3d Printing: Know its Advantages and Disadvantages

3d Printing, like its name suggests, is a printer that can build a 3 dimensional object. It’s extremely became popular, however, just like any other technology, there are Advantages and Disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • Customization – A major advantage in 3d printing. With just a raw material, a blueprint and a 3d printer, one can print any design no matter how complex it might be.
  • Constant Prototyping and Increased Productivity – It enables quick production with a high number of prototypes or a small-scale version of the real object in less time than using conventional methods. This helps designers to improve their prototypes, for any design flaws that may affect the quality of the product.

  • Affordability – The initial cost for setting up a 3d printing facility is definitely high; however, it is much cheaper compared to labor costs and manufacturing costs while using the conventional way. Adding to it, is the fact that the cost of producing or manufacturing products using 3d printing technology is equal for small-scale and mass manufacturing.
  • Storage – Traditional manufacturing produces additional products that you probably know you will eventually need thus storage problems arise. However, 3d printing technology, products can be “printed” when needed thus excess products are eliminated and no storage cost is required.
  • Employment Opportunities – The widespread use of 3d printing technology will definitely increase the demand for engineers who are needed to design and build these printers. Technicians who are skilled at troubleshooting and maintenance and Designers to design blueprints for products and more jobs will be created.
  • Health Care – With the advancement of technology, a customizable human body parts and organs can now be manufactured this technology is termed as Bioprinting. Although right now this is still experimental, the potential is huge.  This breakthrough will not only address the shortage of organ donors, but also organ rejection since the organs that are built will consist of the patient’s unique characters and DNA.

Disadvantages

  • Decrease in Manufacturing Jobs – The decrease in manufacturing jobs will greatly affect the economy of countries that rely on a large number of low skill jobs.
  • Limited Size – The size of objects created with 3d printers is currently limited however, in the near future; large items such as architectural structures can be created using 3d printing.
  • Limited Raw Materials – Traditional manufacturing of products has an enormous range of raw materials that can be used. Presently 3d printers can work up to approximately 100 different raw materials and creating products that uses more raw materials are still under development.
  • Violation of Copyrights – The biggest disadvantage of 3d printing is Counterfeiting. Anyone who gets a hold of a blueprint will be able to counterfeit products easily. It will become more common and tracing the source of the counterfeited items will be nearly impossible. Many copyright holders will have a hard time protecting their rights and businesses producing unique products will suffer.
  • Production of Dangerous Items – With 3d printers, plastic knives, guns and any other hazardous objects can be created. It makes easier for terrorists and criminals bring a weapon without being detected.

With the advantages of 3d Printing, it surely is the technology of the future, however, major flaws of this technology must be addressed properly to avoid catastrophe.