Over the past 10 years 3D printing has made major strides in regards to the technology and how accessible it can be to the average consumer. Prices for 3D printers range from $100 to $30,000 plus.

Now, there’s a new technique developed by MIT and Steelcase that has changed how 3D printers operate.

Current 3D printers have 3 major challenges, which include the following:

1.) The Speed it takes to complete a 3D printed object. Meaning, the amount of time it takes to print, which can take several hours to complete depending on the size of the 3D printed object.

2.) The Scale of the Project. The size of the 3D printed object is limited in regards to the size of the 3D printer. Most of which are the side of a student backpack.

3.) Material Properties: Gravity has a major effect on the structural integrity of the 3D printed object and hinders future potential for 3D printers.

Steelcase and MIT were able to move beyond these challenges and were able to build a chair. The new process uses a gel instead of a solid base and prints much faster compared to current 3D printer capabilities. In addition to this, the new process will allow for better structural integrity without putting more strain on the printed object.

Please see link for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw_IZUurOYE

Questions:

1.) what are major challenges of 3D printing?
2.) what are potential uses for this new 3D printing process?
3.) Will manufactures be more open to use 3D printing with this new process?

References:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/rapid-liquid-printing-mit-steelcase

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/04/28/mit-self-assembly-lab-rapid-liquid-printing-technology-produce-furniture-minutes-design/