Practical Uses for 3-D Printers

by Pete on December 1, 2009

Just like most technological advances, 3D printers hit the market with unbelievable price tags and elitist appeal, but quickly became affordable and usable in a variety of fields. Most 3D printers use ink-jet technology and either build the model with powder or liquid. It is possible to print full-color models from an image, and the newest 3D printers are small enough to sit on your desktop, like the uPrint Person 3D printer. While many people may wonder how 3D printing technology would benefit their business, others have found they can now barely live without it. A variety of professional fields now use 3D printing on the daily basis.Free Pictures | acobox.com

Engineers no longer have to build their models by hand. Not only does it make their job easier, it makes their work more accurate and effective.

Architects use 3D printing in the same way they built models before, but now their models are more accurate and built more quickly. This also allows them to share their architectural vision with clients in an easily understood way. Conceptualizing a building is far easier to do with a 3D image.

Educators often find it is easier for students to learn when using 3D images. They are able to handle the materials and that often helps them retain the information and better understand the lesson. With 3-dimensional printing abilities, teachers can create hands-on lessons for their students.

Medical professionals, especially surgeons, find that 3D printers enable them to offer safer, more effective treatment. Three-dimensional renderings of specific organs allow a surgeon to practice a surgery before actually performing it on a patient. In instances of reconstructive surgery, a plastic surgeon is able to create the reconstruction using the printer so both the patients and doctor do not have to mentally visualize the results of the procedure. This ensures all parties involved have reasonable expectations and the surgeon can work ahead of time to determine whether the procedure is producing the best results possible.

Forensic pathologists have better capabilities than ever before in recreating injuries, enabling them to more easily determine the cause of death. The 3D printing offers them an opportunity to re-enact fatal injuries from beginning to end, allowing them to accurately cite a cause of death.

Artists have also found 3D printing to be of use to them. When creating works that require the use of expensive materials, they can first make the rendering in 3D using the printer. This allows them to work out mistakes without wasting expensive materials during the process. Once the 3-dimensional printer model has been perfected, they can recreate it for the final piece using the pricier resources.

Three-dimensional printing may not be in the budget yet for all companies, but more and more professionals are finding the technology is well worth the investment. If you think a 3-dimensional printer may benefit your company, now is the time to begin shopping.

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