So far, 2017 has seen 3D printing advance the latest developments in a variety of fields; from buildings printed in just hours, to improved surgery operations; 3D printing has accomplished a lot this year. But what do we predict will be the next biggest trends in the field? We explore where we think the world of 3D printing is headed below.
3D printers set to support education
One of the main ways in which 3D printers will be making waves in the future, is in the field of education. A variety of schools have already bought in 3D printers to help boost their student’s education; hoping to fuel young people’s interests in the field of engineering and to engage them with the subject of design and technology in a more interactive way.
The Create Education Project was set up by 3D-printing manufacturers Ultimaker (GB), to help get schools started with the technology by providing them with lesson plans for both primary school students and older students, considering studying technology or engineering at a more advanced level. The project currently loans schools their printers, in exchange for a detailed review on the benefits of using the printers and how this has helped inspire young people and boost their enthusiasm for the field of technology.
3D printers are becoming more and more common, finding their way into the hands of a number of manufacturers, as such the cost of 3D printers is decreasing as demand increases. Schools can currently purchase entry level 3D printers from around £500.00, making the machines more easily accessible than would first appear. As such, the peaked interest in 3D printing within schools may soon transfer into 3D printers becoming common fixtures in many classrooms across the UK.
3D printing inspiring the world of fashion
Another area in which we predict that we will see a growing interest in the technology is in the world of fashion. High-fashion designers, such as Iris Van Herpen, have used the technology to print a range of imaginative, innovative designs from an exciting range of materials. 3D printing technology has allowed designers to play around with new design techniques and materials and has boosted the quality of the final product.
Many predict that fashion will further incorporate 3D printing in design and manufacturing, thanks to the creativity that the designs allow and the eco-friendly charms of using the technology.
In addition, some commentators are eager to see how 3D printing may potentially further our interests in conquering the galaxy. 3D Printing Industry share their hopes and curiosities below:
“Given the staggering lead times and substantial budgets involved in aerospace development this is an area where early news about the future of 3D printing can often be found. Discussions during the plenary sessions at 2016’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC) frequently touched upon the use of 3D printing as a way to reach the stars, an application that has already been demonstrated. Taking a longer time horizon, the use of 3D printing in orbit to manufacture off world structures came up in conversations with representatives of national agencies.”
Where will the world of 3D printing take us?
No one can say for sure how the field of 3D printing will develop, but the developments we have seen so far have been exciting and only inspire our imaginations on what might be to come.