In the next years, 3D printing will be one of the new major technologies that will revolutionize manufacturing worldwide. Adapting companies will enhance their design and production methods and benefit from a lot of opportunities.
3D printing technology has come a long way and started to mature in terms of capabilities only recently. In other words: The true 3D printing revolution has begun now.
Thanks to additive technology manufacturing processes are being changed profoundly. Conventional moulding technologies or mechanical processing for plastic and metal materials will loose its share more and more to simple standalone processes like 3D printing. Furthermore, 3D printing is capable of printing very complex parts on the one hand, and printing completely integrated part combinations as a single finished product on the other hand. Compared to conventional production methods, we can – in many cases – create more complex parts thanks to 3D printing methods.
Nevertheless, there are factors which are important for the growth of 3D printing technology:
- Improvements of printer capabilities
- Broadening of applications
- Development of new printing tools
- Advances in raw materials
Expected improvements will come with a variety of important performance changes, including:
- New designs for CAD programs and improved STL file interfaces
- More accurate and precise digital control of 3D equipment
- Faster printing speeds ((and material application designs))
- New printing materials to broaden application possibilities
- Biologically inert/non-reactive materials for prosthetics and surgical applications
- Photoinitiators soluble in water and suitable for biocompatible materials
- Eupeptic materials for food or medicine applications
- Enhanced materials with less stress and shrinkage caused from cooling
- Enhanced materials with clumping prevention during powder storage
- Child-safe materials for all 3D printing branches
- Eco-friendly and low-cost water or common solvent soluble support materials
- Material decomposing through thermal or UV-light treatment
- High acceleration/deceleration for mechanically moving parts
- Elimination of ringing without excessive damping in movement
- Thermal-mechanical extrusion technique improvements for FDM heads
- Ultra-fine granularity of translation/rotation for SLS printers and 3D scanners
- Better/cheaper/free sophisticated slicers – especially heterogenous multi-model batch slicers with movement, anisotropism and wastage optimization
- Improved proportional-integral-derivative (PID) algorithms to maximize printing speed, reduce ringing, and take into account mechanical tolerances and wear and tear of mechanical parts
- Heuristic algorithms to tune print processors for ambient temperature, humidity, and material-specific variances
- Improved algorithms for weight-to-strength and goal-oriented generation of true three-dimensional/orthotropic fill patterns
- Improved and inexpensive software for finite element analysis (FEM) of 3D printed bodies for mechanical survivability and strain management – taking into account the anisotropic nature of 3D printed objects
- Batch 3D positioning optimization for 3D printing service agencies
Before you start doing your research, you need to know how 3D printing technology works and how current printer models work. You need to know how get to the best set of features of the printer.
If you want to do research about new printing materials, your 3D printer should support open parameters. By that, all material processing properties can be adjusted. ((To research enhancements of the mechanical properties, you should know each part of the printer and be able to modify the printer. The use of a do-it-yourself printer can be time consuming, where assembly kits are time and development saving options.))
Find your own niche ((???)) and discover the best fitting 3D printing technology for your applications that helps you to reach your goals.