Is it Time to say Goodbye to Conventional Printers?

With 3D printing well and truly entering its own, is it time to say goodbye to conventional printers?

Well, so far, 3D printing has never failed to impress and amaze us. Whether it is news relating to medical wonders or a new fashion line being printed as we speak, it is fair to say that the world is in awe of this new technology. In fact, there has been a lot of talk about how this technology can revolutionise several different industries as a whole.

According to the BBC, Dan Walmsley, of Strakka Racing, said: “It’s a very exciting technology. It gives us the benefit of reduced lead times, reduced costs and increases the flexibility for our engineers to be creative.”

He continued: “Concept to final product used to be a minimum of maybe four weeks, whereas now it can be the next day.”

With a cut in costs and a speedy delivery time, 3D printing has the potential to change the racing industry as we know it. But how does it help in other industries?

In the medical world, there has been a very exciting development in the way that 3D printing is used, specifically during surgery. According to Inside3DP, Dr Hélio Rubens Machado performed an operation on a baby using 3D printing. The infant was suffering from a disease known as Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS). Sufferers of SWS grow an additional layer on the surface of the brain.

During the surgery, Dr Machado used a model that had been produced by 3D printing technology as a guide.

This model allowed him to remove the parts of the brain that had been damaged, and gave him an accurate replica to study beforehand too. The operation is said to have been a success and Inside3DP claims that this “could prove to be a benchmark for further surgeries concerning infants with SWS.”

Whilst 3D printing itself is still a relatively new concept that is now being put to good use, has it really pushed conventional printers below the bar?

In short, no. Admittedly, conventional printers aren’t yet capable of such achievements, but they still have plenty of room for development and in a few years’ time, they too could be hitting the headlines. In addition, without conventional printing, we wouldn’t have things like traditional means of marketing and entertainment, such as flyers and books.

A printer is essential for a business, small or large, and even in the high-tech medical word, printing is used every single day for things like discharge letters. Without conventional printers, all the little details would essentially be lost.

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