As the technology for 3D printing objects advances, we will see it become a more practical, efficient and cost-effective solution for developing our everyday products. With this advancement, we will begin to see a wider array of materials — including plastics, ceramics and metals — that will completely transform the time spent making products and the manner in which businesses sell those products.
Recently, companies like Microsoft and Google enabled their hardware to perform 3D scanning, for example Microsoft’s Kinect. In the near future digitising real objects into 3D models will become as easy as taking a picture. Future versions of smartphones will probably have integrated 3D scanners.
3D printing will enable us to cut down on all of these time- and energy-wasting processes. First of all, production from a 3D printer is an overall faster process. From prototyping to full-scale production, 3D-printed products come off the line much faster than traditional manufacturing methods. In addition, it will save you lots of money in materials. 3D printing is inherently lean in nature, reducing the amount of material needed and even re-purposing materials already used. In the coming years, this type of on-demand manufacturing is sure to catalyse a new generation of inventors and production values within large-scale companies.