The Pros and Cons of 3D Printing

3D printing holds many promises for the future! It has come a very long way since its initial invention and continues to grow and develop. The medical sector, for instance, has benefitted from the creation of 3D printed organs which have helped save countless lives. Other industries are using 3D printing simply to speed up certain tasks and make office life easier. However, despite the innumerable number of advantages, this modern technology is not without its fair share of disadvantages. So, if you are thinking about using a 3D printer, we recommend making yourself aware of both the pros and cons.

The Pros

  • Fast Production. Using 3D printing, products can quickly advance from design to prototype. Manufacture of the actual product is also speedy.
  • Decreasing Costs. Although initial set-up may be higher, the price of this technology is decreasing in third world countries day by day.
  • Enhanced Healthcare. As previously mentioned, one of the biggest advantages of 3D printing is its effectiveness in the medical sector. By 3D printing important organs like the heart, many people’s lives will be saved.

The Cons

  • Copyright Issues: As 3D printing becomes increasingly more popular, it is easier to build and misuse counterfeit items. It will be very difficult to determine the difference between a real and a fake.
  • Dangerous Items: In addition to creating extremely helpful products, such as human body parts, 3D printing can also be misused to create dangerous items like knives or guns.
  • Size Restrictions: At the moment, 3D printers are limited to only creating small sized items. However, in the future it may become possible to print buildings with ease.
  • Reduced Manufacturing Jobs: Many economies, such as those in third world countries, rely on low skill jobs. Unfortunately, 3D printing will reduce the amount of manufacturing jobs, as people will start making products in their own home.

By understanding the disadvantages of 3D printing and working towards overcoming them, it will become possible for mankind to enter into a new post-industrial manufacturing era where products are built at speed for a considerably lower price.

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This post was written by Anwen Haynes1

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