If 2015 were to be the opportunity to see even more models of 3D printers dedicated to individuals, technology could also jump in other sectors, and lead to a small revolution.
Soon, some crucial patents in the field of 3D printing will allow a host of manufacturers to exploit activities hitherto reserved for a few elected officials. Printers capable of printing with metal, wood, fabrics and other materials should increase in number and become more accessible. What upset the world of manufacturing and allow artisans to expand their services, automate their production, and develop their structures.
The American army recently invested heavily in 3D printing in order to be able to directly print uniforms, synthetic skin to care for the wounded, food, or tools and spare parts for vehicles or weapons directly on the ground.
MIT has already initiated the next stage of printing by evoking a 4D technology with printed materials capable of changing shape depending on certain factors (electric voltage, temperature change, contact with water or air ). This technology is of interest to the army, which sees it as an opportunity to print chameleon uniforms whose properties or appearance would change depending on the environment.
Recently, it was NASA that deployed a 3D printer, the first in history, in space. She demonstrated this by sending a socket wrench by email, printed directly from the ISS.
But these printed parts are also now easier to install in certain complex devices such as aircraft reactors, rocket cooling modules. BAE Systems raised the idea that one day the company would be able to fully print an aircraft from a 3D printing station.
A set of questions then arises in the face of this technological advance. If restrictive measures have been adopted internationally concerning the possession of certain objects such as firearms, certain military technologies … How will the world regulate the use of these printers capable of reproducing with precision almost any element?
The advanced production technique that this type of machine allows should open the door to some abuse. We could judge this with the printing of firearms, but what about sophisticated bombs made compact thanks to 3D printing?
Almost 30 years after its invention, 3D printing is about to really take off, and everyone will soon be able to access creation and production techniques that were impossible with traditional methods. "It is the first time in a very long time that such a radical upheaval in industrial engineering has taken place," shared the head of BAE Systems.