When we talk about additive manufacturing many of us think about the advantages 3D printing at home has for us, as simple consumers. In theory, 3D printing offers the possibility to print almost everything we want. From office supplies to, home décor items, to toys and even shoes, 3D printing could just be the revolution many of us waited for so long.
3D technology is successfully used in engineering, design and architecture reducing significantly the prototyping and manufacturing time. It is also applied in medicine, with significant advancement in the recent years.
However, there is another trend that has gained popularity among 3D printing enthusiasts, and namely the DIY trend, embraced by users of home 3D printers.
8 benefits of consumer 3D printing
With the larger availability of 3D printing devices, it is likely that almost every person will soon have one in their home, making use of it in the most ingenious ways and to their own convenience. We’ve compiled a list of 8 benefits that 3D printing within the confines of one’s home can bring to the large pool of consumers all around the world.
You can have the desired object at one click’s reach
There is a wide availability of online printing services that place all types of items, for any purposes at the consumer’s disposal. You can find there interior design objects, telephone accessories, glass frames, jewelry and many more. What’s more curious is that these services provide custom-tailored services, or they can create an object from your own picture you give them.
All it takes is several minutes to upload the picture you want and in several clicks your order has been made and you can calmly wait for it to be brought to your doorsteps. Or, you can choose from the large variety of objects the services display on their online platforms, hit a “Buy” button and voila, you have ‘run your 3D printing errands’ without leaving the comfort of your couch.
Read this: 3D Printing for Fun: Hobby/DIY and Scale Models
As more and more people get access to 3D printing and show interest for the newish technology, it won’t be long until every home will have a 3D printer to print almost everything they will need, at any time of the day.
One more important factor is that manufacturers of 3D printers have seen that there is an increasing demand for consumer-oriented 3D printers and are developing and launching new models that are focusing on serving consumerism. The fervent competition between 3D printer manufacturers will only be of benefit for consumers. In their quest to gain more and more customers, manufacturers will set the price for these devices at a more affordable level.
At the beginning, creation of 3D models was possible only through expensive and difficult to use software. Now, all 3D printing amateurs can create their own 3D models with free software, such as Google Sketchup! or Meshlab. What’s more is that there is a wide variety of filaments, for all tastes and pockets. And with a little bit of imagination, people are capable of getting their hands on unique things for their home or office, in a multitude of shapes and patterns.
Read this: A Guide to Choosing the Right 3D Printing Filament: ABS vs PLA Part 1
A Guide to 3D Printing Filaments: Part 2. Nylon vs PET vs PVA/HIPS
An outsourced prototype can sometimes cost a fortune for a simple design. What if you want a more complex model? Creating the same prototype on a home 3D printer can be cost saving. Even though you don’t have 3D modelling skills, there are online platforms where 3D trend followers share their own creations for free.
3D printing opens new doors for everything: from interesting and creative ideas for gifts and surprises for friends, to interior design objects with modern and futuristic forms and patterns. And all this is possible with lower out-of-the-pocket expenses.
No shipping involved
How many times have you been displeased with the shipping service of one or another manufacturer? There is the delay factor, the loss factor, the damaged factor, and the probability that you won’t get exactly the good you’ve ordered. Then it is the return factor, if you are not happy with the quality of the received good.
With 3D printing at home you can avoid the headache. All it takes is to have a computer and a 3D printer connected to the computer to be able to print 3D models whenever your heart desires. All materials are digital, which is also a cost effective benefit, as no transportation fees apply.
Develop own creative thinking
3D printing can be seen as a new solution for developing your child’s creative thinking. We all know that children nowadays are fascinated by new technology. So why not teaching them to use it for their own pleasure first, so that later on they could use it in their personal education purposes?
Completing complex school or college projects will no longer be an annoying task. The technology can be used to get tangible objects for various curricula. Architecture students can make physical models of their designs, and medical students can quickly make 3D body organs and molecular models. And what’s even cooler than that is that your project will stand out from your fellow students’.
Apart from educational purposes, 3D printing can be used to put your children’s creative thinking at work. They can create their own toys, their favorite game characters to interact in the real world, hobby/craft/DIY stuff and personalized accessories for their gadgets and witness the production process without leaving the house.
Read this: 3D Printing of Video Games Figures/Content to see more opportunities that 3D printing brings to home 3D printer users.
Absolute and total customization
3D printing allows customizing the object you’re willing to print according to your liking. There is no limit to the personalization and customization level. This is something that will emphasize your individuality. Whether you are an eccentric person who likes to be surrounded by extravagant objects or just have a passion for exotic accessories, or you just don’t like to be like others, 3D printing can contribute to bringing the individuality in us.
It can make all your physical stuff just as original as you are. Once you’ve got used to creating your own stuff according to your personal specifications, you will no longer want to get back to wearing ‘faceless’ jewelry and buy mass consumerism house furnishings.
Model accuracy and quality
With 3D printing at home you can be in charge of the accuracy and quality of your printed objects. Having basic 3D modeling skills will allow you to identify potential faults in the printable files and repair them before starting the production. This way, you increase your final product’s shelf life, as it will break less often.
Also, the new advancements in home-based 3D printers allow printing models with a lot of tiny details, in the most accurate way. As the 3D printer’s nozzle is able to create most complex patterns and shapes, limited only by the human imagination, it gives the objects more durability and structural integrity.
Just have a look at Chaplain 3D printed model, from Warhammer video game.
From the pictures above you can see that the 3D model is a detailed replica of the video game character and that 3D printing managed to reproduce nicely even the smallest elements.
New business models
3D printing and 3D prototyping of cool stuff can be a very profitable occupation. As the trend of 3D printing house items, gadget accessories and other personalized stuff is expanding, people can gain money from selling their own creative designs. There are a lot of online marketplaces specially designed for those who want to sell their creations.
If video games are your life, you have great 3D modeling skills, and you follow trends in the gaming industry you can join Gambody’s community of game enthusiasts and share with them your personal 3D designs of game-related items and characters. Registering with our 3D marketplace will allow you to sell your own designs and get revenue share from sales.
3D printing at home has really built an environment where every individual, from parents to kids, can enjoy the benefits of the technology. It is amazing to see how this solution makes the creation of new things in matter of several hours possible. We really are eager to see what new advancements will be made for 3D printing for consumer use. Are you?