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Hello, world! My first blog post is about 3D printing!

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Shown above is a picture of a 3D printing machine. Obviously, it allows 3D printing to occur. What is 3D printing, you might ask? 3D printing is the process of creating three-dimensional objects from a digital file. This process includes a method called additive manufacturing. It is a method in which an object is created by adding material layer by layer. This has opened a lot of possibilities for the improvement of life.

If this is still not clear for you, below is a video to showcase what was mentioned above.

A very interesting video isn’t it? All credit goes to Mashable for this video. Check out their YouTube channel for more interesting videos.

With the rise of 3D printing technology, there would definitely certain benefits and certain drawbacks. There would be criticisms and praises for this applied science. There would be questions regarding its safety, price, and purpose.

Allow me to reference a list of pros and cons are directly from another website because this list expresses some ideas that I agree with in a organized and straightforward manner. All credit goes to philforhumanity.com for this excellent list:

The Advantages of 3D Printing

  1. Manufacturing Options: 3D printing provides a wide variety of manufactured products, including customizable products and even an individual’s personal designs.
  2. Rapid Prototyping: Products can more quickly go from just a design to an actual prototype.
  3. Manufacturing Speed: Just like the previous advantage, the manufacturing speed for a large number of final products is equally fast.
  4. Reduced Costs: Even though the initial setup costs are higher, 3D printing has become cheaper than cheap labor in third world countries. Additionally, the costs of 3D printing are still decreasing, with the potential of 3D printers in homes in the near future. Furthermore, the costs of customized products are the same for mass production products.
  5. Warehousing: With traditional manufacturing technologies, it is much faster and cheaper to manufacture additional products that you probably know that you will eventually need. However with 3D printing, only products that are sold need to be manufactured, thus warehousing of excess inventory is significantly less needed.
  6. More Jobs: More engineers are needed to design and build 3D printers, and more technicians are needed to maintain, use, and fix 3D printers too. Additionally, with the lower cost of manufacturing, more designers and artists would be able deliver their products to the market. Even more domestic jobs for shipping these products should be created too.
  7. Medical: One of the innovative products that 3D printing may provide is the manufacturing of customizable human body parts or organs. While these usages are still experimental, the potential advantages are huge. Imagine doctors quickly building and replacing critical organs, such as the heart, lungs, or liver that will have almost no chance of donor rejection, since the organs will be built using the patients’ unique characters and DNA.

The Disadvantages of 3D Printing

  1. Fewer Manufacturing Jobs: As with all new technologies, manufacturing jobs will decrease. This disadvantage can and will have a large impact to the economies of third world countries, especially China, that depend on a large number of low skill jobs.
  2. Limited Materials: Currently, 3D printers only manufacture products out of plastic, resin, certain metals, and ceramics. 3D printing of products in mixed materials and technology, such as circuit boards, are still under development.
  3. Copyright: With 3D printing becoming more common, the printing of copyrighted products to create counterfeit items will become more common and nearly impossible to determine.
  4. Dangerous Items: 3D printers can create dangerous items, such as guns and knives, with very little or no oversight.
  5. More Useless Stuff: One of the dangers of 3D printers is that they will be used to create more useless stuff that is bad for the environment and wallets. Fortunately, there are new methods of automatically recycling objects made by 3D printers that hold promise of better recycling in the future.
  6. Size: Currently, 3D printers are limited with the size of the products that they can create. Ultimately, large items, such as houses and building, could be created using 3D printers.

My ideas regarding 3D printing are similar to the the ones mentioned in the list. I am happy of the advantages. I get to make stuff within the comforts of my home. It is cheaper in the long run. Who does not enjoy the reduced costs and the faster production? Specifically, I’m glad of the advances in the field of medicine. It is possible to print out body parts for the people who need it most. This is revolutionary to our lives and to modern medicine. Think about it. It is beneficial to the the less fortunate that are in need of organ transplants. There would be a larger supply of organs and body parts to be donated. This can possibly satisfy the demand for organs and hopefully rectify the number of people wait-listed in organ transplants. This would  remedy the situation to an extent.

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Although 3D printing has it advantages, the cons that come with it are serious as well. Particularly, I’m alarmed by the dangerous items such as guns. This is frightening. We would be place in an environment with an additional atmosphere of fear and insecurity. Hopefully, if 3D printing achieves success in the future, our lawmakers would create policies beneficial for the greater good. These laws should put into consideration potential gun violence, infringement of copyright material, and liability for the possible danger that resulted from the creation of a particular output.

Below is a video showing 3D printed guns.

All credit goes to ABC News for this video. Check out their YouTube channel for more interesting videos.

The kind culture that would result from this technology is uncertain and relative. It has its pros and cons. It has its positive side and its negative side. The only certain thing is that it is in humanity’s hands. How we use this technology is how our culture will be defined. Will it be achieving it’s intention or will it give rise to an inadvertent result? Right now I really can’t be certain on what our culture will be. Only time will tell.

Here’s a concluding video.

TubeChop – 3D Printing: Make anything you want (01:50)

Thank you for reading this blog post. Comments, suggestions, and queries are highly appreciated.

Blog #1