3D printing is the latest craze in the technology. In fact businesses see a huge potential in this technology. For those that are not familiar with this innovative idea, the idea is the same as paper printing. You need to have your 3D design, input it into the machine and the machine will create a prototype of the design. The prototype is built layer by layer according to the design using either particle or liquid raw material. However, just like other technologies, 3D printing can have its pros and cons. Let us now look at the pros and cons of using 3D printing.
Pros of 3D printing
The pros of using 3D printing would include making processes finish faster. In a design company for example, the usual process would be first come up with the design of the new product. Once the design has been approved, they send the design to a third party company to make the prototypes. The prototypes would be sent to the company for final checking and modifications. Overall, this would take weeks. With the help of 3D printing, this process would be shortened because once the company has the design they can just make the prototype on their own.
The next advantage would deal with safety issues. Most of the time making the prototype is done manually. Whatever the machine can’t do, this is done manually. This is to ensure that all the details of the design have been included and also to ensure the quality of the prototype being produced. Aside from the longer time spent in manual work, injury is also a big possibility especially to the person making the prototype. There are companies who make prototypes using big machines but the operation of these machines requires personnel. They are still prone to danger. Using the 3D printer would significantly reduce the level of danger to those who are making the prototypes.
Cons of 3D printing
One of the disadvantages of using 3D printing is the possible manufacturing of dangerous weapons. As we all know, anyone can get almost anything from the internet – including designs of dangerous weapons. If these design fall into the wrong hands especially those that have 3D printer, they could make dangerous weapons easily. Aside from that, 3D printing could also be used for counterfeiting. Designs of different objects can easily be duplicated and sold as counterfeits by unsuspecting customers.
Lastly, mass production of 3D printers could replace cheap labour. This could be advantageous for manufacturing companies because they can save cost in the long run. However, many people would lose jobs especially those that are working in the prototyping industry. Most of the workers in this industry know only this skill and they might have a hard time shifting to other industry. Before mass producing 3D printing, the pros and cons should be reviewed by experts. They should see to it that the technology helps the entire population and not only a small sector of the society.