3D-printing and consumers
3D-printing offers consumers unprecedented amount of choices in regards to products, hobbies and even cuisine. The most important services for customers are for example 3D-printing services for different domestic appliance spare parts, jewels and ornaments. Consumers can design their products themselfs or order products designed by someone else from internet. The product can be ordered from service provider all the way to home, or go and print it at the nearest selfprint service point.
Some of the most famous companies providing 3D-printed parts are iMaterialise (Belgium) and ShapeWays (United States). Both companies have wide range of 3D-models and wide range of materials for 3D-printing. A selfmade 3D-model can also be uploaded to both service provider trough their websites.
Couple of the most popular and simple softwares for designing 3D-models are TinkerCad and AutoDesk 123D.
Below are some examples of consumers / amateur usecases for 3D-printing:
- For cars, domestic appliances, sports equipment (eg. bicycles). Especially with car hobbyists 3D-printing has become popular as it makes it possible for hobbyist to manufacture high-quality customized tuned parts cost-effectively.
Picture 1. A spare part implemented as a student project (broken part on the right, new spare part on the left)
Picture 2. Drone frames implemented as student projects for different applications.
Figures and small scale models
Picture 3. Figure and small scale model 3D-printing are common usecases with hobbyists. Source: Formnext 2018
Picture 4. 3D-printing enables manufacturing of lighting fitting applications also for consumers. Source: Materialise 2019
Jewels & Ornaments
Picture 5. 3D-printed seld designed jewel
In future consumers are going to see more and more consumerproducts which have been fully or partially manufactured using 3D-printing. For example shoe-industries offer already in addition to customer tailored insoles for shoes, whole shoes and sandals which have been manufactured using 3D-printing.
Picture 6. In 2018 Adidas launched to markets shoes with 3D-printed sole frames. Source: Formnext 2018