Many people have high hopes that 3D printing will bring about huge changes in American society. Some Americans even boast that 3D Printing will make America self-sufficient and rid of our reliance to foreign import. However, while 3D printing technology has a high potential in improving American society, it may be an overstatement for people to say that 3D printing will revolutionize all of America. Like other types of technology, 3D printing may have flaws in its uses and can develop serious consequences to America in the future.
While 3D printing shows great promise in the eyes of many Americans, the question remains, are Americans ready to use 3D printing technology? I believe, however that (). 3D Printing impact on national Security. Even though 3D printing technology can benefit America tremendously, there are major concerns on the use of this technology. With the ability in creating almost anything a person may desire, copyright infringement will become an important issue in the latter future. People can easily copy an item of interest and create a plastic replica of the same item using 3D printing.
It can then be sold as “knock off” items for a steady profit. Furthermore, if left in the hands of a criminal or the mentally unstable, weapons like knives and gun parts can be made by the masses and used to harm innocent bystanders. Some people may believe that the creation of a gun from 3D printing technology is not possible. However, Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, debunked this theory in an uploaded video on YouTube. While the 3D printed weapon still have some mechanical flaws, the first made 3D weapon code named “The Liberator” has proven its capability by successfully firing out a est round using real live ammunition. The blueprints for this technology have already been released through the internet as well (Estes 3). Currently there are gun regulations in place within the US in regards to 3D printed guns like the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 (House Rept. 100-612). However, the main threat is that these laws are difficult to enforce and it will not prevent unscrupulous individuals from constructing weapons illegally. 3D Printing impact on job market.
With the release of 3D printing technology a few years ago, many Americans speculate that 3D printers will take over the job market. However, this speculation is only half true. While it is true that 3D printing technology will decrease the necessity of certain jobs, it will create greater demands for higher skilled careers. According to Wile, “60% of 624 firms surveyed say they’re thinking about using 3D printing” (4). This statistic shows that not every working sector will be subjected through its technological change.
Furthermore, history has proven time and again that even though new technologic advancement does replace certain jobs done by humans, it is still a machine that needs careful maintenance by humans as well. As a result, job demands are recycled in the system based on the rule of necessity. 3D Printing impact on Health. While setting aside the potential misuses 3D printing can implement on American society, the airborne particles emitted from the heating of plastic materials through the use of 3D printing can become a dangerous health hazard.
The emission from 3D printer is described to be similar to the burning of cigarettes (Gilpin 2). A research study done by students at Illinois Institute of Technology has shown that the high level of particles emitted from the device have the potential to cause cancer and other harmful ailment towards a living being (8). However, this issue has been resolved by replacing ials currently used in 3D printer with a less-hazardous type. With the new material in place, hazardous emissions have shown to have significantly dropped. 3D printing is not all bad or humans in terms of the technological aspect though. Rising improvements in health has made it possible in the accurate creation of prosthetic limbs for patients. It is now also possible for surgeons to build 3D models of their patient’s organs and in order to use them as reference guides before conducting surgery. Even now, researchers are finding new ways to improve health care with 3D printing. 3D Printing impact on Environmental safety. 3D printing follows the model of additive manufacturing which drastically reduces the amount of waste provided when making a certain item.
This does not mean that 3D printers are immune from producing material waste. Although 3D printing has shown that it is capable of reducing material wastage, 3D printers aware known to needs high amount of electricity to keep it functional. A research study done by Loughborough University showed that, “laser direct metal deposition used hundreds of times the electricity as traditional casting or machining” (Gilpin 2). While this evidence has shown that 3D printing uses up a lot of energy in metal deposition, it provides a question on how much energy the device uses overall regardless of material processing.
As a result, it is still questionable as to whether 3D printing should be given the title of eco-friendly. 3D Printing impact on Manufacturing. 3D printing has shown that it is more than capable of improving many fields of research. In the manufacturing perspective however, 3D printing specializes more towards the construction of small, highly detailed parts. When tested in constructing large size parts, 3D printing has shown inconsistencies and inefficiencies compared to other manufacturing methods. This would cause complications for companies with plans to mass produce items over a certain size.
It would also explain why research and development categories that specialize in small detailed designs like health and aerospace would have higher demands for 3D printing than other groups. Although this technology is considered more specializes in small scaled items, it boasts of having the highest accuracy in regards to manufacturing. When compared to other methods of manufacturing, 3D printing is considered to be most efficient option in getting the best accuracy when building an item. Granted that it still have inaccuracy of a 0. % margin but, the results in design accuracy are sometimes considered more important than the structural integrity of the part in certain professions.
3D printing has shown that it is capable of improving on many categories. It can be inferred that 3D printing will bring about a new age of human creativity. Even as of right now, researchers and engineers are bringing their ideas to life with the help of 3D printing. It is still questionable as to whether humanity is ready for the public release of this technology. However, one thing is for certain, 3D printing will bring about a new change in how people view and handle technology.