The Execution of 3-D Printing

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Environmental Factors. The execution of 3-D printing in the manufacturing process could prevent some types of harmful environmental issues since its production produces nearly zero waste. Also, the capability of 3-D printing in manufacturing will decrease the harmful environmental effects which come from the transportation of goods around the world. Bringing 3-D printing into manufacturing would significantly reduce environmental damage during the shipment of goods. (Reichardt, 2014) The environment stands to gain much from the emerging technology of 3-D printing. 3-D printing is identified to cost-effectively lower manufacturing inputs and outputs in markets with low volume, customized and high-value production chains as aerospace and medical component manufacturing.

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(Gebler, Uiterkamp, Visser, 2014)

Humanitarian Factors. 3-D printing for the health and wellbeing of humanity is proving to be beneficial in innumerable areas. Additive manufacturing can aide in everything from bio printing tissue for organ fabrication to setting up 3-D printers in under developed countries or places of crisis to assist with humanitarian needs. Though this technology has challenges with successful development and deployment, many phases are well established and research articulates methods for production of bio printing of cellular structures and sufficient regulatory demands are being studied and sufficiently progressing. Biomaterial development and implementation will have a substantial impact on the practical realization of successful applications of viable and functional tissue engineered constructs and entire organ structures, in both clinical and research settings. If successful, this set of tools, which together comprises bioprinting, can be used to create living structures and customized environments that have the potential to change the way medicine is practiced. (Skardal, Atala, 2015)

Social Factors. Additive manufacturing (3-D printing) will localize production and, in the process, create new industries and occupations. There will be a paradigm shift in the nature of jobs and manufacturing in which society will have to adjust. Also, mass ownership of 3-D printers could cause less social interaction leading to less community cohesiveness in some countries while aiding underdeveloped countries by means of humanitarian privileges.

On the other end of the spectrum are the legal issues associated with the continued development of additive manufacturing. Several laws will need to be re-defined to include situations revolving around 3-D printing. Currently laws are set up to govern business entities, not individuals who may print and sell from their 3-D printer. For example, if an individual prints a product and sells it, then the product is unsatisfactory or causes bodily harm to another, which law would define the selling individual as liable. Also, with mass ownership of 3-D printers, the 3-D printing of illegal objects, such as guns and bullets, could be harder to control for law enforcement. Thus, creating a social concern for legal and safety issues within the community. Again, laws will have to be ratified to assist in the governing of such acts.

Economic Factors. Currently the United States is leading the way in additive manufacturing. There are countries such as China whose economic status has been developed by the exportation of their goods. Additive manufacturing will centralize manufacturing and potentially change the economic status for countries such as these. Manufacturing jobs will decrease as 3-D printing is perfected and place on the assembly line. However, there are potential for new businesses encompassing the use of 3-D printing.


Additive manufacturing has rapidly progressed over the past decade. It is on track to become the technology that fundamentally transforms the way objects are designed. Its methods will revolutionize manufacturing and provide benefits and challenges. Benefits will include but are not limited to reduction of waste and harmful chemicals release into the environment during the process of manufacturing and distribution, the capability to provide humanitarian needs where needed, medical breakthroughs in the production of reconstructive surgeries to the development of needed organs. However, as with everything, there are limitations when looking at 3-D printing. Some known limitations and liabilities will come from the need to reconstruct laws to suite this new technology. And currently, materials and timely manufacturing will need to be enhanced to better serve the need. It is thus crucial that technologists and policy makers begin a significant dialogue in anticipation of these challenges to our current global economic status quo. (Campbell, Williams, Ivanova, Garrett, 2011) In conclusion, change is hardly comfortable for anyone. I am reminded in a screipture from the book of Timothy (3:9) which tells us to always be learning. (NIV)

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The execution of 3-D printing. (2019, Feb 14). Retrieved from