Until the development of 3D Printing when someone talked about printing we all understood it was a two dimensional output, black or coloured toner on a flat piece of paper.
With the development of 3D printing and its rapid advancement into using many different types of raw product for the printing of three dimensional objects the technology has been pretty revolutionary for all kinds of fields. One of these is the automobile field, especially for the production of one off parts.
In a recent video I saw produced in Jay Leno's garage a famous place to anyone who has an interest in automobiles he describes how they have used 3D printing to produce parts for cars at the extremes of his collection. In one case it is product for a 100 year old early generation electric car and in another parts for a special one off concept car that they created.
While it is certainly commercial in nature a recent release in of Canadian Additive Manufacturing Solutions describes the methods used to capture through specialized scanning, reverse engineer the design and then print a part for that 100 year old car.
Whether you have a particular interest in the use in automobile production or restoration these stories show how creatively people are applying this technology. We know it is being used extensively in the health field and in other areas of manufacturing. It is even being used in construction in some very creative ways.
These adoptions are all illustrative of how newer technologies can help to revise and even create new opportunities for better solutions in many fields.
From the invention of the printing press which changed the way that information was disseminated hundreds of years ago and launched the ability for common people to begin to expand literacy the changes in the field of printing have had broad impacts on societies and industries.
As the field changes today with the moves to electronically distributed and stored documents and materials away from the dependency on hard copy this new development to a new range of printed 3 dimensional products leads us into even more opportunities.
Printing may be changing once again but it is still an important part of the world we live and work within.