3-D PrintingOne of the most exciting advancements in manufacturing technology has been the ability to ‘print’ 3-D objects. In December 2014, the International Space Station’s 3-D printer completed its first print job from a design file that was transmitted from NASA’s offices on Earth to the ISS in orbit. The tool produced by the printer was was a ratchet wrench.
Automotive manufacturers like Ford are now using 3-D printers to build prototypes and make product testing more efficient, while o-ring and rubber seal manufacturer Apple Rubber recently integrated the MakerBot Replicator 3-D printer into its business ops. 3-D printing has captured the imaginations of the general population and the manufacturing community alike, and it has evolved quite rapidly over the last five to ten years that it’s now possible to produce almost any object using metal, plastic, rubber, mixed materials and even human tissue.