Technology has undoubtedly changed the way we live and our definition of the world. Our capabilities are no longer restricted by our human traits or imagination. Now any layman can easily create any objects they wish to by the technology of 3-dimensional (3D) printing.
In simple terms, 3D printing works by taking a created 3D model of the object we want to bring to life (i.e. print) and turning it into numerous 2-dimensional and cross-sectional layers (horizontally and vertically), accurately shaping the insides and outsides of the object. These layers will then be printed on repeatedly using deposits of molten plastic or powder, fused together with adhesive, which is a material used to bind objects together (like glue). All of which is controlled and operated by a computer to ensure an unmistaken precision and swiftness of the process.
The advancements in 3D printing technology have enabled scientists to reshape the nature of many industries. Several aviation industry leaders have already started setting strategies and plans for printing aerospace equipment. On the other hand, NASA is already testing 3D printers in the International Space Station (ISS) and managed to print its first maintenance tool in an effort to build the needed equipment instead of waiting for resupply. Also, they are planning to send robots instead of astronauts to other planets to construct buildings and research tools through 3D printing. Similarly, the 3D printing technology in medicine has helped save countless lives with the printing of precise models of teeth, bones, organs and complex structures like hands which enabled surgeons and doctors to successfully plan for procedures and treatments, while the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in USA has recently approved the first 3D-printed drug for public use.
Even though the 3D printing technology is still in its infancy, its possibilities are unconceivable by the human mind and the advancements in the field are growing at a staggering rate as 3D printers are becoming available for the public and at affordable prices. While they entail countless benefits in any field, 3D printers are going to disrupt many industries and mass manufacturers since everyone will be able to print anything one requires, eventually wiping out many businesses we know today. Thus, many industries will have to revolutionize their strategies, products and services to exploit these opportunities while laws be put to restrict the items printed and by who they are printed.