Check out what The Merkle.com has listed as the top trends in 3D Printing for 2017. Half way through the year, the progress of many of these is well on their way.
The world of 3d printing is quite intriguing, as a lot of advancements have been made over the past few years. The concept of printing items at home, either to replace other objects or just as a hobby, will make an impact in the consumer space over the coming years. Although some people thought 3D printing was overhyped at first, the trend is gaining mainstream momentum as we speak.
#4 Multi-color 3D Printing Is Coming
One of the main issues a lot of people had with 3D printing at an early stage is how all of the objects could only be printed in one color. That situation has come to change in 2016, as multicolored printing will make its way to the consumer market. Some 3D printers supported multicolor printing already, although none of them have made it to the mass market just yet. From a consumer point of view, multicolor 3D printing would make this business quite more appealing
#3 Improvements In Metal Printing
Looking beyond the consumer-grade 3D printer materials, enterprises can stand to gain a lot from better metal printing solutions. Although 3D printing metal objects is already possible, even while achieving a high-quality output, the process is very expensive and somewhat limited to manufacturing smaller parts. Come 2017 and beyond; that situation is set to change for the better.
Think of 3D printing as an industry that can shake up aerospace and the medical sector. Cheaper printing technologies, together with better support for denser materials to print larger objects, can bring significant changes in these fields. Several companies are already working on bringing more materials to 3d printers all over the world, although there is still a long and steep road ahead.
#2 Organs Will Be Printed
As unusual as this concept may sound, don’t be surprised when the pharmaceutical sector shifts towards 3D printing specific organs. A new heart coming right out of the printer is not something to look forward to just yet, but scientists are experimenting with a 3D printed kidney. The bigger question is how the human body will respond to these strange substances and materials being introduced.
A kidney is not the only part of a human body being 3D printed, though. An artery, liver tissue, and various bones have been tested throughout 2016. In fact, scientists have implanted a 3D printed vein segment into a living monkey, which is a significant advancement. It is unclear what 2017 will bring exactly, as a lot of research needs to be done.
#1 Multi-material 3D Printing
Using a plastic filament has been the norm for 3D printing for quite some time now. Although most consumers are not too bothered by this limitation, printer manufacturers are working on allowing for multi-material support. To be more precise, this would still be possible using the same single extruder found in most consumer-grade 3D printers in existence today. All materials are spread equally across different layers, which allows for sturdier and better creations. Expect a lot of progress in this department through all of 2017.