Is 3D Printing the Future of Engineering?

Traditional engineering has long been developing and the three-dimensional printing solutions that have emerged, empower the designer to actually create the component to exact specifications. The composite medium is then chipped away by the laser printer and hey presto! You have the finished component.

CAD Software

This is the cutting edge for 3D imaging and printing and a small 3D printing facility would have design workstations, where the designer checks the data, then, it is sent through to one of the industrial 3D printers for actual creation.

Additive Manufacturing

This is the technical term for 3D printing and those in the industry prefer to steer clear of the word ‘printing’ as additive manufacturing is the creation of a three-dimensional object and engineering shops will gradually be replaced by additive manufacturing facilities of varying size. In major cities around the world, we are beginning to see 3D printing facilities popping up and we can expect to see this sector growing exponentially, with the manufacturing sector morphing into robotics and additive manufacturing.

Compressed Air

Many machines use compressed air, especially for keeping the contact area free of debris and with industrial air compressors from Domnick Hunter, a leading Thai supplier of quality air compressors and other essential equipment for the construction sector.

Composite Materials

Now that we have the ability to create objects to a fine degree of accuracy and detail, we also are discovering new and innovative materials such as graphene, which really do offer great potential. We can now make precision components to very precise specifications and this will result in amazing new designs across the board.

Material Science

Such is the importance of new and innovative materials, there is an entire sector dedicated to making materials for use with food, chemicals and other specialist areas. Major universities now offer both additive manufacturing and material science degrees, as they struggle to meet the obvious demand for skilled people in a relatively new industry.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is already being used to create designs and then print them out; one UK tech team put hundreds of sensors on a racing car and sent it out on the track for 2 hours, collecting all the data from every aspect of the car and this information was fed into an AI system and it created the ultimate vehicle body design that stunned the car designers. There’s little doubt that AI merging with robotics and 3D printing will result in a new era of technology, where anything and everything is possible. Click here for further reading on robotics and how it is changing the face of manufacturing.

The digital age has well and truly arrived and never before have we had the ability to design and create something without a mechanical process. The possibilities are endless and space travel will soon be up and running, with Elon Musk well on track for the manned Mars mission, while he is also working on merging the human conscious with AI, a somewhat frightening thought.