From improved efficiency to more advanced fabrication possibilities, specialized 3-D printing sub-sectors are emerging that cater to an array of enterprise buyers with money to inject into the field. Machines can now produce materials with potential health applications, such as human cartilage, plus batteries, LEDs and motor components. But what is the environmental impact of 3-D printing?
Many people look at end use parts as the nirvana of 3-D printing. But what's really interesting about 3-D printing is not how it's augmenting the way things are done traditionally. It's the way designers are utilizing 3-D printing as a new paradigm to help design a new kind of object.
The year is 2017. Nearly every one of the 120 million households in the U.S. has its own multicolor 3DC3 printer with a C3 bath (a C3H6O finishing tank). The president of the United States officially announces a total end to consumer imports of plastic goods.
Forging a revolution in thought, application and process, the expansion policies set into place across the country have spurred a new environment in manufacturing – one which is set to renew what we know of industry, change the way we produce goods and spark innovations of intellect and function across many sectors as well as society as a whole. If there's any other definition necessary for a renaissance, we don't know of one.
Since David Friedfeld took over ClearVision Optical from his father in 1985, he's seen most eyewear manufacturing move overseas. The 120-employee company, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., is bringing a small piece of it back. Last year, Friedfeld purchased an entry-level 3D printer for just under $3,000. He still does the bulk of his manufacturing abroad, but he can now print eyeglass prototypes in-house.