3D Printing is revolutionising every industry: enabling rapid prototyping, removing design constraints and promoting idea improvement. Architecture, Medicine and Dentistry are just a few of the sectors seeing substantial change at the hands of this technology.

I recently started reading the international bestseller “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel. It did not take much reading to confirm my opinion of how powerful 3D Printing is going to be as a tool for global progression. For instance, lets take the concept of vertical and horizontal progression. Vertical progression is the act of creating something new, whereas horizontal progression takes something that works in one place and makes it work somewhere else. 3D Printing strongly supports both of these developments.

Vertical Progression

For me there are two ways in which 3D printing will allow for vertical progression. Firstly through the advent of new 3D printing technologies, for example the recent creation of Carbon3D with CLIP. Secondly using 3D printing itself to create new products. I saw a fantastic example of vertical progression with 3D printing the other day, where a prototype product was used to heal broken bones 38-80% faster than the current plaster cast method. Take a look at the article here.

A prototype product enabling ultrasonic waves to heal bones up to 80% faster.

Horizontal Progression

It is even clearer to see how 3D printing enables horizontal progression. Owners of 3D printers can, in many cases, download existing models from sites like thingiverse and myminifactory and print these files at home. I remember one of the first prints I made in this category, a tooth paste pusher. Not all that exciting I realise, but for me it was still an accomplishment. I had made something for less than 50p, created no waste, no carbon footprint in shipping of the product and only had to wait 2 hours. Scale this sort of saving globally and the impact would be substantial.

This file was one of the first things I ever printed.

If you have enjoyed this article and wish to discuss any of the points, please get in touch or leave a comment below.

Callum Coles

The Power of 3D Printing

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