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Can 3D Printing Revolutionise the Agriculture Industry?

3D printing on agriculture industry
Above: Impact of 3D printing on agriculture/Image Source: Petim latifi on Unsplash

Agriculture is the biggest industry in the world employing over a billion people and producing more than $1.3 trillion worth of food per year. As demand for agri products increases in parallel to the rapidly growing population, the industry is facing challenges to cope with increasing demand. But the good news is, using 3D printing in the agriculture industry can enhance production and marketing of the produce to improve the scale of economies and outputs.

3D Printing in Agriculture Industry

Technology plays a major role in agriculture simplifying a lot of processes from food production to transportation to marketing. By employing 3D printing in the agriculture industry can significantly enhance the way operations/day-to-day activities are carried out by the farmers. In the area of planting crops, 3D printed tools can be used to adapt to specific activities. It also allows users such as farmers to produce or print on the spot so that they can create quality tools and improve planting processes quickly. Hence, remote locations benefit from the ability to print devices on demand saving energy and money.

Machineries are also vital components in food production from tractors and harvesters to seeders and fertilizer spreaders. It is not only important that they are running well, the machines must also be fitted with good tires. According to experts at Skid Heaven, traction matters to farmers because it will increase productivity and reduce fuel consumption. It also improves safety, preventing slips and slides that could endanger the operator or destroy fields. 

Innovative Applications

One of the most creative ways to apply 3D printing in agriculture industry is to make special parts. Farming equipment is not only massive, but also very expensive. Replacing a part can become pricey. In addition, if the machine is outdated, parts might not exist anymore or they are difficult to locate. Meanwhile, the machinery stays unused disrupting the production process. This is where 3D can help in replicating spare parts through additive manufacturing. Like the automotive industry, it is possible to print replacement parts for agricultural machineries. Some companies are already manufacturing agri machinery parts such as wear points, high end guards, and dust diverters, to name some.

Small-scale farming and even indoor gardening benefit as well from 3D printing. It enables anyone who wishes to start a farm to do so without incurring huge expenses because they can use additive manufacturing to create some parts of their project. Plus, thanks to the technology, tools and components needed in agricultural or gardening activities can be adapted and customized to fit the requirements of users.

3D printing technology has several useful applications in the agriculture industry. It allows farmers and would-be farmers to develop customised tools and equipment, replace broken parts, and test the efficacy of farming systems. The technology also saves time and money.


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