We are not yet using 3D printing to create houses and automobiles, but that kind of technology seems to be on the horizon. Typically, new technology does not get perfected overnight. What may be surprising is the actual age of 3D printing. Most of the Millennial generation is younger than 3D printing. It has been around in a more primitive form since the early 1980’s.
3D Printing Today
Here are some improvements to 3D printing over the past 30 years.
- Affordable: 30 years is a long time for technology. Like most technology that has been around for a while, 3D printing is within a reasonable price range for the average consumer.
- Not All Plastic: There is a wide range of materials that have been successfully used to 3D print. While plastic still may be the most inexpensive material, the diversity of materials allows for individuals and companies to use the technology as a dynamic tool.
- Fast and Accurate: There are commercial 3D printers that are capable of creating objects thinner than a human hair.
- Self-replication: This is certainly more of a novel idea than actual improvement. The Darwin printer was designed to be capable of printing the large majority of the parts needed to make another Darwin printer.
- Jet-packs: It’s the jet-pack technology that is still lagging behind the capability of 3D printers. There is currently no safe and reliable jet-pack available for commercial purchase, but 3D printers will be ready when the time comes.