Emerging Technologies in Transportation Casebook/3D Printing/Implementation: current uses of 3D Printing

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  • Scanning technology for 3D modeling is becoming rapidly cheaper, more effective, easier to use, and more accessible to the average person.  For example, Samsung is incorporating 3D Scanning hardware and software into their high-end phones like the Galaxy Note 10,[1] proliferating the technology and making it more accessible.  Simultaneously, companies like Scan Dimension are producing dedicated 3D scanners which are affordable to have in homes and/or classrooms everywhere, and which work with multiple operating systems.[2]  These developments will put rapid design and iteration capability into the hands of more and more of the population, stimulating creativity and broadening the horizons of the technology itself as well as the industry as a whole.
  • 3D printing itself is rapidly advancing to greater and greater capabilities through fidelity and material abilities, while also becoming more and more affordable.  Competition is rampant at present, with companies as big as Hewlett-Packard competing with successful recent startups like Lulzbot for space within the wide and varied 3D printing market.  Current materials include plastics, thermoplastics, flexible and rigid resin, Kevlar®, carbon fiber, fiberglass, copper, steel, and more.[3] As hardware and software advances to produce ever stronger and more detailed products, more sectors are adopting 3D printing into their processes and business plans. Capacity and capability exist across multiple fields and industries, including fashion, design, medical, automotive, aerospace, infrastructure, fitness, maritime, and more, not to mention innovators and hobbyists who just want something to tinker with at home.
  • With the increased capabilities offered by these scanners and printers, 3D printing is being utilized by more people and within more market sectors each day. The ability to print nearly anything desired without requiring the creation or retooling of an entire production process or assembly line grants tremendous opportunity in almost any area. As long as the right raw material and printing hardware and software are available, a small company or individual can produce parts or whole end-items on printers small enough to fit on a desk, or large enough to take up a two-car garage, from almost any material while meeting very precise specifications.[4]
< What is 3D Printing? Software & Hardware - - - Future developments >


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  1. https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/samsung-unveils-new-galaxy-note-10-model-with-instant-3d-scanning-capabilities-159877/
  2. https://scandimension.com/collections/scanners; https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/scan-dimension-updates-sol-3d-scanner-software-167382/
  3. https://markforged.com/materials/; https://all3dp.com/2/3d-print-rubber-is-rubber-3d-printing-possible/
  4. https://www.quora.com/Is-3D-printing-the-future-of-manufacturing