Over the last few decades, it has been making waves in many industries around the world. This describes the creation of an object by adding material to the object layer by layer. Throughout its history, additive manufacturing has gone by various names, inlcuding stereolithography, 3D layering, and 3D printing, but 3D printing is the best-known. So how do 3D printers work? The process of 3D printing begins by making a graphic model of the object to be printed.
Mass-produced sneakers and car parts are about to roll off assembly lines at Nike and BMW -- 3-D printer assembly lines. Hewlett Packard on Tuesday announced the world's first 3-D printer for large-scale manufacturing. Nine companies, including Nike, BMW and Johnson & Johnson, are using the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution, says Stephen Nigro, who runs HP's 3-D printing business. He announced the news at the RAPID tech conference in Orlando today. "We want to change the way the world prints parts," says Nigro, who previously ran HP's 20 billion print division.
When you think about 3-D printing, chances are you think of little plastic doodads created by desktop devices like those made by MakerBot. Computing and printer giant HP wants you to think about metal. Today the company announced the Metal Jet printer, an industrial-scale 3-D printer that builds items not of plastic but of steel. HP is trying to change that. In 2016, it launched its Jet Fusion plastic 3-D printer, designed for mass production rather than one-off printing.
Ever since I was a boy, I was fascinated by the idea of miniaturization. I read Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage and then, when I finally got my hands on the movie, I probably watched it a dozen times. The premise was that a team of scientists were miniaturized to the point where they could be injected into a person and perform surgery from the inside. Another movie with a similar premise was InnerSpace, starring the incredibly well-matched team of Martin Short and Dennis Quaid. There was the whole Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series of movies and TV shows, and I ate them up as well.
Gartner believes that in 2018, 3D printing will accelerate new business model innovation. When you look at the industries that 3D printing is destined to disrupt in the future, the list is long and distinguished. Here is our take on the state of 3D printing, the ways companies are using it today, and how it's going to revolutionize the future of business. "3D printing enables organizations to shift from designing for ideal manufacturing to manufacturing the ideal design. With the shift will come changes to your business model."