3D Printing Down on the Farm
Revolutionary Tools for the Laborious Task of Farming
(Note that 3D Printed Farm Supplies do not meet strict farm supply regulations and therefore, always take great caution when utilising these parts on heavy, industrial equipment. Proceed at your own risk.)
When thinking of farming, images of quaint little farms and farmhands tend to come to mind. Where it was once a common thing to see small farms dotted throughout communities, times have changed. Farming is much more commercial than residentially based as farms must produce vast amounts of saleable goods to keep from going under due to new regulations.
Commercial farms use heavy equipment for tasks and this equipment can be wildly expensive to purchase and maintain. Some farms, however, are abandoning the traditional farming equipment manufacturing companies for 3D Printing. 3D Printers are now used in multiple industries and it seems, farming is its next big accomplishments. Here are just some of ways 3D Printing is making a positive impact on the farming industry.
When Parts Break at the Worst Times
Imagine, you are in a field lovingly planted months ago. It is time for harvest. You load up your harvesting equipment ready for the task at hand. The crops are at their peak of perfection. You turn on your equipment ready to pluck your crops from mother earth, and something breaks on the machine making it impossible to continue on your proposed journey. Ordering parts means waiting a few weeks for a replacement piece. By that time, your hard work will have withered away, quite literally, into the earth.
Farmers cannot afford to wait for parts. Crop harvest cannot be put on hold simply because a part is backordered. 3D Printers are here to help. New 3D Printers do not simply utilise plastic-based materials but have the potential to manufacture metal pieces as well. Commercial farmers are now instituting the use of 3D Printing technology into their organisations. Where it is true that these 3D Printers are among the higher priced variety, it is worth it to save an entire field ready for harvest by simply printing out the part needed to fix a piece of equipment. Farmers are realising that an investment in a quality 3D Printer is an investment in their future.
If this were not enough of an enticement for farmers to purchase an in-farm 3D Printer, some farms are utilising renewable materials to produce parts for equipment as opposed to standard steel and metal options. This is an excellent option for organically based farms looking to make less of an impact on the earth. Reducing waste produced by farms is important for our agricultural growth and 3D Printers are doing their part to help out.
3D Printing Farm Equipment Replacement Pieces. Ideal for small gears and switches as well as large scale replacement pieces.
Tracking Your Heard
Farming is not merely about planting and producing edible goods. Dairy farmers and cattle ranches maintain large tracts of land for bovine herds to graze and grow big for production. Branding is, traditionally a way to keep track of the heard, but it is limited. The owner still must manually count his cows to ensure none have wondered off.
Recently, however, technology-based tracking systems have replaced simply tags with great success. Simply tracking the heard can have a lot of benefits, but one company called True North Technologies is using a 3D Printed device to do much more than simply track the cows. The device is fitted around the Cow’s neck and looks much like a dog’s collar, and the information it sends back to the farmer is vital.
Information such as where the cow goes during the day, which field, and even if the cow was stressed at any point throughout the day can help the farmer build a better heard. It can be difficult to determine individual cow’s movements, but with this revolutionary technology, the farmer is in control of what the cow does at all times. Parameters can even be set with virtual fencing to keep certain cows form interacting with others or if mother needs to be isolated with a new calf for a while. The possibilities are truly endless with this revolutionary 3D Printed technology.
3D Printed Bovine Tracking System. The device can also be used to track other herds such as sheep.
Farms are said to be a thing of the past and where the average small farm may remain in a state of steep decline, commercial farmers are in high demand. 3D Printing can do many things for the industry and as 3D Printers become more intuitive and adaptable to the needs of the farmer, we can expect to see many more devices and options for commercial farms. No more waiting for replacement parts during harvest season and an easy way to keep great track your heard is only the tip of the iceberg of what we will see in the farms of the future.