The Future of 3D Printing: How It Will Transform Our Future
3D printing is truly the future, and the future is not too far ahead.
We all know the out-of-this-world things that 3d printing technology can provide us, from footwear to fully functional cars. With the fast developments in the world of 3d printing, it won’t be long until we reach a time where almost anything can be replicated by this technology. Find out what lies ahead in the future of 3D printing.
3D Printing Body Parts
3D printing body parts such as bones, cartilage, and muscles for regenerative medicine purposes have been made possible, according to a study published by the Nature Biotechnology in 2016. Scientists have also produced fully functioning miniature versions of vital organs such as human kidneys and livers. With this progress, it won’t be long until they can create actual-sized organs to solve organ transplant shortage.
There have been so many attempts at 3D printed houses lately with the most noteworthy being the 400-square-foot house built by 3D-printing company Apis Cor in Russia. It was printed onsite within a day at the cost of a little more than $10,000, making it far cheaper and faster to build than typical structures. So what else could be done to top that milestone?
Plans to build the first 3D-printed skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates have been announced by a Dubai-based construction firm, Cazza. It will be constructed thanks to a new technique called crane printing with the use of concrete and steel materials. Estimated to be built by 2020, the 1,375-foot building would have 80 storeys that are capable of rotating individually around a concrete axis.
Aiming to go to infinity and beyond, space chiefs from the European Space Agency will be building a settlement base on the moon with the use of 3D printers. Since it would be difficult (not to mention costly) to bring construction materials to the moon, they will be using regolith, a naturally occurring moon material that is radiation-resistant. They have laid out a timetable that will see the completion of this project by 2020 with the aim of eventual human colonization in the future.
Just last year, a rocket powered by an entirely 3D-printed engine took off in New Zealand, which goes to show how advanced this manufacturing technique has become. There is even a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station so that astronauts can easily print out part replacements.
With these advancements, a startup company named Relativity Space have drawn out plans to produce entire rocket ships for 90% less of the usual costs with the use of gargantuan 3D printers. They are hoping to send out their first prototype into space by 2021.
The impending doom of the growing problem of food shortage due to rising populations have inspired scientists to make mass food production easier and more efficient through 3D printing.
Agelab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology founder and director, Joseph F. Coughlin can foresee a future where grocery stores will be filled with shelves of “food cartridges” instead of perishable whole ingredients. Since 3D printing cartridges are usually small, this can reduce fuel footprint and emissions as it will take less space to transport these items, therefore the deliveries will be in larger amounts.