3D printing is an amazing advancement. Sure, it's got a long way to go, but the potential is unbelievable. Creative minds are finding cheaper and easier ways to help nudge it towards the mainstream. Every day, we get a bit closer to 3D printing being a normal part of our daily lives. With the route it's taking, it'll one day be as normalized as cell phones and laptops.

3D printing is more than an incredibly cool technology, though. It has the potential to completely overhaul different industries, which would make lives around the globe easier. It can provide quality to everyone. We spoke with 3D printing celebrity Anjan Contractor- best known for winning a NASA grant to 3D print pizza fit for deep-space missions. His current venture, BeeHex, Inc., commercializes the technology that brought him fame. Here are a few ways 3D printing is securing a better future for people around the world.

1. It's Making Food Healthier and More Accessible

Despite seven billion people living on Earth, food availability is a growing concern on a global scale. Shortages in areas like China and India are massive concerns, and people need a solution in order to secure a decent future with adequate food. One such solution lies in 3D printing. Because users have total control over what is being printed, they can control calorie count, nutritional value, and more. It'll allow people to live healthier lives, but more importantly, it has the potential to help save lives in impoverished areas.

"People all over the world can't afford basic ingredients. In India, the price of onions - something small, like onions - are too high for most people to afford," says Anjan Contractor, 3D printing expert and founder of BeeHex. "Now imagine if food could be printed. You control nutritional value. You make healthy eating available for everyone. There are people in the world that can't afford food, and 3D printing can change that."

2. It's Advancing Scientific Discovery

With every update, with every newly printed item, and with every learning experience, 3D printing is advancing scientific discovery. Just a decade ago, the sheer thought of it would be absurd. Printing multidimensional items? It just didn't seem possible outside of science fiction. Today, though, we're seeing steps taken each day to make it a commercial reality. It's an incredible platform through which people can solve difficult problems. Medical issues, food shortages, and more could very well be minimized thanks to 3D printing. "3D printing puts food in hard-to-reach places and can help alleviate a food shortage crisis that results from a natural disaster," says Jordan French, biomedical engineer and founding CMO at BeeHex. "We can store the 3D inputs far longer than the shelf life of any food and use it to 3D print on a large scale."

3. It's Inspiring Creativity From Everyone

Finally, one of the most inspiring things about 3D printing is the creativity it's bringing from everyone involved. Because it's a budding technology with massive potential, developers, coders, and more are challenged to find creative ways to make it even better. "Even marketers including publicity pro Jordan French and Kickstarter expert Abel Acua are having a heyday around marketing 3D printing," says Contractor. "It's a very visual technology."

For entrepreneurs, it's opening avenues for market innovation. Startups are popping up, providing services and products that are only possible through 3D printing. It's inspiring creativity, which is helping people think in such a way that improves the world around them. After all, isn't that what entrepreneurship is all about?

Published on: Mar 9, 2016