People are always searching for new and better ways to improve their standard of living. Over the years, they have raised the bar for technological progress by inventing new tools, machines, and methods to add value to daily activities and to find new ways of meeting human needs. The invention of the wheel, learning how to build a fire, the printing press, and electricity is all the significant milestones in the journey of human progress and the advancement of technology. This has also resulted in the growth of the 3D printing business to a great extent, making the lives of people easy.
Today, technology has become entangled in our daily life. We all walk around with a smartphone in our hands and continually exchanging information over the Web. Virtually every aspect of our life from the way we learn to the way we entertain ourselves is linked with the Internet.
A key aspect of technology has been automation as we have sought ways to delegate mundane activities to machines so that we can invest time and energy in coming up with the next significant innovation. This has led to the confluence of machines and the Internet, giving birth to the idea of IoT or the Internet of Things. This technology has implications not only for our homes but for entire cities and communities.
Thanks to our busy lifestyles, there are aspects of our daily living that we find it challenging to manage because we aren’t physically present there. Things, like switching the lights on and off, turning on the sprinkler system, or activating the security system, are things that can quickly happen via an automated system without human involvement. Nowadays, all of this can be done through a smartphone. All appliances are connected to the Internet, which means that your AC can adjust the temperature by monitoring the indoor and outdoor temperature, and your fridge can monitor its contents and order things you are running out of from the supermarket. These are just a few instances of how the IoT is taking responsibility for most of the everyday tasks of your home.
The potential of IoT extends to business as well. Businesses and entrepreneurs are experimenting with new ways to leverage IoT to create new products and services. 3D printing business is one such domain that has emerged in recent times that uses printing technology to develop prototypes for companies that develop new products for the market.
3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing and continues to evolve as manufacturers continue to research new ways to create models efficiently and quickly. With this technology, we can develop models in real-time according to different materials, shapes, sizes, and colors. This technology has considerably reduced the time it usually takes companies to create prototypes or models for new products. New product concepts can be tested quickly and at a lower cost. It also becomes cost-effective to change the design and create different versions of the model before finalizing the most effective one.
When 3D manufacturing is combined with IoT, it seems like a logical combination as both are emerging fields in the technology domain. The manufacturing process of printed circuit boards has already embraced 3D printing as the prototypes for these boards are printed using 3D printing. Nano Dimension is an Israeli company that is investing in creating a 3D printing machine that could print these circuit boards in layers for IoT devices.
An IoT device typically begins with the creation of a proof of concept. At this stage, a prototype is created, which closely resembles the final product design but is produced at a much lower cost. It is also manufactured in a fraction of the time. The findings of this stage are fed into the following stage. Due to this facility, the time to bring an IoT product from the concept stage to the market is significantly reduced. Thus, the merger of 3D printing for IoT applications is intuitive and offers many benefits for making technology accessible to the average person. Compared to conventional manufacturing methods, the costs of a 3D printed IoT device are much lower.
In the coming years, 3D printing is going to become sophisticated enough to enable manufacturers to produce more complicated product designs. Products can be manufactured in small batches instead of having long production runs. This makes small batch production more economical for producers. This aspect of 3D printing offers immense potential for growth in the consumer, medical, and automobile industries. Even an average individual with an idea for an innovative product can quickly produce and test a prototype by using a simple 3D printer.