Internet of Things and 3D Printing

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There is a great potential of combining IoT and 3D printing to build better products and improve manufacturing processes.

IoT will make 3D printing useful in new ways. 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.

It is possible that by 2030, today’s silicon circuits will be replaced by plastic circuits, and 3D printing technologies will dominate such plastic printed electronics and circuits in IoT. Plastic printed transistors will become building blocks of wearable electronics and other IoT networks. The whole thing will be much cheaper than silicon devices, semiconductors, and circuits.

4 ways to use these two technologies together in a smart way:

•IoT objects are electronic devices, thus, they need an enclosure. Good news: 3D printing is a great technology for this use. It allows the creation of enclosures that perfectly fit the product. An enclosure is any obstructive shell for a printer for the purpose of preserving temperature conditions. To put it simply, it is a box to keep the heat in and prevent external factors from altering the print conditions.

•A good way to use both IoT and 3D printing in a factory is to automate some actions thanks to the data collected with IoT objects. You can, for instance, put some captors in your machines and automatically order or produce 3D printed spare parts when something breaks. It saves a lot of time and truly increases efficiency.

•Data collected with IoT devices, can be used to create custom-made products, which are easy to manufacture at a low cost with 3D printing.

•In the future it may be possible to 3D print electronic components, such as circuit boards, with conductive ink.