Who would have thought it possible: 3-D printers, capable of producing three-dimensional objects at the touch of a button. Since their development, they’ve gone from strength to strength and are now utilised in a number of industries across the globe – including healthcare, manufacturing and the development of emerging technologies.
Whilst 3-D printers have proved ground breaking in specific industries, white-collar workers are yet to benefit from this innovative new tech. And this got us thinking: what benefits can 3-D printing technology bring to the average workplace?
To find out, here are 4 ways that 3-D printing could shake up office life as we know it…
1. Present Ideas Like Never Before
Effectively presenting product ideas is hard going in the workplace. Limited by 2-D technologies, it’s often difficult to get your concept across without resorting to a costly CAD mock-up. With a 3-D printer however, it’s possible to produce as many draft mock-ups as you like – making it a breeze to present ideas to peers.
3D printers are easy to operate, even for the most computer-illiterate, and the materials used in the print process are relatively inexpensive – particularly in business terms. In the future, expect newer, bolder designs, all thanks to 3-D printing tech.
2. Print Brunch – and Lunch
You heard right. Thanks to the experiments of one English tech whiz, 3-D printing pioneers believe it may soon be possible to develop, print and manufacture a whole new manmade food source. Though 3-D printed food is in its earliest stages of development, inventors have so far managed to design and print a burger, and some companies have already began selling purees, pulps and blends that can be fed through a printer and made into all sorts of weird and wonderful culinary creations. Should the technology take-off, we could see a complete shift in the way people prepare and consume their food – with conventional work lunches becoming a thing of the past.
See this video of a 3D printed pizza:
3. Impromptu Meeting? Smarten Up With 3-D Printed Clothing
Forgot your tie and faced with an important client meeting? Don’t fret – simply print one at work and arrive looking ship-shape and ready to impress. In the early days of 3-D printing, some fashion designers saw potential in the tech and chose to create 3-D printed garments out of nylon and plastic, but these were always intended to be more ornamental than functional.
Now however, fashion as we know it is about to change. Thanks to the brainboxes behind Electroloom – a 3-D printer capable of printing tangible fabric – it may soon be possible to print garments that are practical, functional and above all, comfortable. The technology uses miniscule bond fibres to recreate the subtlety of any other woven textile, and can be used to create any shape or design you can imagine.
4. New Starters? No Need to Buy New Desks
As touched upon above, the possibility of 3D printing is truly endless, and several creations are likely to change the face of contemporary office life as we know it. In the near future, 3-D printing developers have predicted the technology will be used to produce furniture, equipment and even entire office buildings – transforming the office environment and expanding the creative possibilities of architects and designers across the globe. For the average office, this means easy access to new equipment and the seamless integration of new, more dynamic work stations.
To find out more about the development of 3-D printing, or to read more about the comings and goings of the printer world, be sure to read the rest of the Toner Giant blog. Alternatively, if you’re looking for cost-effective replacement ink and toner cartridges, visit our homepage or call 0845 365 3605.
Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Creative Tools