3-D Printed Products
Figure 1 Credit Creative Tools
So what does 3-D printing have to do with green living? Well, the revolutionary potential of 3-D printing technology within almost all areas of clean energy and environmental innovation is more significant than most imagine. We already use 3-D printing to produce jewellery, clothing, dental products and even in developing human organs. Green technologies are the next booming industry benefitting from 3-D technology. Here are the reasons why:
Cheap and Fast
Large companies are reducing their production costs drastically with the help of 3-D printing. Converse shoes, for example, are replacing traditional manufacturing with 3-D printing and saving up to 70 percent on prototyping new products. Lower shipping costs, lower required human resources and a faster production process all reduce our environmental impact enable more financial capital to be dedicated to a greener approach to all areas of the production process.
The prototyping process involved in producing a product can be extremely wasteful. Research and development of any new technology involves producing products numerous times before they are able to be released to the market. In the production of an aircraft, up to 90% of the original materials can be wasted. 3-D printing not only produces materials as they are needed, but also with lighter and sustainable resources.
Revolutionizing Solar Technology
While solar power is a renewable and green energy source, it’s still important to ask how efficient is solar power when it comes to producing solar panels themselves? Research into 3-D printing applications in solar panel production is another exciting way the technology is making solar power even more green. Researchers at the National Physics Laboratory are among many scientists worldwide finding ways to produce more efficient, cost effective and adaptable solar technology. This is an exciting and ever changing area that will impact all areas of our lives in the future.
Figure 2 Credit David Clarke
2015 was dubbed ‘International Year of Light’ due to the expanding innovation that occurred in the space of green and sustainable lighting solutions. Scientists have advocated for an entry into the new world of green illumination. Technological innovations in the area of renewable energy is booming, with exciting new products energy on the market to reduce pollution and encourage a greener way of life. So what can you expect in 2016?
Yolk Solar Paper
‘A Yolk a day keeps the nuclear generating station away’, this is the tagline of Yolk’s Solar Paper, the world’s thinnest and lightest solar charger. This innovative technology allows you to charge any electronic device that uses a USB. The solar paper device is incredibly lightweight, thin and completely water resistant. Go off the grid throughout the day and reduce your carbon footprint while you’re at it!
Solar Trees and Traffic Lights
From artificial ‘tree-like’ installations to things as commonplace as traffic lights – solar power seems to be the answer. Glasgow is one city leading the way in intelligent lighting solutions based on big data mining. The lighting systems being trialled in the Scottish city will illuminate based on people’s movement, traffic and safety needs. On the other side of the world, the Indian city of Chandigarh will install a series of automatic solar traffic lights. Welcome to the new world of clean, green cities!
Figure 3 Credit Automobile Italia
Fully autonomous cars are no longer a vision for the near future – they are a reality. Leading car manufacturers like Tesla Motors, Nissan and Mercedes are just a few of the many companies developing driverless vehicles. Even technology companies like Google and Apple have been rumoured to be in development of their own electric, hybrid and driverless cars.
Emission Free Transport
The best news about self-driving car technology is that it’s green, clean and loves the environment. Car manufacturers are facing increasing pressure and competition within the industry to develop emission free technology. The past few years have seen huge developments in the driverless car technology, and 2016 will be no different. The Detroit Auto Show this year is expected to reveal ‘major announcements’ in the driverless space, the Consumer Electronics Show is set to display major innovations in driverless technology and Google is making its Driverless Car sector an Alphabet Company – and this is just scratching the surface of green innovation in 2016.