The world is seeing an influx of futuristic and life altering industries emerging all across the world. One of the most talked about buzzwords of all these buzzwords is 3D printing, which if you've been on the internet in the past 10 years, you probably already know about.

Like all emerging technologies, there is a lot of buzz around what the technology could do in the future.

From 3D printed food to 3D printed cancer cells, the internet is full of futuristic use cases and while these ideas are thrilling -- many of them are far away from actually entering the mainstream.

While some companies are building the future, others have focused on less futuristic business models that are ready and available today.

Here are 5 startups that are making 3D printing useful today:

What many don't realize is that long before 3D printers are able to produce their masterpieces, there must be a strong backbone in place. In the realm of 3D printing, that backbone is ZVerse. The company is putting the possibility of 3D printing into the mainstream. Their goal is for everyone from mechanical engineers to architects to business owners to be able to take a 2D image into any printing facility and have a 3D model printed on the spot. Many of these software platforms are inefficient and costly, but this company is a software leader in bringing 3D printing to the masses.

SOLS, the developer of 3D printed shoes and foot orthotics, is canning mass manufacturing. They've developed their printing platform to customize each product to the individual needs of their customers. The foot orthotics industry is a big one, anticipated to reach $3.5 billion by 2020. SOLS is making their products easier to develop and less expensive for the end user through the use of 3D printing. And with the development of their new mobile app, clients can customize and purchase their shoes right from their phones.

One of the biggest setbacks of bringing 3D printing to the consumer market is accessibility. Most people don't have a 3D printer in their home or the money to buy one. Unfortunately, the first generation of 3D printers didn't implement an affordable option. Formlabs is changing that by creating printers that are equally powerful yet surprisingly budget-friendly. Their flagship model, the Form 2, boasts high resolution with a 250mW precision laser. This company is making the innovations of 3D printing available to the everyday person.

Creating circuitry is a difficult task for many smaller scale engineers. Designing your circuit board is simple, but getting that design out of the computer as a functioning circuit board takes resources that most people don't have on hand. Nano Dimensions is now giving you that possibility. With their nano ink technology, they have created a process allowing anyone to print a fully functional professional layered circuit board that can be tested as soon as it's printed. The time it saves for engineers allows them to develop newer technologies even faster.

Metal products and filaments are a large part of production in 3D printable objects. The problem is trying to make them at an effective price point while still maintaining quality. While 3D printing is supposed to make manufacturing more convenient, creating metal products isn't up to par with other 3D products. Enter Desktop Metal. They've taken the complexity of the traditional manufacturing process and sized it down to a 3D printing capacity. Their Single Pass Jetting design process is able to reduce production by 100 times what the average 3D printer can do. They're also able to remain competitive with traditional manufacturing processes with their MIM powder, which boasts high post-processing efficiency. 3D printable metal products are now becoming more cost-effective while maintaining their quality.

Published on: Jul 19, 2017
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