In this era of technological advancement, it is correct to say that most modern technologies complement each other. For instance, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics can be combined to create amazing things like self-driving cars. Accordingly, big data and machine learning can be used jointly to build predictive models that allow businesses to react and plan for future events accordingly.
It is, therefore, no surprise that big data and 3D printing also work symbiotically. The question is no longer “If” but rather “how” the two influence each other. After all, it is evident that most 3D prints originate from a digital blueprint, which is, by all means, data. Below are some of the ways in which 3D printing and big data work together.
On-demand and personalized manufacturing
One of the notable ways in which 3D printing can be considered useful is that it has transformed the modern manufacturing market and made it more accessible and user-friendly. This transformation is associated with various reasons.
First, 3D printing provides localized additive manufacturing. This means that various teams can quickly create and develop porotypes or other concepts. 3D printing technology can also be improved to work with many materials, such as plastic, fabric, wood, and concrete.
Furthermore, the manufacturing process is abridged and made faster. One only requires the appropriate 3D printing digital blueprint, which is fed into the printers, to develop the print parts.
When 3D printing is combined with big data, businesses and manufacturers can push various development processes closer to their customers. For instance, imagine ordering a pair of Adidas or Puma shoes and customizing everything from its look, color, and size to the type of fabric used in producing it and receiving the exact shoes in hours.
Big data has been used to visualize and understand what people want, and this has allowed businesses behind the technology to deliver better services and products to the market. For instance, Amazon has established a system in which it offers its clients a “create your own” 3D printing store.
Physical data visualization
Any operation that requires data, from marketing to business intelligence, depends on complex visualizations to make datasets more understandable by breaking down various trends, activities, and events. In most cases, such operations take the form of digital images and content like graphs, pie charts, or even lists. However, 3D printing comes in to inject a whole new dimension into the process to allow for physical visualization.
This can be looked at, for instance, as enhancing both conceptual and digital content through visual demonstrations. Such applications can be useful in many industries, such as development, architecture, retail, and entertainment.
Understanding 3D printing technology and use of data
3D printing can be seen to have exploded beyond its niche. However, still, there is much that needs learning and advancing. We can say that we have only scratched the surface in terms of its uses and the type of data that can be fed into 3D printers.
Big data can help answer any questions about when, where, and how technology can be used. We can gain a better understanding of the benefits, costs, and requirements necessary for various milestones if we study potential applications and combine data with 3D printing and its uses.
Look at this example. 3D printing creates objects through extrusion, in which the filament or material is fed through the hot end of the system onto build plates. The hot filament press and the extruder opens up multiple possibilities. The process changes various features and characteristics of the conventional printing process, bringing in an element of higher accuracy and speed. Additionally, it opens up the system to work with numerous materials.
So, where does big data fit I all this? Big data is what helps us understand and discover such kind of changes in the system.
More efficient components
We also look at the opposite side. For instance, how does 3D printing enhance big data and related systems? Appliances manufactured through 3D printing are becoming an everyday reality, thanks to advancements in materials used and the systems.
Eclectically conductive filaments are now used to embed circuits inside boards as they get printed. This process is more cost-effective in terms of developing such components and minimizing resource use.
In most cases, circuit boards would require rare components for increased conductivity. 3D printing can be used to change that and allow for new possibilities, such as allowing people to print their custom elements.
3D printing and big data: Made for each other
Having explored all the applications and how 3D printing used data, it may seem silly not looking at the two technologies as separate. As much as they can be combined to do some fantastic work, they only complement each other.
So that would bring us to an important question; what kind of data does 3D printing consume?
The data that 3D printing uses is called Gcode, and it is a standard code system for things like CNC lathes and milling machines. The data is also applicable in 3D printers, laser engravers, among others. It is worth noting that 3D printing does not use any input data since a copy is only fed into the system, and the data remains there afterward.
Accordingly, 3D printing does not perform any mathematical transformation of data that is fed into the system. It only transforms the Gcode command into movements or heating the bed.
The data that 3D printing outputs depend on the model of the 3D printer and the software/firmware that is used. In most cases, the technology gives out hot end temperature and bed temperature (in case a heated bed is used). This can be considered as the side product of 3D printing. So, in place of output data, 3D printing outputs real plastic objects.
3D printing is becoming a fast-growing technology, and it could ultimately provide realistic solutions to various industrial applications. 3D printing is both cost-effective and eco-friendly, and when it is used together with big data, it can spark another kind of technological revolution.
Lastly, if you need any service or question answered regarding 3D printing, contact us.