It seems sometimes as if 3D printing is very far away: as if it’s off in the sphere of bioprinting, or nanotechnology, or esoteric machining factories in places we aren’t familiar with.
There are plenty of stories about tiny houses being 3D printed in Amsterdam, or 3D bridges erected in China. Once, that may have been the case. Today, however, 3D printing is beginning to infiltrate the tiny recesses of our daily lives, even here in Nebraska, in ways that we may not even know about. If 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, hasn’t changed your life just yet, wait a minute or two and we’re pretty sure that you’ll see it somewhere.
We love what additive manufacturing can do for agriculture, advanced technology, and the health care sectors, but here are some companies that you may be more familiar with who want to use 3D manufacturing to revolutionize your life! The possibilities feel endless. Innovation is an integral aspect of manufacturing, and it seems as 3D printing has enabled companies to think differently, invent more, and produce in some immensely exciting ways.
Print Nike Sneakers at Home: Speedsters all over the world rejoiced when Nike COO Eric Sprunk announced that Nike aficionados will soon be able to print their own shoes at home. He was at a GeekWire summit discussing Nike’s Flyknit sneakers, knitted shoes created by feeding a file with the design into a knitting machine.
Fortune says that “this is very similar to how the company would use 3D printing technology. Customers would design their shoes online and purchase a file that contains instructions for the 3D printer. They can then either print it at home or bring it to a Nike store to be printed and have their customized shoes within hours. Sprunk says: ‘Oh yeah, that’s not that far away.’”
Standardizing the Chipotle Burrito: Although there are differing news stories about this update, the Observer says that Chipotle has turned to 3D printing to have better control over scoop sizes. New innovators Voodoo Manufacturing says that they “went through thirty prototypes with [Chipotle]. They’d send us a file the night before and we’d have it to them the next morning.”
With a standardized scoop, employees could no longer dish out extra ingredients, either intentionally or unintentionally. Chipotle says not to panic, that your burritos won’t be smaller than ever before, but we’ll wait to see what the final verdict is.
Hershey Can Now 3D Print Chocolate: Want to send your boyfriend or girlfriend a chocolate replica of yourself? Good news, you can actually do that with Hershey’s Chocolate 3D printer. “We can print anything that you could print with a plastic printer in chocolate. It looks very similar to a standard 3D Systems printer but it’s heavily modified,” said Hershey tech marketing exec Jeff Mundt.
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