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· Volume III Issue I

Technology is increasing rapidly, and it frequently achieves things that we never imagined were feasible. Many technology devices are so advanced that it comes to a point where one's computer can print actual material from the conceptualization of the design. This innovation is also known as Additive Manufacturing (AM), which builds a physical object using modeling data. In the early days of technology, AM referred to the process carried out by larger industrial machines. Later, 3D printing was the opposite of AM, where the process was done on a smaller scale. 3D printing is a development of conventional printing in which a layer of material is applied, while in traditional printing, we use ink. It can build three-dimensional objects out of a variety of materials. Furthermore, 3D printing is enabling some remarkable things; it is transforming many industries from the space and construction sector, automotive industry, medical and education field.

 The birth of 3D printing that we know today is when Charles W. Hull dialed his wife's number and requested her to drive down to his laboratory right now, and when she came, he handed her a tiny cup. The cup was the first 3D-printed part from the first three-dimensional (3D) printer. Hull received an award for his invention; Stereolithography is a printing technique that employs UV light to construct a 3D object layer by layer. The most known technology used in 3D printers is fused deposition modeling (FDM), also known as fused filament fabrication (FFF). A filament is composed of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA), or another thermoplastic – melted and placed in layers using a heated extrusion nozzle.

 Hull said that "3D printing and the technologies of digital manufacturing – robotics, machining, casting, molding, and most importantly, the integration of different technologies to get a synergistic effect – levels the level playing field around the world. The majority of advancements in digital manufacturing are yet to be created. – more inventors, more innovators, more entrepreneurs have a chance to participate." And he was right. 3D printing has evolved immensely since Hull applied fin 1984 for his stereolithography The expiration of several 3D printing patents around 2014 triggered a surge in the technology's adoption. The items made with 3D printers are shoe designs, furniture, wax castings for making jewelry, tools, tripods, gift and novelty items, and toys. 3D printing technology is rapidly progressing and on its way to becoming a fixture in every home. (McCausland, 2020)

Developers may use 3D printing to rapidly transform ideas into 3D models or prototypes, also known as "rapid prototyping," and then apply rapid design modifications. It enables firms to make items on demand rather than in large batches, improving inventory management and reducing storage space. People in remote areas may now create items that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. In practice, 3D printing may save money and material over subtractive processes since very little raw material is used. It also aims to transform the nature of production by ultimately allowing customers to download data for printing even complicated 3D things, such as electrical gadgets, in their own homes.

Throughout the decades, 3D printing technology influences the industrial business. Many businesses and engineers are gearing up to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Mobility Goes Additive (MGA), a worldwide network of 3D printing organizations, has created, an online platform where members can share knowledge and collaborate to produce breakthrough solutions. They can propose COVID-19-specific use industrial applications, such as face shields, masks, and hands-free door openers.

 In the healthcare business, 3D printing is frequently used in prosthetics. The 2019 publication, "Implementation of 3D Printing Technology in the Field of Prosthetics: Past, Present, and Future," delves into the growth of technology as well as new research and development of prostheses. In the early 16th century, Ambroise Paré invented the first hinged prosthetic hand and leg with a locking knee joint. Richard van As, a South African carpenter who lost four fingers on his right hand while using a circular saw over five centuries later, collaborated with Iven Owen to create the world's first 3D-printed robohand. Another use is 3D bioprinting. "3D Bioprinting for Organ Regeneration," published in 2016, provided an overview of current developments in 3D bioprinting technology, as well as design concepts suited for the bioprinting process. Scientific and medical professionals will continue to develop promising technologies such as 3D bioprinting, which might save thousands of lives without the need for a donor.

The technology, commonly promoted as a more sustainable alternative to traditional production, has significant environmental concerns. Fast Company published "3D printing isn't as green as you think" in 2018, in which the writers claim that, while 3D printing has been lauded as an industrial revolution, the technology's environmental effect is still not completely understood. According to the authors, it is only dubbed "green" technology since 3D-printing systems create very little waste, and 3D printers in homes, businesses, and community centers may utilize digital blueprints to make items onsite, eliminating the need to carry products to end-users. It solely considers the energy required during manufacturing and overlooks raw material production and waste management effects. The writers refer to The Journal of Industrial Ecology released a special edition in 2017 that was fully dedicated to the environmental aspects of additive manufacturing and 3D printing. As the number of 3D printers and uses of the technology grows, recycling 3D plastic waste will become a significant environmental problem. 

These considerations change in mindset that needs to develop at the leadership level. Implementing additive manufacturing for genuine commercial value has consequences that extend beyond design and engineering. Productivity, training, supply chains, product optimization, environmental effect, R&D, and overall manufacturing ROI must be considered. However, the author of the article "Could additive manufacturing fix coral reefs?" stated that using 3D printing technology also benefits the environment, citing a collaborative project between Emerging Objects, Boston Ceramics, and SECORE (Sexual Coral Restoration), which created a whole population of 3D printed substrates to attract coral larvae to reefs and encourage their reproduction. The project is an effective remedy to the various harmful environmental effects of dying corals.

 The third industrial revolution has been called 3D printing. It is in full swing and provides new chances for innovation. With the low cost of 3D printers, it is now viable for schools to purchase one.  According to the 2017 publication "The Future of 3D Printing in Education," employing 3D printing as a manufacturing technique allows students and learners to move from the conception of an idea to the fabrication of a tangible thing with relative ease. The technology allows for the rapid production of a part, which is advantageous for students learning about design. When students were involved in 3D printing projects, several schools reported improved student motivation. It just demonstrates that the kids are enthusiastic about learning about new technologies and innovation. As this technology grows, it has the potential to link marginalized and hard-to-reach groups with vital products. Overall, this new technology has the potential to revolutionize our society as well as the development sector. 3D printing is undoubtedly on track for a bright future in digital, smart manufacturing.