The first time I saw a 3D printer was in 8th grade in a class that was introducing us to the world of engineering. In that class, we got to design objects using Autodesk AutoCAD and see our designs get printed in the classroom's 3D printer. At the time, it took time for the 3D printer to print our designs so we'd often enter class the next day and see our designs be completed.
It's cool to build products on your own with 3D printers. At the time that this was all happening, 3D printing was a relatively small thing in the tech community and people were still figuring out how to enhance the technology and make it commercially viable. In other words, 3D printing was a thing that hobbyists and engineering pros were playing with.
As time went on, the technology surrounding 3D printing has improved and the cost of the printers and materials has decreased. The quality of output that 3D printers have been able to provide have increased, the speed at which the 3D printers can complete the designs has increased, and people can build bigger items with 3D printers. At the same time, new processes like micro-casting and sprayed materials have allowed 3D printing to be used for metals.
Today, we have startups 3D printing lamps
. There's a startup named ICON that 3D prints luxury homes
and affordable homes
. These commercial applications of 3D printing are happening on a smaller scale, but they will become bigger overtime. This is just the start. As more people realize this, we will see 3D printing have a wave of euphoria that we recently saw with AI.
It's time to be serious about 3D printing.