You may have heard quite a lot about 3D printers, as exciting new developments are being made in this field virtually every day. But just what are the applications of 3D printers? When the technology reaches its full potential, how will it benefit businesses and impact on our everyday lives?
Prepare to be amazed
The possible answers to this question may astound you. Quite simply, the sky is the limit when it comes to the thousand different creative and futuristic ways you can use 3D printers. Let’s look at just a few of the possible applications.
1. Broken something? Fire up your 3D printer and print a new one. Imagine you lose the back of your remote control or a vital plastic component on a gadget or gizmo. If you have access to a 3D printer, you can just print a new one to your exact specifications.
2. Print your own food. An NYU Masters student in the US has recently developed a 3D printer known as the BurritoBot, which is theoretically capable of printing food products (principally, burritos). It’s still in its infancy, but the BurritoBot opens up an exciting new world of possibilities for 3D printing.
3. Need a last minute gift? Print out chocolate presents for your loved ones. Researchers at the University of Exeter have come up with a device that is quite simply, a chocoholic’s dream. It is a 3D printer capable of printing chocolate, making it perfect for the gift market.
4. Printing artificial livers. Whilst this isn’t an everyday application for 3D printers, it is a huge breakthrough for the medical world. US scientists have come up with a way to use 3D printers to print out a template in sugar that blood vessels could grow into, potentially leading to the creation of a synthetic liver.
5. Printing drugs and medication. At the University of Glasgow, scientists have stumbled across a brand new use of 3D printers – the creation of drugs, chemicals and organic compounds. Some of these could be used to treat cancer.
6. Print your own 3D printer. That’s right – 3D printers can be used to print parts for new 3D printers. All they’ll need is a pair of hands to assemble the new printers and they’ll soon be able to take over the world.
7. Start your own creative business. One of the most exciting applications of 3D printing for creative types and budding artists is that they allow people to print their own customised designs and sell them on their own websites.