intangible data which would then be directly printed in the space station with the utilization of 3D printers, we can see that this would tremendously reduce costs and create flexibility and efficiency in the space industry.
Moral and ethical implications
Although three dimensional printing is presents as being generally of benefit to the society, it possesses the capability to cause adverse consequences. In the first place there has been a rapid migration to the use of three dimension printing in the manufacturing process, which has led to the gradual closure of traditional manufacturing plants (Reisin, 2009). This has resulted in the rise of unemployment in certain manufacturing sectors, which can remain the case until such workers undertake retraining. More so three dimensional technologies have become a threat to the general outlook of the economies of certain countries, as they deal with reduced labor costs and workforces which is common in countries such as China and India. It creates a competitive environment that is characterized by low production costs that can be eliminated, with three dimensional printing as it is perceived as a more efficient and low cost method of production even for future needs (Lanzetta & Sachs, 2003).
There have also been issues of privacy threats of significance that also arise as an urgent matter, with emerging technology in the arena of social production that has enabled people to purchase digital based models of realistic products of their printing need. This is in addition to theft of these models and free distribution, as it commonly happens these days in other media formats such as in the music, movie and software industries (Ratto & Ree, 2012). Furthermore if social production as a concept is applied in the future, it will create an inevitable situation of digital piracy issues. This presents difficulties in the estimation of the outlook of a piracy environment, that may have a negative effect in form of reduction of businesses and their associated revenues as markets become saturated with free prototypes of several products. This has led to the need for development of global legislative frameworks that would aim to limit or avoid the negative possibilities of the outcomes of three dimensional printing technologies as its results present harm to society in general.
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