3D Printing is the Future of Mechanical Engineering

28 Apr 2016 Bryan Shaw


A few months back, I wrote an article about the old-school tools of the Mechanical Engineering trade. In today’s post, however, I would like to talk about one of the newer tools of the trade… 3D printing.

3D printing is quickly becoming one of the go-to resources within engineering departments and manufacturing facilities all over the world.

Recently, I made the decision to purchase a 3D printer for our engineering department at STS Technical Services. After a lot of research, we finally pulled the trigger earlier this year. Why did we do this?

I firmly believe that, in the next 5-10 years, 3D printing will become mainstream, similar to what 3D CAD software is today. I am not going to go into detail about which type of printer you should purchase for your department as that is a discussion for another time. Instead, I’m going to give you several reasons why you should consider purchasing a 3D printer for your engineering team(s).

First and foremost, 3D printing can bring your concepts to life. Having a customer be able to physically touch your ideas leaves a very powerful impression; a fact that rings particularly true if that customer is not technically savvy. The 3D printing methods and material types that are currently available give your customers a wide range of options to choose from, options that will help them better understand what their products might look and feel like. In addition, 3D printed models give your engineers something tangible to hold, something that allows them to do several proof of concepts before deciding which ideas should be presented to a customer.

I mentioned this earlier but it’s worth repeating… I believe 3D printing will become mainstream in engineering departments sooner rather than later. And as technology continues to evolve and improve, it only increases the likelihood that this technology will soon find itself integrated into our daily engineering work lives.

If you already have a 3D printer, you’re out in front of the technological wave. If you do not have a 3D printer, do some research and consider investing in one. It’s worth its weight in gold.

If you would like to learn more about STS Technical Services in-house engineering capabilities, contact us today at 1-800-447-0515. Otherwise, you can visit our website at www.sts-ts.com. Thanks!