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Common Myths About 3D Printing
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is commonly known has been around for more than 20 years but has garnered interest recently, particularly with investors. The technology’s rapid adoption in a myriad of domains such as aeronautics, medicine, automotive, architecture, cosmetics, children’s toys, etc has created a stir among the populace. As the technology is increasingly garnering attention, it has also led to some common misconceptions about 3D printing.
Here is a list of some common myths on 3D printing which are causing a slowdown in the wider adoption and development of the technology.
3D Printers Cost Too Much
There are both cheap and expensive 3D printers available in the market which the consumers can choose to buy. With the progress of technology, 3D printers have become cheaper to build and high-quality models that cost less than $500 are now available. A 3D printer is definitely worth all the money as any unique product that costs several hundred dollars to 3D print would usually cost even more using traditional formative technologies. Moreover, 3D printing is the only way to make certain products.
3D Printing is only for Plastics
3D printers can print a wide array of materials including thermoplastics, metals, wood, resins, bio-materials and even carbon fibre. In fact, at an industrial level, metal 3D printing is the fastest growing segment. 3D printers can also print nanomaterials which will revolutionise the electronic products market.
3D Printing is for Large Scale Manufacturing
3D printing is generally suitable for customised production. AS of now, 3D printing cannot replace traditional manufacturing methods that produce massively at rates that are not achievable through 3D printing. However, 3D printing is proving to be feasible for manufacturing of objects as large as cars and houses.
Every Home will have a 3D Printer
It seems a bit unrealistic currently as 3D printing cannot become as cheap as online printing services. A 3D printer at every home just like a microwave or a refrigerator seems to be a far-fetched reality as of now.
3D Printers can print Human Organs
No real human organ has been printed yet and scientists are currently testing relatively simple organs in animals. 3D printers are currently not viable for printing human organs due to their inability to effectively 3D print multiple materials at the same time.
3D Printing is a New Technology
3D printing is assumed by many to be a recent innovation. However, in reality, 3D printing was invented in the 1980s and has been around since that time. Large scale adoption and use of 3D printing technology at homes is a relatively new phenomenon.