The new 3D printer invention propelled the print industry to the top of technological trends of the 21st century. The extensive research and experimentation developed a machine, which creates 3D tangible products that can be used for diverse causes. The operation mechanism of 3D is quite simple. It is based on additive processes. These processes build the desired object by laying down successive layers of a specific material. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
Many 3D printer advocates praise the breakthrough achieved by this machine. Now, children can easily print desired toys, physicians can print medical supplies and architects can print miniature models of their constructions.
Nevertheless, more and more people expressed their concerns regarding the possible drawbacks of 3D printers. One of these concerns is that 3D printers consume huge amounts of energy. This is caused by melting the used plastic material first with heat or laser prior printing. In this context it is argued that 3D printers may not be suitable for industrialized 3D printing, and are also not the optimal answer to reduce coal power in the near future.
Another point of critique is the unhealthy air emission. Research measured particle emissions from desktop 3D printers. Such emissions are caused while the plastic is heated to print the desired figures. In this process the machine uses a PLA filament emitted 20 billion ultrafine particles per minute. These tiny particles can settle in the lungs and cause dramatic health problems, like asthma or COPD. Besides, focusing on medical supplies, like artificial body parts or surgical screws, the stability and friendliness of these materials is questioned.
A final point of critique is the uncontrolled risk of printing weapons and guns. This point in particular reflects a challenge to avoid these unauthorized and dangerous prints, easily committed by children, unauthorized people or psychopaths.
Thus, we can conclude that with all the benefits and efficiency the 3D printer came up with, still for many scholars and business people 3D printing remains under investigation, until hazards are decreased or eliminated and the whole idea proves its paying off!