Imagine dreaming up an idea, a gadget, a tangible object – anything! Now, visualize being able to bring that idea to life. With 3D printing, all of that is in fact possible. You can think it, design it, print it, and then hold it in your hands. Industries across the globe are employing the use of 3D printing to boost business in a variety of areas. Let’s take a look at a few of the many uses of 3D printing.

3D printers are extremely helpful to astronauts, since they are in orbit for long periods of time and do not have immediate access to supplies. For instance, if there is an urgent need for spacecraft parts, astronauts can conveniently print them on-demand using 3D print technology. Printing food in space is also beneficial for astronauts – it gives them the opportunity to change and personalize their food selection from the usual lacklustre pre-packaged space food.

3D printed cars are on the rise and a popular focus of the automotive industry. Manufacturers have the ability to create individual car parts as well as fully 3D printed vehicles.

3D printed selfies are a growing trend in the consumer market. Consumers can have their full faces and bodies scanned by a 3D scanner and then have a mini version of themselves, friends, family, and even pets printed out on a 3D printer. These are popular gifts and keepsakes. Other 3D printed objects that are popular among consumers are costumes, instruments, fun gadgets, and more.

Chefs use 3D printers to print edible customizable designs and garnishes on plates. Machines can print items like pizza, mashed potatoes, chocolate, purees and more. Automation makes it easier for chefs to replicate customized dishes in an efficient manner to handle the busy restaurant traffic.

Jewellery & Fashion
Retailers print unique earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets and more for consumers. 3D design software provides creators with the means to make jewellery fully customizable, allowing them to design exactly what customers desire. 3D printed clothing is also extremely popular in the world of 3D printing. Designers are using 3D printers to create items such as intricate, fashion-forward dresses and shoes to be worn on the runway.

Hospitals are utilizing 3D printers to print useable prosthetic limbs, such as hands, legs and even organs for patients. Doctors are finding it helpful to 3D print dummy parts to practice on. Plastic surgeons have also been printing prototypes of how their patients will look post-surgery, so they can get a realistic preview of their end result. Furthermore, 3D printing is used by hospitals and volunteers in disaster areas to print supplies that are required urgently for relief efforts, such as parts for medical equipment.

As you can see, the world of possibilities when it comes to 3D printing will only continue to expand. More and more businesses are adopting the technology in an effort to enhance productivity and profit through innovation, customization and automation. Now, take a moment to look around you – how can you incorporate 3D printing into your operations?

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