Medical and Healthcare
It should come as no surprise that the medical and healthcare sector already represents one of the strongest vertical markets for industrial 3D printing (3DP) / additive manufacturing (AM). With a growing global population, increasing healthcare demands in the developing world, 3D printing presents a compelling commercial proposition to respond to these ever changing global mega-trends. One of the most exciting future opportunities for 3DP/AM growth comes from the emergence of ‘digital healthcare’, where patients are benefiting from new automated scanning and diagnostic processes such as CT, MRI, 3D Ultrasound and intraoral laser scanning. This personalized digital data is providing the blue-print for future 3D printed healthcare solutions, from hip and knee implants to dental crowns, from hearing aids to prosthetic limbs, orthotic footwear and prescription eye-glasses. Within this new industry report we look to quantify these applications and scale their current and future commercial value.
Architects are trained to think in 3D, and with the help of new technology, they are improving their ability to communicate in the same terms. To impress a potential client or competition jury, it helps to have a finely detailed architectural model to communicate concepts clearly. It also helps to have detailed 3D models throughout the entire design phase of a new project to correct engineering problems early on. The challenge has traditionally been the time and expense of model making, especially when innovative designs use complex shapes and forms.The direct physical realization of computer-visualized, three-dimensional form holdsthe promise of a new era of architectural design methodology.The manufacturing and production of scale models and exotic shapes have taken center stage as viable generators of design rules; the REAL inexorably, and without precedent, linked to the VIRTUAL.Now complex modeling explored on the computer, either by scripting or through the direct manipulation of form has a tangible output: Three-Dimensional Printing. The impact of this important technology
3D printing is a technology that allows users to turn any digital file into a three dimensional physical product. 3D printing also allows for massive customization and unlike with music and movies, everything that is printed is protected by copyright. One of the good things about this printing technology is that it changes the dynamic of consumer culture. In other words, it turns users from being passive consumers to active creators.
How beneficial 3D printing is in Education?
Schools are still in the early stage of adoption of this innovative technology, but the exciting thing is what is to come. 3D printing provides several features that can revolutionize education here are some of them:
It provides teachers with 3 dimensional visual aids that they can use in their classroom particularly in illustrating a hard to grasp concept
3D printers make it easy for teachers to seize the interest of their students compared to just showing the pictorial representations of objects.·
It enhances hands-on learning and learning by doing. Using this prototyping technology, students will be able to produce realistic 3 dimensional mini-models ·
It provides more room for interactive class activities. In biology, for instance, teachers can create a 3D model of the human heart, head, skeleton and others to teach students about the human body.
Given all these attributes, 3D printing seems to hold some promising and ground-breaking innovation that will definitely assist in the fulfillment of a productive educational experience.
The implications of 3-D printing on the fashion industry cannot be understated. It has the potential to do great things: create shorter lead times for designers, offer the ability to produce things in smaller quantities, and create easy personalization. On the flip side, 3-D printing could render many jobs in the manufacturing industry obsolete. In the near future, your definition of a dream closet might just be an empty room with a 3-D printer. Imagine purchasing and downloading a design online, and then printing it off at home. It would surely save a lot of carbon, and if you could customize the piece according to your measurements, the printer would be your best tailor. At the moment, designers mostly use the technology for prototyping, but printing real product gets closer every day
The introduction of 3D printing technology and associated process changes may offer as much benefit as disruption. If, however, shipping and transportation patterns and customer preferences are impacted, those sectors involved would be challenged. While energy and raw materials will continue to be transported locally and internationally, the shipping patterns of finished products and more importantly components – large and small - may be skewed toward local delivery based on newly local manufacturing.
. From geographically decentralized to more clustered/centralized: Current parts manufacturing businesses are globally decentralized to take advantage of preferred labour rates in places like India and China.
. If 3D Printing contributes to a change in the business model whereby cost of transport rather than labour determines profit and manufacturing moves closer to the customer both trucking and container businesses will see declining profits.
. Strategic planners in transportation should take potential new trends into consideration i.e. options to transition to smaller fleets, more diversified customer base or ways to take advantage of changing distance requirements.
. For certain specialized products, 3D printing makes it possible for the purchaser/end user to manufacture in house – thereby eliminating transportation costs altogether
. If 3D printing simply reduces the distances that certain raw materials or products travel this positively impacts energy conservation, carbon footprint etc
. Warehouses: Supply chain management assumes we need storage hubs. Companies may not need the current number, size, or location of warehouses if the number of hand-off/hand-over points is reduced. Time delays between an order being placed and the customer receiving it may also collapse.
. Containers: Stock market experts focused on macro trends (see David Prince) often view container shipments as critical indictors of economic health and trending. If the number of containers is reduced due to local just-in-time manufacturing, new performance measures must be considered.
. Small parcel carriers: FedEx, UPS and national postal services should be keeping close watch on developments. As 3D printing technology becomes more ubiquitous, their bread-and-butter business serving the public or small companies could shrink. Small local carriers, potentially offering highest quality customer service or vehicles outfitted for specialist materials transport may find niche opportunities.