The very concept of a 3D printer seems to propel us toward the future. Who would have thought we would see the day when a printer could generate clothing, toys, airplane parts, and even entire rooms? But that’s just the start. 3D printing promises to come to the masses and become so advanced in its application that it can change the way we conduct our everyday lives. We asked people who work with these printers to share their predictions for the future. Here’s what they had to say:
Kevin Caron was the 2018 Phoenix Mayor’s Visual Artist of the Year, and his artwork was featured in a national ABC TV 20/20 special. Kevin’s monumental metal sculptures and groundbreaking 3D-printed artwork can be found from coast to coast and online at kevincaron.com.
Although it is still in its relative infancy, 3D printing may have a bigger impact on our world than the Internet. Just consider how many industries 3D printing is already affecting: manufacturing, medicine, construction, apparel, automotive and so many more, certainly including what I do with art.
Someday, nearly every home will have a 3D printer. When people need a new pair of shoes in just their size or in their favorite color or need a replacement part for an appliance or a tool, they will be able to simply pay for and download a file and print what they want on their own 3D printer, which will be as ubiquitous in homes as microwaves are today.
As for art, printing even larger sculptures than I’m able to today will be far more available and affordable, as will more exotic materials.
In the future, a 3D printer will be a household appliance that is just as common as a refrigerator. Homeowners will be able to use the 3D printer to print any objects they’d need. I also see 3D printed food becoming available. I use my 3D printer, a MakerBot, to print crafts such as jewelry and figures that I design.
Adam Jacobs is the Public Relations Campaign Manager for Powerblanket, a Utah-based industrial manufacturer.
The future of 3D printing is anywhere plastic parts have to be ordered from a manufacturer. One industry that 3D printing hasn’t appeared much in is the auto repair field. Car parts, even little plastic hardware, must be shipped in from the auto manufacturer. This can take weeks, sometimes months, depending on the rarity of the part.
But what if a mechanic shop could just print it? Using quality filaments, mechanics can print the part, install it on the vehicle, and have it back to the owner in less than a day. Eventually, this could be done with metal parts with direct metal laser sintering. It would make car repairs cheaper and faster and put more money in local mechanics’ pocket—instead of their having to pay auto manufacturers for parts.
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