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3D printers were supposed to be everywhere, but where are they?

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“3D printing will remain a niche product for the foreseeable future,” said Jager.

“If you only need to print a few pieces a year, the easiest solution is to use an online 3D printing service. will provide.”

With the proliferation of such services, the notion of home printing may be obsolete as 3D files can be uploaded to the nearest commercial printer and shipped the same day. However, these services are currently expensive.

Engineers can use 3D printing to create low-volume, bespoke parts.credit:hub

“If you need a replacement part, such as a camera lens cap, it’s usually more cost-effective to buy the part directly from the manufacturer,” says Jager.

hubis an online service that connects engineers and consumers with a global network of printers for on-demand manufacturing, producing 7 million parts since 2013. According to research commissioned by the company, his 3D printing market worldwide is expected to accelerate sharply from this point onwards, reaching a three-fold increase. $44 billion by 2026.

But Hubs co-founder Filemon Schoffer doesn’t expect consumers to have printers in their homes.

“The range of applications is the fundamental limit to the current rate of adoption of 3D printing. For non-engineers, beyond hobby DIY, there aren’t many uses,” he said.

“For a professional engineer, it’s a whole different story. Validating designs, testing geometry, prototyping, and producing low-volume final parts. If not, it makes sense to buy a desktop 3D printer if you need larger parts, higher resolution, different needs, or require more difficult materials for your 3D Our print service is the best option.”

According to Google Trends data, most of what people thought we would print in 2012 is the same thing people are looking for now. food, housing, body parts, and clothing. And most of the time they are 3D printed and not in anyone’s home.

In 2013, the world's first laboratory-made beef burger was cooked in London. In vitro burgers were cultured from bovine stem cells.

In 2013, the world’s first laboratory-made beef burger was cooked in London. In vitro burgers were cultured from bovine stem cells.credit:Reuters

Printed plant-based steaks are available in Europe. Just this year, a patient was fitted with a 3D-printed ear. Fashion designer girlfriend Iris Van Herpen has embraced many print elements, with companies around the world 3D printing her low-cost homes.

But it’s at the industrial level that the 3D printing revolution has really taken hold.

Engineers can now iterate prototypes faster and manufacture unique items. Students learning to code and model in 3D can obtain and study physical results. The capabilities of large, expensive industrial printers have improved far beyond anything seen in the desktop space.

In particular, the ability to print metal parts weighing up to thousands of kilograms is a new dimension in manufacturing where 3D printing (or “additive manufacturing”) has several key advantages over traditional machining. I opened the door.

AML3D founder Andy Sales.

AML3D founder Andy Sales.credit:

“Think of a large block of metal. Machining reduces it to about 30% of its original state. There is 70% waste there. All machining times are available.

“And the carbon footprint of our process is orders of magnitude lower than traditional processes. Our energy output is minimal. The wire feedstock we use has a minimal footprint It’s a limit.”

ASX registered, AML3D prints large metal parts for marine or aerospace applications, is certified through classification societies DNV and Lloyd’s Register, and supplies mission-critical parts to oil rigs, the Navy, and others. I’m here.

this We also sell Complete large-scale robotic metal printers for companies wanting to print their own parts. Sales believes this will become more and more common.

“Suppose you’re building a ship and you have a nice little workshop by the wharf where you print the important metal parts that go on your ship. We would have been dependent on a supply chain located in another country,” he said.

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“And instead of having a large area with kilos of parts in the yard, I have the parts in a digital library. I can print them when I need them.”

And as processes and devices become more standardized, there’s no reason why panel beaters and small engineering firms can’t one day use in-house printers, he said.

“I call it like a Mercedes model. You know, what Mercedes had in their cars would be in a regular Toyota in 10 years.”

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3D printers were supposed to be everywhere, but where are they?

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