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3D Printing to Lead to Huge Amount of New Data, Data Centers Will Have to Respond
If the predicted popularity of 3D printing comes to pass, it will mean a massive amount of new data.
There’s no question that 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, could revolutionize the manufacturing process and the related field of supply chain management.
3D Systems Corporation, a provider of 3D content-to-print solutions, serves In’Tech Industries, which has been printing hearing aid shells for more than 10 years.
By using 3D printing, In’Tech Industries can get its customers “a more accurate fit” than with hand-pouring manufacturing. It also saves on materials, money and time.
“Companies like In’Tech face serious data management issues, as manufacturing volume increases and products become more complex and customized the data files get larger. A dental file is orders of magnitude larger than the file for a hearing aid ear shell and can take up to several megabytes,” a recent Enterprise Efficiency post explained. “In’Tech’s printers are producing hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of rapid manufactured components a day. That means processing many gigabytes of data. Add to the mix new industrial applications, and the data requirements will rise by another order of magnitude or two in the near future.”
In’Tech and similar firms may someday have to upgrade their IT capability.
“Judging by the rapid growth of 3D printing, that day will be here pretty soon,” Enterprise Efficiency predicts.
“It is just a matter of time before 3D printing becomes ubiquitous like Internet radio and streaming video. When that happens, when millions of people begin making item after custom item at home, when hobby stores and repair shops begin making parts as needed on demand without the need for distributors and shipping companies, there will be another explosion in the data transfer and storage needs,” Robert Faulkner adds in a post on Server Technology’s blog.
One obvious question is, “Where will all this data go?”
One possibility is to store it in the cloud. Data centers and businesses need to prepare for this increase. After all, millions of product files will need to be stored somewhere. Just remember how much data is out there already: IBM (News - Alert) recently reported 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day. Also, some 90 percent of the data was created just in the last two years.That’s a lot of data.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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