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Computing technology has a surprisingly long history, but 3D printing goes back to the late 1980’s. Future generations who rely on 3D printing in a way that will seem very different to modern people will probably talk about Charles Hull in reference to the person credited with first inventing 3D printing.
His SLA printer was created in 1987. Just as the early computers of the 1970’s were enormous and expensive, this SLA printer would cost in the neighborhood of six figures then and now.
3D printing research has been ongoing for thirty years by this point. However, modern 3D printing research is significantly more viable.
The cost of 3D printers meant that researching them was a difficult prospect in general, since even most research labs were not going to be able to afford them in any capacity. It’s now easier for people to be able to experiment with the different possibilities inherent to 3D printing in manufacturing, medicine, and even in hobbies.
The fact that 3D printing has such a broad range of applications means that this is truly a technology that can potentially change the entirety of society.
The research into 3D printing has been conducted for a reason. Usually, when this much money has been poured into something at such a fast rate, it means that it’s because the researchers involved and the investors that are backing them are confident that the results are going to be worth it. This is certainly the case here.
3D printing is already being used to create the life-saving medical tools that the industry needs. Printing prosthetic parts will also get that much easier as a result of 3D printing. Coupled with all of the other advances in prosthetic technology and medical tools, 3D printing could save millions of lives.
The fact that 3D printers can be used in order to help people save time and money will also mean a lot to the cash-strapped medical industry in general. Resources are always scarce in the medical industry, and it is difficult for the industry to ever be able to predict how much of anything that they’re going to need.
The fact that all products move through the manufacturing cycle much more quickly as a result of 3D printing can really help people when it comes to getting hospitals the supplies that they need.
3D printing offers a level of versatility that is going to be difficult to achieve otherwise. It’s relatively easy for a 3D printer to be able to print out something that people develop as a concept design or sketch.
As such, this is a form of technology that is going to open up entirely new pathways of creativity for the people who are interested in being able to design entirely new things.