It may seem like something far into the future, but 3D printing is already impacting much of our daily lives.  From improvements and advancements in transportation, medicine and even food creation, 3D printing impacts our lives more than you could have ever guessed.  It has even been said that 3D printing is the “manufacturer of tomorrow.”  It is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and one that will continue to influence us, our lives and our world for an indefinite time to come. Here are 5 ways 3D printing technology is improving people’s lives:

  1. Easier and cheaper transportation:

Originally, most modes of transportation, from cars to airplanes, are expensive to design and produce. But by 2020, at least 100,000 airplane parts will be designed and produced through 3D 
printing services. 3D printed Bicycles that are half the weight and equally strong as traditional ones are already on the market. This shift towards environmentally friendly and economic technology is improving the lives of so many people around the world. And it doesn’t only improve human transportation, 3D printed objects and much cheaper and easier to ship, and better yet, a home 3D printer spears so many people transportation altogether, futurely we will see online stores selling 3D plans of objects for you to print yourself instead of selling the actual product.

  1. Advancements in medical field

The high cost of human prostheses has long been a challenge for amputees and people born with missing limbs, but 3D printers have begun to change that. Unlike traditional manufacturing, 3D printing can create an object in almost any shape by reading a digital model. Using cheap materials, companies and non-profits can now print simple prosthetic hands and arms for as little as $50. The technology has also allowed for more flexibility, opening the door for beautiful designs. It is even possible to print organs, by 2025, 3D printers will have the ability to print human organs. By simply using a patient’s individual DNA, 3D printers will be able to create, develop and print real, human organs. Therefore, rather than completely replacing organs in situations like cancer, failure and disease, using 3D printing technology, it will be possible to instead repair the affected organs. 

  1. Revolutionizing education

Many teachers are using 3D printing in the classroom today, and surveys show that 77 percent of teachers intend to increase usage of 3D printers for lessons. 3D printing is playing an increasingly important role in the promotion and encouragement of STEM education amongst young students. With its ability to produce physical objects, the technology provides a hands on way for kids to learn about and engage with a variety of subjects. With 3D printers being developed specifically for the classroom—and with programs such as GE Additive’s Education Program—a growing number of kids are learning about 3D design, 
CAD, programming and manufacturing processes with the help of 3D printing. Even young children can learn about the production process and 3D modeling programs with kid-friendly software and 3D printers. 

Elsewhere, 3D prints are being utilized to produce tactile models to help students learn about things like mental health, robotics and more. Overall, the creativity that 3D printing affords makes it a perfect technology for introducing students to all sorts of science, technology, engineering and math subjects.

  1. Affordable housing

3D printed housing has been touted as a possible solution for low-income housing. Earlier this year, ICON and New Story made headlines for their $4,000 
3D printed house. The 3D printing technology used for the build is reportedly capable of constructing a single story, 600-800 square foot home in under 24 hours and is ultimately intended for producing housing in developing areas. Creative design agency Framlab also proposed the development of 3D printed pods to help house New York’s homeless and, eventually, to combat homelessness in every city. The pod project, called Homed, consists of a prefabricated outer aluminum shell with 3D printed polycarbonate interior modules and fitted with a customizable range of interiors.

Dubai, one of the most state-of-the-art cities in the world, has already attempted 3D printing in construction and has named the building “the Office of the Future.”  By using 3D printing technologies to design and create buildings, it will save the construction sector on all fronts, such as labor and even the cost of materials.  The United Arab Emirates, among other nations, feels so strongly about the future of 3D printing that it’s intended to used 3D printing to create at least 25% of its skyline by 2030.

  1. Cultural preservation:

The destruction by ISIS and other terrorist organizations of precious works of art from humanity’s heritage—such as the giant Buddhas in Afghanistan or the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria—shocked the world and prompted many artists, archeologists and NGOs to work together to rebuild, replace or protect them from future dangers. 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies have been used to rebuild and preserve priceless artifacts such as the burial site and even the full mummy of Tutankhamon and to rebuild parts of the city of Palmyra itself. Studio Factum Arte has worked on several of these preservation projects.

At the same time, 3D printing can also be used in education and to make art and historical artifacts more available to those who suffer from visual or motion impairment as well as to those who live in remote areas of the world. Giving painting a physical form or enabling people to touch replicas of artifacts that need to be kept under protective covers—and to reproduce them almost anywhere in the world—is radically changing the way people access and learn about art and history. In fact, 3D printing service provider Materialize recently went so far as to 3D print a full-size mammoth.

As this technology evolves, more and more uses for it will appear, and of course there already are way more ways it impacts our way of life than mentioned here. But the more important thing is, how can we as humans and users of this technology, make more positive use of it than negative.

Author's Bio: 

New York Times bestselling author Ayesha Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed mysteries. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Ayesha is afraid of basements, bees, and going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Let’s face it. Ayesha wouldn’t last five minutes in one of his books.

Ayesha is best known for his Southern Ghost Hunter mysteries and for his Accidental Demon Slayer books.