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The Achilles Heel of 3D Printing - Case Study Example

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This case study "The Achilles’ Heel of 3D Printing" describes additive manufacturing or 3D printing (The Engineer 2010) as a method of producing a three-dimensional solid entity of figure from a digital model. Unlike the conventional procedure, it is not a subtractive process…
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The Achilles Heel of 3D Printing
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Download file to see previous pages By permitting customers to avoid overheads linked with procuring general household items, it has been hypothesized(CNN 2013) that 3D printing will become a mass-market article pertaining to the fact that open source 3D printing can effortlessly counterbalance their principal expenses (Dx.doi.org 2013). The 3D printing technology is employed mutually i.e. distributed manufacturing & prototyping with applications in construction (AEC). It is also used in architecture, automotive, industrial design, military, aerospace, civil engineering, engineering, medical industries, dental and biotech (also known as human tissue replacement). It is also applicable in places like footwear, education, eyewear, fashion, jewelry, food, geographic information systems, and many other fields. This technology is still in the alpha stage of processing and is not commercialized yet. Even then according to Wohlers Associates, which is a consulting firm, the market of 3D services and printing is worth 2.2 billion dollars (The Economist 2012).
3D Printing:
The advancements in technology have attracted people towards owning glamorous items of daily use. One such technology is 3D machines. The gaming industry has excelled in it a lot and commercialization of 3D screens has led to awareness in common public regarding graphics and advancements in this industry. 3D printing is also attractive for people to use as it reflects real life imagery. The printing seems as good as if it is real. This is a positive point while marketing 3D printing. Since the services are limited to industrial level alone, it is not much accessible to common people from every walk of life. Introducing it to the common market will already be easy as people are eager to experience new technologies and latest printing techniques in it for their everyday use.
3D printing is made commercially available will immensely help in research as well. Currently, research is limited as 3D printers are not off the shelf available to common people. Technological enhancements in biotechnology, medicine, and engineering will become aggressive once design ideas and research floats.
Challenges in Commercializing 3D:
1) Making it economical: There are various approaches used in 3D printing including granular materials binding, extrusion disposition, lamination, etc. The commercialization of 3D printing is dependent on the technique used for it to a huge extent. Printers that do not work directly with metals can be made cheap. Similarly, specific shapes that can be printed easily can be made commercial and restricting other shapes due to expensive technology can be done. This way 3D printing can be commercialized to some extent. Hardware is not the only issue in 3D printing. Appropriate software’s need to be designed for it as well (Friedman 2012). This software is naturally complex due to complex graphics and its algorithms. Commercialization in this respect can be immensely improved by inviting third-party vendors and making the original commercial software open source. This will invite young enthusiasts to come forward and work together to develop short applications that could be integrated to support maximum 3D printing capabilities in a single hardware.
2) Enhancing processing speed: One issue while marketing 3D printers is of its slow processing speed (Gizmodo 2013).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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