The challenge with 3D Printing is not the machine itself but the materials. The current generation of desktop 3D Printers has limits to what can be created. If a small, personalized model in cheap material is preferred, then that is what the desktop 3D Printer can do.
A change is brewing as manufacturers of 3D Printers are looking to expand the materials available for them. By the end of this year, it would offer materials such as iron, bronze and maple wood. A number of projects are printed in new materials such as carbon fiber and fake wood.
3D Printing products are based on the materials that effectively pushes paste out of the syringes. The interesting thing is that it expands the pallet of the materials which allows a large number of different materials to be printed on a similar hardware platform alongside a wider band of materials.
The first ever 3D Printer costs $8,999 and uses thermoplastic as well as the conductive silver ink. It lets you print the electronics and shows off the fully functioning quadcopter that almost entirely printed it in one go. The blades that are needed are also attached separately. It is a really flexible platform for printing various materials.
The hardware is not what’s holding back the materials but its modular design. It can simply pop up the parts that are needed for the printer to effectively print out the new materials. The innovation behind 3D Printing is the material science behind the materials that are being printed. It is not trivial to get a conductive ink in the correct specifications. It should be controlled through the nozzle. It tends to be runny when put on substration and can also be printed and curable at the room temperature that does not need any post-curing in order for it to be printed together with another material.
By considering the conductive ink, a proprietary formula comes from the laboratory. Mixed with the silver, the solvent evaporates at the room temperature that cures the liquid-letting which hardens it into a filament. That means that there is no heat or special light that is required. It is possible to print electronics by programming the channel or the ink and then covering it with the plastic before carrying it for printing.
The combination of materials, plastic and conductive ink, is the key. 3D Printing experts and analysts believe that the printing of multiple material categories such as plastics and wirings, metals, ceramics and composites are possible in one go. That is the big trend that is most likely to happen. This will be over the course of the next couple of years.
That is already possible for high-end industrial printers that could cost as much as $250,000. These models can print parts that are rigid and flexible. These printers are indicators that we are on our way to modernize 3D Printing more and more. As long as there is the demand for 3D Printing and manufacturers succeed in providing them with the supply that they need at rates they can afford, then this niche will continue in the coming years.