3D printing is a more modern manufacturing process that allows for the creation and fast duplication of small-scale items through an easier and more accessible manner. A 3D printer can manufacture almost everything and is a much easier process than current manufacturing processes. 3D printers can replace factory machines and production lines with one printer. They produce products at a faster rate than other machines and can use various materials to do so. The goal of 3D printers was to “give people a more efficient way of creating porotypes or potential versions of certain products” (3D printing 1:13-1:20). While there are many good things about 3D printing, there are flaws that come along with it as well. A lot of 3D printers rely on certain materials to produce products and this can be bad because it relies on a lot of plastic materials and it leaves a lot of excess waste in the process. With the printer itself, it uses an x, y, and z axis to print rather than the standard x and y axis printers. “In the three-dimensional world, imagine a thin layer of material being deposited on the x-y plane. This layer has a small, but finite, thickness. Once this first layer has been deposited, add a small amount of material in the z-direction, building another layer upon the first one. Keep this up and soon you have a 3-dimensional structure” (Zukas 5). This allows the printer to produce 3D objects rather than
flat 2D papers. The 3D printer also uses other materials in order to build items. These materials can range anywhere from paper to food ingredients. 3D printers have also had a big breakthrough within the community/business industry because they are now capable of making prosthetics, clothes, foods and many more things now that the printers are becoming more advanced. Being about to create these products can lead to many new discoveries and possibly help solve current problems. These printers can also help solve issues with the shortage of foods in certain areas by making fresh foods instead of having to ship foods with the possibility of it being contaminated. It can help lower the risk of contamination by creating it fresh and in greater quantities.
3D printing has opened up many doors for research and new creative designs without having to spend a lot of money and waste time in the process. There are many applications related to 3D printing such as health care, food, and fashion. Although health care related printing projects are not perfect, the models give a lot of insight into health-related problems and possible solutions. These organ models help students and health professionals understand certain body parts and how they function, “the ability to visualize and mentally manipulate 3D structures and correctly identify them and related structures is an important skill to medical and dental students when the anatomy is presented in various planes and positions” (Azer 81).
Google images sinusaranimales.tk
The knowledge developed from using 3D anatomy models have a positive effect on students because it helps demonstrate the anatomic variation they will be working with when they are in contact with real patients. Another type of application involved with 3D printing is fashion. Today many fashion accessories are made with 3D printers because companies can make custom items in a faster manner and at a cheaper cost on their side. “Companies are emerging that are 3D-printing custom fit shoes, high heels, jewelry, sun glasses, accessories, and even clothing. With the immergence of new 3D printing material mediums, the fashion industry can design for style, function, and comfort” (Stokes 10). Being able to print custom made items is also better for business because customers will pay for good and fast quality. One of the most interesting applications for 3D printing would have to be working with food. Recently they have been able to print different types of foods by replacing the normal plastic and powders with food ingredients. “On June 14, 2013, NASA awarded a $125,000 contract to build a 3D printer that can make pizzas. In the past, there have been other food projects, including chocolate, pasta, cookies, sugar structures, and 3D printed meats” (Stokes 10). This process is very fascinating because most of these foods have to go through a long process in factories, but with these printers they can produce food products with one machine instead of using all of the other machines they use in factories. The only downsides with 3D printers is the cost of the machine, how slow they are, and job losses that come along with eliminating the other stages that are used in manufacturing factories. (403 words)
Most machinery in today’s society emits some sort of hazardous material such as radiation or smog, but it all depends of the machine and how it is designed to run. With most 3D printers, they run on electricity and contain lasers or hazardous materials for construction. Most emission take place during the construction of the item and it all depends on what is being made because, “many 3D printing processes use thermoplastics and other materials, which are heated, extruded, and/or fused using high energy sources. These processes emit ultrafine particle clouds and fumes in the nanoparticle range” (Environmental Health ; Safety). The printers emit a lot of ultrafine particles that are released into the environment. The emitted radiations can also settle in the bloodstream or lungs creating health risks, leading to cancer and other diseases. They also release a lot of nanoparticles and vapors into the atmosphere. Since nanoparticles are so small,
they can be transmitted to the body very easily because, “exposures to nanoparticles at high concentrations have been associated with adverse health effects, including total and cardio-respiratory mortality, strokes and asthma symptoms. While PLA feedstock is designed to be biocompatible, the thermal decomposition products of ABS feedstock have been shown to have toxic effects on lab rodents” (Safety in Workshops). These particles are just released from the printer itself and has nothing to do with what is being made. More particles and vapor can be released from the materials being use while creating certain items such as biological and chemical materials. “Heating of certain thermoplastic filament can generate toxic vapors and vapors with high volatile organic compounds (VOCs)” (Safety in Workshops). In order to solve these problems, the printers would need to be in a ventilated room so the emissions from the printer won’t be trapped a confined area. Without having a filtration system, many health problems can arise due to inhaling nanoparticles and chemical vapors. Intaking these can lead to cancer, skin irritations, and respiratory problems. Although some 3D printers release harmful agents because of the materials being used, many printers use plain plastics and powders which are not as harmful as the other toxins. (359 words)
I think 3D printers are a really unique invention because it has led to many new inventions and allows for creative ideas to come to life. They are also very beneficial for academics because they help students with hand on learning such as medical items. As a medical student, anatomy models help me understand the structures and functions of certain body parts.
3D models give students a better insight into studying and grasping a better understanding of the subject, “While anatomy textbooks and anatomy atlases provide two- dimensional (2D) static anatomical illustrations, they are of limited value in exposing three-dimensional (3D) dynamics of anatomical structures.3 Learners may find it difficult to visualize 2D images as 3D and understand certain dynamic aspects of functional anatomy” (Azer 81). They are also really good for item quality and quantity, especially with the financial aspect. A lot of these machines cost a lot of money to use, but it is pretty much multiple machines in one. 3D printers are also very good for creative thinking because it allows people to bring their ideas to life. These printers release very little emissions and are not as harmful compared to big factory machines. While there are good things that come along with 3D printing, there are also a lot of bad things that come with it. Since 3D printing can do multiple things in one, it can potentially hurt the job market and put a lot of people and factories out of business. 3D printers also have a slow rate of distribution; so, while they can produce items at a cheaper price, factory machines can produce more for a cheaper cost. The only bad thing with factories are the emissions released into the environment that can cause more health problems than 3D printers. So, while 3D printers and factories do the same things, they both have their own pros and cons. I think 3D printers are great machines and have the potential to do amazing things in the future. Many industries use 3D printers for new creations and duplications to help benefit themselves, but it will never replace current manufacturing. This technology has some disadvantages that need to be worked on, but with new advancements and technology, the developmental method can be very beneficial.