As promised, here is Mark’s introductory article on 3D printing. Enjoy the read, let us know what you think, and share it if you liked it.
100 Years On
In the early 1900s, the Ford Motor Company adopted the assembly line to mass-produce the Model T. They revolutionised manufacturing and created a wealth of possibilities for product creation. Aside from the discovery of the Higgs boson (almost), little has been done to replicate what Ford did in the 1900s.
It has been a hundred years since the invention of the automobile, the airplane and the inception of mass production, planted in the Ford assembly lines. Now, imagine life without the assembly line: handmade, time-consuming and very expensive. Unthinkable.
Now, look at the term mass customisation. This, is what the last century has gotten us. We can create faster, quicker and better. Generation Y has ditched the whole “let’s make it quick, never mind if it’s the same” mentality and is pushing the envelope for customisation. This technology has many names: rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing and of course: 3D Printing.
Don’t know these terms? Google it. 3D Printing is one of the most popular search terms on the internet now. Everybody wants a piece of it, everyone is writing about it. Searching for the Kardashians, Lana Del Rey? These are search phases that will eventually fade.
3D Printing? It’s just begun.
Think about a world where everything can be customised and designed to your own needs, to your own specifications without leaving home.
Before the Internet age, where did we go for information? Libraries? Now everyone is just hunched over a computer, seeking an answer to their every question. 3D Printing will revolutionise the concept of the assembly line and turn it into a whole new ball game.
In the near future, we will be able to download (or purchase) 3D blueprints online from big brand manufacturers, say SONY. With a 3D printer at home, watch your newly purchased camera be crafted into a solid object, fully functional and ready for use right away.
3D printing could happen with materials that could blow your mind. Metals, rubber, plastic, even ceramics. Endless materials, endless possibilities. Never mind conventional materials, now imagine 3D printing a heart or a new kidney – potentially lifesaving processes. Think about 3D printing food, medicine or even molecules.
3D printing will change the way we think, the way we consume goods, the way we look at design, form and function. Everybody could be an inventor, and 3D printing, the tool that takes us there.
And in case you haven’t noticed, 3D printing companies are popping up everywhere, offering to meet your needs, offering materials and concepts that will hit you and make you go, “hey, why didn’t I think of that?’
Never mind your profession or the industry you work in. 3D Printing could, and will affect you. So hop on the bandwagon, find out for yourself what 3D printing can do for you today. After all, you might just be walking on the roads that 3D printers have paved or living in a house that was 3D printed by a life sized 3D printer. And for all you know, I’m a 3D printer that has a printed brain and some fingers to type this with.
Here at 3D Matters, we believe in everything above. Our passion for design and innovation runs deep in our veins. Thank you for reading this little piece, and don’t forget to check us out!
Three dimensionally yours,