The jewelry industry uses wax 3D printed molds in lost wax casting. Machines from Solidscape, 3D systems and others have thousands of users in that industry.
3D wax printers for lost wax investment casting
Companies such as vexmatech 3D print sand for molding:
3d printing & Rapid Prototyping
You can also for example use Rapid Injection Molding:
Reaction Injection Moulding
You can also try Silicone Molding
If you order or make your own 3D prints its relatively easy to turn them into a mold.
3D printing is mostly still a prototyping technology and most of the revenue in 3D printing comes from people using it to prototype and test. You can then when you are done 3D print a cast and then make a mold or investment cast from that or you could directly 3D print the result.
You can 3d scan a design, product and even a face. Hit print to make a 3d replica, wax prototype or even mould layout which you can take to a foundry which will make a mould where you can pour metal of your choice and get the original scanned product.
3D printing in the future will be easy enough to design and select the material on which you want the product and have it delivered to you without leaving your desk. 3d printing service in delhi nvr gurgaon mumbai pune chennai india
Size matters in 3D printing. A large part takes up a lot of space in the machine and takes long to print. This coupled with the material use will make it much more expensive than a small part. There are many different 3D printing processes Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) , Stereolithography (SLA) and each of these works differently and has different constraints. For some products surface quality is important, others need color, others need to be heat resistant etc. So adoption will differ per use case and per technology. So there is not really a parameter for all things or all industries. Also: customization, individual fit and small series are key drivers for the technology the importance of these factors is different across many industries and products.
Some things can be 3D printed reliably already. Over 10,000,000 people have 3D printed hearing aids in their ears. So for the hearing aid industry this is already a mainstream technology. Other markets will take longer because the materials or machines are not good enough yet for those applications.
As for key early adopters these were the prototyping/product development people that started using the technology in the nineties. For consumers it will me makers and DIY-ers for the home machines and gift givers and designers for the 3D printing services. For medical it was hearing aids and will be personalized implants. In general I expect a lot from personalized jewelry services such as 3d printed jewelry: Design unique jewellery together with a professional . The high touch, high emotive nature, the high value and the added value of customization in jewelry would point to customized 3D printed jewlery possibly being the killer app.
3d printing medical breakthrough
3d print architecture interior
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