6 Overlooked Benefits Of 3D Printing You Should Be Aware Of
One of the greatest inventions of the new century has to be 3D printing. The revolutionizing technology has come to reinvent and break the mold in so many industries that even the average person can benefit from getting a 3D printer for personal use. While it shows promising results for industrial purposes, people nowadays have started learning how to use this technology as a hobby. In the following list, we share 6 overlooked benefits of 3D printing which you should be aware of if you’re thinking about learning more about it.
1. Allows for More Flexible Designs
Compared to traditional methods, 3D printing designs can use more efficient geometries and innovative approaches to improve structural performance. This entails to the average user that you’ll be able to create almost anything you can imagine with this technology. However, you should also be aware of its limitations and work around them in order to produce a high-quality product. For instance, 3D printing leaves witness lines on each print layer, which may require post-processing for a smooth finish print.
2. Excellent Tool for Learning
One of the most common ways to create 3D printing designs is using computer-aided design (or CAD) software. When you start learning about this technology, it’s also a great opportunity to start applying the basics of CAD software, which can later help you build a strong portfolio if you’re interested in working in the manufacturing industry. On the other hand, if you have children, you can get them involved in 3D printing projects to incentivize creative thinking and help them develop problem-solving skills in the process. Any lessons or skills acquired during the process can help them in other disciplines beyond STEM subjects, and it’s a unique opportunity for bonding together for a special project.
3. Easily Accessible
Nowadays, manufacturers can offer 3D printers on sale that are accessible and can still deliver high-quality printing. It’s the perfect complement for other hobbies like tabletop games, cosplay, or any skill that requires small or medium-sized parts at any point, which only adds to the reasons to buy a 3d printer for most people. Prices can range between USD 250 for the basic models and can reach up to USD 1,000 if you’re looking for premium 3D printers, which usually offer fast printing speeds and power loss recovery. However, a beginner can easily start on a budget and still learn a lot from 3D printing and 3D designing as a veteran.
4. Ability to Print on Demand
Regardless of your project, you’ll be able to start and finish the 3D printing in a matter of hours depending on the product’s size and amount of material required. Most home 3D printers allow objects with a maximum size of 8 inches in each direction, which may require you to break down your idea into several pieces, and therefore extend the total time required. Otherwise, you can think of any item you want and start printing whenever you want. Some people even start selling original creations made with 3D printers and you can even rent your 3D printer’s time to other people through agencies as intermediaries.
5. Ability to Create Strong and Lightweight Parts
One of the biggest advantages of 3D printings is the versatility you get from the materials available. Polylactic acid or PLA is one of the easiest materials to use in 3D printing. Thanks to the almost unlimited ways you can design an idea, you’re able to lower the material cost needed to print a piece without compromising its strength. Filament options are increasing every day, thanks to higher demand for thermoplastic materials, and several industries are already experimenting with different combinations to yield new possibilities.
6. Sustainable Option
For environmentally-conscious people, 3D printing can be an interesting option to look at since it allows for thermoplastic materials to be reused as many times as needed. Other benefits in this area include improved fuel efficiency since most 3D printed parts require less material, and therefore the machine needs less electricity to function. Most 3D programs allow you to customize and look at the electricity and material cost of a project.
3D printing technology is extremely fun to learn and use, and it’s an excellent way to spend your free time. Regardless of your motivations to immerse yourself in this hobby, it’s important that you learn and use all available resources online to take full advantage of the equipment and enter a great community of sharing innovative ideas and constantly pushing the technology to the next limit.
JR Dominguez is the technology, finance and music editor for MiLLENNiAL. When he's not writing, you can find him day-trading stocks, playing video games, or composing commercial scores.