3D printing ideas: These innovative formats set new milestones

Hardly any other industry has experienced such a boom as three-dimensional printing technology in recent years - Here are five particularly innovative 3D printing ideas 

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TECLA, the eco-sustainable 3D printed habitat, image source & Copyright by WASP

Author: Talisa Moser

One push of a button and a ring, a chair or a lamp is created: Hardly any other industry has experienced such a boom in recent years as the technology of 3D printers. Yet rapid manufacturing systems have been around for several decades. The three-dimensional technology is becoming increasingly popular in various industries and is making work processes much easier. We show the best 3D printing ideas.

3D printing market shows boom in growth

In 2020, the 3D printing market had an estimated global total value of around $9 billion. By 2027 - despite setbacks from the Corona pandemic - an annual growth rate of more than 14 percent is expected. This could bring the value to more than $35 billion.

Development is being driven particularly in the healthcare and automotive industries. However, the industry has also repeatedly demonstrated the added value of technology in other areas through numerous recent innovations.

But how does 3D printing actually work?

With the so-called additive manufacturing process, almost any idea can be realized. The material is applied in thin layers until the three-dimensional workpieces are created. The starting materials have different properties and can be liquid, solid or powdery: ceramic, plastic, concrete, resin or metal - there are virtually no limits.

3D printing is now being used to make tools, models, prototypes as well as finished end products for the home. Here are five particularly innovative 3D printing ideas:

Related topics: Technology trends 2021 will accelerate the digital evolution

5 innovative 3D printing ideas

1. Architecture - Project Tecla

Under the project name TECLA, Italian 3D printing startup WASP has completed the printing phase of its 100% 3D-printed Zero Waste house. The manufacturing process is guided by the cornerstones of the Circular Economy. The building material thus comes from locally sourced natural, reusable and recyclable materials, obtained in a climate-neutral way. The innovative habitat model of WASP, designed by Mario Cucinella Architects is characterized, in addition to the technological innovation, by a seminal housing model with its circular architecture and climate-friendly adaptation.

TECLA Eco-sustainable Habitat, image source & Copyright by WASP

2. Automobile - Czinger C21

The manufacture of automotive parts is complex. Traditional methods such as stamping or casting are expensive and take a long time. That's why the Czinger C21 is considered one of the most advanced performance vehicles of the 21st century. The hypercar is partly made from 3D printers and mills in the process. Although limited in number as well as costing $1.7 million per unit, the technology behind the vehicle's construction could further advance global production.

Hypercar Czinger C21, image source & copyright by Czinger

3. Fashion - Adidas Futurecraft.Strung

But it's not just large components that can be revolutionized by 3D printing. Adidas has developed a unique textile creation process with the STRUNG shoe. In the process, a printing robot weaves the threads into a fabric that promises support, flexibility as well as breathability. The shoe is designed to wrap around the foot like a cocoon, providing support through the lightweight 4D grid design sole.

Adidas 4D shoe

Adidas FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG, image source & copyright by Adidas

4. Interior - Gantri x Ammunition

The 3D printer can not only be practical, but also stylish: Lamp manufacturer Gantri was able to design modern lamps from environmentally friendly materials - from the printer - with the help of design company Ammunition. With low material and manufacturing costs, Gantri wants to make design accessible to everyone. Due to the limited amount of resources, the lamps are only available in limited quantities, but this also avoids overproduction.

Ammunition x Gantri, The Gio Collection, Image source & Copyright by Gantri

5. Healthcare - HP Inc.

After supply chains were disrupted due to the Corona pandemic and global demand for protective materials from the virus skyrocketed, HP Inc. had a chance to prove itself. So far, the 3D printing provider and its partners have printed millions of parts for face shields, PARP hoods and more for healthcare workers.

3D printing ideas have proven advantages, but are still in their infancy

  • With the help of the 3D printing process, the time-to-market of products can be shortened considerably. This is particularly beneficial for custom-made products and could revolutionize healthcare, for example in the manufacture of prostheses
  • Innovative prototypes and models can be tested quickly and inexpensively; The visual 3D representation of the tangible design model reduces the risk of incorrect designs
  • In addition, the material requirements can be used to measure, which can reduce waste
  •  Cost savings are possible, since the need for tools is reduced and the production of tools is simplified
  • Last but not least, with the help of 3D printing ideas, the product design can be regionalized where one would otherwise have to rely on imports

Nevertheless, 3D printing technology is still in its infancy, especially in architecture and residential construction. Also, product design often requires post-processing and high volumes are not yet possible. There are also many different printing processes with different material requirements, which also makes standardization difficult.

 

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