3D printing will become a central tool in dentistry. Currently, dental crowns, surgical guides and
dental aligners all use 3D printing and the applications will continue to expand.
3D printing will become smarter with sensors and machine learning systems. Sensors and
cameras will provide real time feedback and affect the in-progress printing.
Metal 3D printing will continue to improve and quality assurance will increase, making this
material more applicable to manufacturing.
Automation of the post processing part of 3D printing will increase the profitability of each unit.
This will enable the technology to compete more with traditional manufacturing methods.
Material options and advancements will continue to increase. This expansion of printing mate-
rials will attract more industries and use cases. For example, composite materials that are
lightweight and strong, can help reduce manufacturing and energy costs.
The learning doesn’t stop here. You are a homesteader of this advancing technology and the field will con-
tinue to grow and change rapidly in the coming years.
For that reason, we encourage you to engage with the 3D printing community. There are many mem-
ber-driven groups you can join. One of the largest online groups for 3D printing is the LinkedIn community
for 3D printing, with around 63K members. Figure 16-11 is a screen capture from their webpage. Another
popular community is on Facebook as shown in Figure 16-12.
If you are a woman or want to support women in 3D printing, there is an organization called “Women in 3D
Printing” that has over 75 world wide chapters, a magazine, events and currently has over 17,000 members.
There are other ways to connect with the 3D Printing community. We recommend that you find online
forums that suit your level and interests, and upload your 3D model creation to online repositories to
get feedback from the community (https://reprap.org/wiki/Printable_part_sources). You could also
attend live 3D printing events, Meet-ups and webinars in your area. It’s a great way to stay informed and
FIGURE 1611: The main landing page of the LinkedIn 3D printing community with over 63k members
FIGURE 1612: A popular 3D printing community on Facebook with over 47k members, 3DUniverse.org
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We already know, 3D printing has changed the way we create and use objects. In
the future, 3D printing will change our lives financially, psychologically, socially, and
3D printing will change how we make everything from personalized pharmaceu-
tical pills to how we build custom houses. 3D Printing will continue to change our
lives in ways we can’t even imagine.
With 3D printing, we will no longer be bound to the set list of possible choices
offered by a manufacturer. We become the manufacturer ourselves.
To make this a reality, the industry and technologies will continue to advance as
more content is created, industry standards are better defined, and the process of
creating 3D models is made easier.
3D printing is still relatively young in its application and it is expanding every year
with new advancements in workflows, companies and materials. The road is not
100% certain and not 100% clear except that 3D printing will continue to evolve.
As you continue your journey into the world of 3D printing, keep in mind that the
most important application may have yet to be discovered. Maybe it will even be
created by you!
Getting Started with 3D Printing 238
237 Chapter 16: How 3D Printing Will Change Your (and Everyone Else’s) Life
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Photo courtesy: HoneyPoint3D™
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