Big data and 3D Printing

(image source: dimins.com)

3D printing relies heavily on big data. Without the existence of this advanced data, some of the functions used in 3D printing would not be possible. Remote printing and the creation of objects from scans have combined with print sharing to make 3D printing an integral part of the business world. The advent of big data means that even more uses for 3D printing will emerge. Both technologies accelerate the large-scale product customizations needed to serve targeted markets discovered through the use of big data.

3D printing is a data-heavy technology, which means it is essential for both big data and 3D technology to keep up with each other through technological advancements every year. There are a number of ways in which big data and 3D printing are already proving to be the perfect fit for each other.

Three primary ways in which 3D and big data interact are:

  • Data Visualisation: Geospatial models that interact with big data can help city planners who study traffic patterns and other dynamic data. In the past, such professionals only had access to flat data (2D), often printed on paper. Now, with 3D modeling, they can see multiple perspectives from a single experience. People can hold such models and share them together with alternate models to make better real-world decisions.
  • Data Storage: The expense of data storage continues to grow along with data stores. Luckily, as the amount of big data grows, so does the speed at which 3D printing develops.
  • Monitoring Manufacturing: The printing of 3D objects has revolutionized the manufacturing world. Companies use 3D printers to create prototypes and other models as well as the products they sell to business customers and consumers. Companies also use 3D printing for on-demand manufacturing, eliminating the need for large and diverse inventories.

Fields that have shown the potential to benefit from the integration of big data with 3D printing include computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering (CAE) as well as computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). In each market segment, the two technologies have a mutually beneficial relationship.  3D printing feeds the growth of big data. Ultimately, the relationship of 3D printing and big data becomes cyclic as 3D promises to increase the availability of storage, available for use by big data applications. Big Data has proven to play a pivotal role in the growth of 3D printing.

Big data and 3D printing will also grow together as IoT moves from concept to reality. IoT’s interconnectedness of devices includes 3D printers. Items can be printed remotely; all that is needed is for the necessary data to be transferred to the desired 3D printer.

The growth of 3D printing is moving fast and could ultimately provide realistic solutions to many different drawbacks industry wide. 3D printing is cost-effective, eco-friendly, and customizable, but when it works together with big data, the combined solution becomes even better as it sparks a new kind of technological revolution.

As more organizations get a firm grasp on how best to use both big data analytics and 3D printing capabilities, the two areas will form a more established and interdependent relationship.