3D Printing is becoming entrenched in every industry. Automotive, Aerospace, Medical, Consumer Products and many more. No longer is it simply a nice way to prototype, but with the quality of prints ever-evolving, it is becoming more common in production.
While attending the Smart Manufacturing Experience 2018 in Boston two weeks ago, it was incredible to see the number of companies investing significant time and talent into developing leading edge 3D printers. From pushing the boundaries of how quickly a print can be completed to printing composites and metals like Markforged and Desktop Metal, there was no shortage of innovation. One of the coolest things we saw was one of the world’s first functional 3D printed cars by Strati.
Companies such as Formlabs, Ultimaker, Markforged, Desktop Metal, and Stratsys are all household names in the 3D printing space. Each company is pushing to make printing faster, more accurate and with better final material properties. Startups like Fortify are also bringing new solutions to the table using patented processes for magnetizing and aligning carbon fibres into 3D printed composites.3D printing has even taken shape on a large scale to help solve homelessness. One non-profit in El-Salvador is 3D printing homes for people in under 24 hours for less than $4000 USD - check it out.
But one of the most interesting applications is the impact it will have on medicine. More and more, 3D printing is becoming a part of creating casts, surgical aids and tools. Soon enough, 3D printing will become common for creating parts that will live within your body and give doctors the ultimate flexibility to treat you. In just a few years, Cellink has already made massive strides.One of our early adopters on the Gradient platform has developed a rural network of 3D printers, initially across Newfoundland and Labrador. Their goal is to connect all the small rural centers to the central urban hub to empower doctors to quickly create educational and supportive tooling without the several day wait for a trucking shipment with 100X more parts than they need. The ease of reviewing CAD Models in real-time, managing issues and then directly printing streamlined the process for MED 3D Network! We are super excited to see where they go next and we look forward to continuing to be their collaboration platform bridging the gap between engineers, doctors and patients.
With 3D printing innovation changing the face of manufacturing (and many other industries), it's never been more important to streamline your product design and issue tracking process. To find out more about how Gradient can help your team, check out our site!