The emergence and continued advances of 3D technology have been closely associated with having both positive and negative effects and impacts on our contemporary social and environmental levels. On the decisive hand, the advent of 3D printing technologies remains praised for promoting and sustaining a culture of innovation in the designing and production of products in society. As an emphasis, according to the available literature, 3D printing has resulted in innovative materials and new patterns of objects whose competitive value can only be exploited using 3D.
Advances and the increased acceptance of 3D printing are expected to continue changing the manufacturing industry as we know it today. Overall, with promising continued advancement of 3D printing technology in the future, and the competitive advantage such promises in terms of cost, efficiency, and reliability, the near future and beyond of 3D printing technology is bright.
In terms of cost, the cost 3D printing is, in essence, expected to continue enjoying rapid declines over the new five years. The claim is based on the truth that the technology has witnessed decreases in cost over the past few decades, a trend expected to progress and increase in future as the technology continues to appreciate rapid advancements and favorable conditions for exploiting the competitive value that come with the economics of scale in its market. Besides, the future of 3D printing technology is quite promising in terms of efficiency and accessibility since possible trends of declines in the costs will translate to increased ability to access and use this technology by many in the society.
Regulatory bodies will likely move in to pass strict laws to the entry of the industry. For instance, there is a continued trend in focusing the FDM and poly jet technologies in the 3D printing of biocompatible materials as a competitive platform for enabling the speedy prototyping of medical and dental products. Medical security cannot be placed in the hands of individuals and the private sector for this matter. We can, therefore, hypothesize that the industry will grow steadily in a series of few years but will begin to retard with the emergence of new rules following the pursuit to act ethically. Mostly governments and states will seek to make public all 3D printers.
Recommendations for Future Research
The research on 3D printing has a long way to go. In the future, there should be a platform for researchers to pool all their research findings to improve the existing 3D printing machine. This machine’s ability is associated with coming up with shapes that cannot be obtained in any other way. Simply put, this machine enhances the creativity of the highest order. The world is going through a threat of waste management, and the use of this technology will mean frequent recycling of waste materials and hence reducing pollution (Wang & Chen, 2014; Lipson & Kurman, 2013). These machines can be made to use available materials only. For instance, where the customer has plastics, metals, glass, wood, food, and even living cells, a machine suitable for using it can be made. This means the broad applicability of 3D printing technology soon and beyond.
Free, D. 2012. The University of Nevada-Reno Library offers 3-D printing. College & Research Libraries News 73(8): 455.