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How customers have discovered the potential of 3D printing

Paul Toms
03/07/19

3D printing has opened the doors to all kinds of possibilities. As professionals and hobbyists alike explore the opportunities, it's solving problems all around the world and enabling people to discover a number of practical and creative ideas. Now that printers are reasonably priced for enthusiastic consumers and the masses are more able to explore their potentialities, we're looking at the uses of 3D printing.

Medical uses

Traditionally, the manufacturing process for plastics involves creating a mould and a sophisticated production line, which isn’t well suited to fabricating a custom design. Due to the unique nature of injuries and disabilities, prosthetic limbs are not always suitable to each individual. 3D printing enables medical professionals to build a bespoke model to each patient's needs. This not only can lead to some sophisticated solutions that utilise limited mobility but also ensures a comfortable fit.

Different Materials

3D printing material is sold in reels like wire, usually plastic. The blend of these reels can vary, most visibly in colour and finish, but it also allows for variation in the properties of each material. More expensive blends can withstand higher forces and temperatures, are more environmentally friendly in production and degradation and can even be metal-based or incorporate carbon fibre. 

Fixing Components

The days have gone where if your washing machine's leaking and there's only one kind of pipe or adapter that will fix it, it’ll take a week to arrive because it's only made in Japan and it costs £80 for your plumber to order it. Today, 3D printing enables people to download and print these components in a matter of minutes at only the cost of materials. All you need to do is look online to find all sorts of companies designing unique components to fix white goods, electronics and even vehicles – simply download and use your 3D printer for a quick and low-cost solution. 

Hobbies

3D printing is fun, people get to see their ideas come to life in a way like never before. Personalised art and sculptures, widgets designed for individual unique purposes, they can recreate figurines of their favourite characters or design and make a phone case they've always dreamed of. As people get more inspired and more creative, 3D printing offers more opportunities to create new things, more useful, more beautiful and faster than ever before.

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