Are 3D Printers Useful?

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If it wasn’t useful to someone…

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How to Get Started with a 3D Printer

It normally is not made and if it is made, it is not made very well or in large quantities. Plus, there would not be companies around the world trying to make a profit off of making those items.

But when something is useful, you see businesses all over the world trying to make those items and make some money off of them. They also look to improve the product to make it even more useful. It is this latter situation that is in the 3D printer industry.

Yes, 3D printers are useful and to find out how useful they are, just keep reading our article. It will show you how useful these printers really are.

3D printers help around the house

Even if you are not operating a 3D printing business, you can still find the printer very useful around the house. Here are some of the items you can make to make home life better:

ScrewdriversAdjustable wrenchesCrescent wrenches
Measuring spoonsBook marksPaper clips
Desk paper tray or organizerWater diverter for tapsDresses
ShoesPhone casesCard holders
Office organizersEating dish setsFlatware
ToysScissorsPliers
Swiss army knifeRecordsStamps (not postage)
Containers for water or juice WhistlesSalt & pepper shakers
Spare keysScrewdriver organizerHinges
Bottle openerPotato chip bag closershelves

And that is not the complete list of useful items you can use around the house. All it takes is a little creativity, a good computer file and the right printer to produce these items and improve your home life.

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These devices are useful in many industries

It is not just your home life where you will find these printers useful. Your own business may also see how these devices can help out around the office just like the following industries have come to realize:

IndustryHelpful items
FashionDresses, mesh, tulle, nylon mesh, polyester mesh and so on
MedicalMedical supplies, models of organs, implants, protective devices, glasses and hearing aids and so on
AerospaceEspecially for fire and chemical resistant items as well as UV and moisture resistant properties
AviationStorage space and other needed items to make air travel more convenient and comfortable
EngineeringRace car parts, models for wind tunnel testing, lower production time of parts and so on
ArchitectureHouses, buildings, models and home parts
Auto manufacturingCar parts, electric cars and more
EducationClass projects, classroom education, prototypes, 3D print training, etc.

The application of different printed materials has no real boundaries as of yet. The printers can create almost anything material and people can put those creations to good use.

Other industries not mentioned include:

  1. Photography- cameras, camera lenses
  2. Music- guitars, violins and other instruments or accessories
  3. Manufacturing- this covers a lot of different products

The pros and cons of 3D printing

To get the right perspective on 3D printing one does need to know the different positive and negatives of this production option. Here are a few of each for you to consider:

Pros:

  1. Less storage space needed- you can cut down on warehousing expenses as you only print what you need or are selling
  2. Business costs are reduced- like any new business venture initial costs are the biggest expense but once you are set up the 3D printing costs go down
  3. Easier to make prototypes- the concept is turned into a realistic model quickly so you can visually see what needs improving or removing from the project
  4. Broaden manufacturing options- you can add more products to your production line and increase revenue
  5. Speed up production- you can keep your customers happier because you can make an item quicker through this printing option
  6. Fill vital needs- whether it is medical or emergency use, 3D printing can help fill the needs of those workers and print up vital supplies, etc and cut those agencies’ costs
  7. Create more jobs- there will always be a need for engineers to design, upgrade and implement 3D printers & technology. Plus, the need for repairmen and technicians will open up a new avenue for employment for many people

Cons:

  1. Loss of jobs- while some jobs are created, there may not be enough openings to make up for the loss of manufacturing jobs
  2. Retraining costs- when people need to find new employment they will need financial help to be retrained to start a new job outside of their former field
  3. Limited in production materials- right now most 3D printers can make objects out of the following materials– plastic, resin, certain metals, and ceramics.Research for other materials is ongoing and costing a lot of money
  4. Copyright, illegal and ethical issues- copyright infringement may run rampant with 3D technology not to mention questionable or unethical production of certain items for black market or other illicit or illegal activities
  5. Production of harmful devices- there is so far no oversight governing the production of 3D guns and knives. This can pose a problem for unsuspecting victims
  6. Size- there are still some objects that are too large to be created through 3D printing. Whether this is a negative or a blessing remains to be seen. Maybe some things, like houses, need to be left to traditional methods of production
  7. Too many items- in other words with everyone using a 3D [printer, they can make many useless items that only drain the consumers’ bank account or harm the environment

Some final words

As you can see, 3D printers do have a useful purpose if they are applied to the right industry and products. While it is nice to have a fashion production option, plastic is not the greatest material to wear despite the insistence of fashion designers.

But, the usefulness of 3D printers overwhelm those useless items that some people create. There are so many vital applications these devices can be used for that many needs may be met with less delay and shortages.

In the end, it will all depend on your perspective and how you view the 3D printer that will decide if they are useful to you or not.

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