The consumer 3D printing hype that promised a 3D printer in every household didn’t quite pan out, but industry use of the technology is only increasing, signaled by the acquisition of metal 3D printer company Concept Laser by GE Aviation.
This is because, in addition to its use for prototyping, additive manufacturing (AM) provides unprecedented methods for producing custom parts on demand and with complex geometries unachievable with traditional manufacturing technologies.
AM is seeing increasing adoption by a wide range of industries and applications. Six of those industries are described below.
On an immediate level, 3D printing can be used to produce detailed architecture models. Rather than rely on past methods for creating models of buildings, it’s possible to convert standard CAD models used to design structures into 3D-printable files.
This can be done with simple entry-level 3D printers or even high-end industrial systems that achieve high levels of color and detail. For instance, WhiteClouds, which boasts one of the world’s largest full-color 3D printing factories, offers a service called 3DyourPLAN with which the firm will 3D print full-color architectural models.
In the long term, it will become even more possible to 3D print the buildings themselves. The technology is still in the proof-of-concept stage, with the only 3D-printed building actually in use at the moment being the Office of the Future in Dubai. Numerous endeavors are underway, however, to make 3D-printed buildings a widespread reality. In fact, several countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, are working on incorporating the technology into government strategies for the future of construction...More
Source from : http://www.engineering.com/