With the rise of 3D printing, we’ve also witnessed the rise of common misconceptions surrounding many aspects of the 3D printing industry.
From electronics and 3D modeling software to questions about cost and productivity- Here are a few 3D printing myths debunked!
1. 3D Printers Are Too Expensive
From the time when 3D printing was invented until the 2000s, it was true that 3D printers could only really be purchased for industrial purposes.
But nowadays, high quality, consumer-grade printers are available to anyone at prices that affordable!
Don’t believe us? Read our previous post about the 5 Best Geeetech 3D Printers for more information.
2. 3D Printers can print guns
Yes, it is possible to 3D print a gun. But it is a difficult task, and also a dangerous one. A 3D printed plastic gun will only last for a few shot before breaking apart, which can be potentially dangerous to the shooter.
If you are concerned that 3D printed guns are a security issue, know that the cost of making one includes: the purchase of a 3D printer and the materials, the time to 3D print and assemble the parts, and still the bullets. At this point, someone might as well purchase a real gun.
Also, 3D printed guns are banned in several countries, in some you can even go to jail by downloading the blueprints.
3. The market for 3D Printing is still not stable enough
By definition, a stable market is “A market with low trading volume that can nevertheless absorb a large sale without a major change in price. In most low volume markets, a single large sale causes a big jump or drop in price because there are relatively few other sales against which to compare the large scale. The term is most common in foreign exchange.”
Market analysts say that the 3D printing market has already stabilized and will see more stable growth in the coming years than in the past years.
4. 3D Printers can print human organs
Though 3D printed implants are being used in the medical field, we haven’t still been able to develop fully functional organs! The main problem is that human organs are not only very complex but also interdependent.
For now, the focus is on being able to print simple tissue for simple organisms. You can read more about how 3D printing implants are being used in surgery here
5. 3D Printing is only for large-scale manufacturing.
Not true! At the moment it wouldn’t make sense to start manufacturing everything using 3D printing technologies. 3D printing isn’t fast enough to be profitable on a large scale. The only exception is when dealing with custom-made products. Hearing aids, for example, are highly customized products with special geometric forms. In this case, it is already cheaper to manufacture hearing aids with 3D printing rather than with traditional manufacturing processes.
6. Soon every home will have a 3D printer
Though this would be a dream, 3D printing services have become very affordable. Hence economically, it wouldn’t pay off to purchase a 3D printer for the limited amount of items they might want to print every year, and they would rather invest in the 3D printing services!
But, you never really know. Maybe this dream could become a reality!
7. 3D Printers only print plastic
3D printers can now comfortably print metals, wood, resins, bio-materials, and even carbon fiber. It all depends on the filament technology. In fact, 3D metal printing is the fastest growing segment of the industrial and medical field.
8. Things are faster to make, on a 3D Printer
Although it has become faster, 3D printing still takes longer than most traditional manufacturing processes. Also, reliability is an issue. If the 3D printer screws up, you’ll have to start all over again.
In certain cases, of course, 3D printing would be faster, if the object to be manufactured has a very complex shape and doesn’t need to be mass produced.
9. It is cheaper to make some things on a 3D Printer
It all depends on the quantity and the complexity of the product. The cost per item remains the same for whatever amount of items you wish to 3D print. Using traditional means, however, the price of production decreases as the number of items increases.
So: Yes, some things are cheaper to make on a 3D printer.
10. 3D Printers will save the world
3D printing definitely has huge potential for making this world a better place. Some would argue that 3D printing will enable people to cheaply produce high-quality goods and necessities by themselves. However, this will only be the case if the 3D printing industry becomes a fully open source.
One thing’s for sure- 3D printing is here to stay and make a big impact on future technology!