3-D printers don’t use ink, they use thin layers of plastic, powder, or metal in thin layers to take digital designs and make them into physical objects. They have been used in manufacturing, mainly for prototypes, for a while, but as prices are coming down in the printers, more businesses are employing the technology for interesting and diverse uses.
Enterprising companies are envisioning new uses for 3-D printers. The technology is evolving and becoming more affordable. Bespoke Innovations is using a 3-D printer to make custom prosthetics for individuals. His company can also produce customized casings for the prosthetic limbs for aesthetic appeal. Whether the customer wants embroidered leather or shiny metal, the company can produce whatever casing the wearer chooses.
Creativity in Action
Other items being produced by 3-D printers include iPod and iPhone cases, jewelry, lamps, perfume bottles, and more. These printers can actually produce completely assembled, hinged items. Rather than mass-producing items, custom products can be made individually. In fact, a California company is using a large scale 3-D printer to produce walls for homes.
You Can Use 3-D
By using design software, individuals can create products and then send their designs to Shapeways or other companies that produce custom products with 3-D printers for consumers. Individuals can create anything from parts for antique cars to toys.
We are bound to see more innovative uses of 3-D printing as the technology becomes more affordable. Fashion designers may delight in producing customized accessories or detailing for their clothing lines. We may see more online companies willing to create custom items for the general public at competitive prices. Imagine being able to design a one-of-a-kind gift for someone! There will most certainly continue to be new uses by innovative thinkers.