3D Printing

3D Printing

This article deals with ‘3D Printing- UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is important pillar of GS-3 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

What is 3D Printing?

  • 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a manufacturing technique  . It involves
    • making three dimensional objects
    • from a digital design
    • by adding one layer at a time. 
3D Printing

Applications

  • Architecture and Construction – Countries around the world are using large 3D printers to construct multi-storied houses layer by layer. 
  • Medicine Bio printing of artificial organs like Liver, Pancreas etc 
  • Manufacturing – Car and aeroplane parts are being built using 3D printing.
  • Repairing Damaged Cultural Sites : Eg Allepo in Syria is being re-created after ISIS destruction using this technology
  • Prototypes : Prototypes can be made very cheaply

Any object can be made. Just make digital design in PC , add material in the 3D Printer and it will make it

Advantages

  • No Wastage : 3 D printing is additive process , in which object is manufactured by adding layers in contrast to present manufacturing techniques which are reduction processes . Hence, there will be no wastage of material and cost of production will reduce dramatically
  • Manufacturing Decentralisation   : In contrast to centralisation ie making products in centralised manufacturing units, it will usher revolution of decentralised manufacturing , creating  business opportunities
  • Customised Products : Presently companies make standard products because mould they use is same. But using 3 D Printing, customised products according to need of person can be made without any increase in cost of production
  • Breaking manufacturing Boundaries : Using 3D printing, we can manufacture things which were impossible to manufacture using ordinary manufacturing techniques . Eg Body Organs etc
  • Saves Time – 3D does the job accurately and in less time.

Challenge

  • Job Losses : Single 3 D printer can make products which was earlier made by hundreds of workers
  • Security challenge : Even weapons can be made at home

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