As an engineered part evolves through an OEM company process, many team players have to work together in concert. Producing good prototypes at different stages of the process can keep the team in good communication, focused and on track towards visual, functional, and financial goals.
Whether the focus is design aesthetic, pure function, novelty, or some combination of these, 3d printed parts can be explored in all steps of the process. This leads to fast iterations on design, easier communication when your development team is worldwide, and a (now vital) shortened time to market.
A key advantage of 3d printing for biomedical applications is that every part of someone’s body is unique and therefore every prosthetic device, surgical drill guide, orthotic foot molding or wrist brace can be, and should be unique also. Since 3d printing is blind to complexity, — this is where it really shines.
With the advent of global expertise sharing, and the DIY “maker” subculture, more and more garage and laboratory inventors are utilizing 3d printing technology to bring their ideas to light and get functional prototypes in front of investors quickly and painlessly. Model it in CAD and get your unique and complex parts in days.. “Watson, I need you..”
Blending creative juices, artists are constantly presenting unique images and objects to the world, and who better to benefit from the leverage that 3d printing can provide with pure design freedom at lightning speed? The parallel ability to reproduce or archive works of almost any complexity from digital scanning technologies, must surely be hard to resist!
Not that you should miss out on a rite of passage or anything, but those hours and hours spent making models of the next Guggenheim under florescent lights might soon be vanquished in favor of intricate 3d printed models, in color, with interior detail, furniture and clear windows designed in! Reclaim your spare time architects, your renaissance is here in the form of digital materials. Walk this way…