Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3D Printing: New innovations created through printing!

I remember when I was in University, 3D printing was just emerging and not very well known. In school, we had the capabilities to prototype with 3D software and 3D printers but the process was very slow.

Now, this technology is being used by many large corporate companies such as New Balance and government agencies like NASA. It is much faster and less expensive than manufacturing the traditional way. The printers are also available for home use and some companies are now offering 3D printing services to consumers and for commercial use. Now, the average person will have the capabilities to manufacture their own products from home!

So, you may be wondering how it works? Your objects must be modeled through 3D software or computer aided design software (CAD). The 3D printer will dispense small drops of melted acrylic (ABS) or metal onto a base that will fuse and form the object. The printer reads the specifications from the 3D model and dispenses layers or cross sections from that information to form your object.

High heel made with 3D printer.
Find out more here

I find that one of the most fascinating capabilities of this technology is allowing medical doctors to make human tissues to save lives. Organovo, a bioprinting company that specializes in printing human tissues,have printed structured human liver cells. Their current liver cell print is able to live up to five days. Imagine how many lives can be saved when they are able to print larger tissue cells. Read more

3D printing has been around for thirty years and it is amazing how much technological innovations and advances give us the ability to change our on lives and the world.  Thirty years ago, 3D printing was only available to trained technicians and the process took a very long time to produce one object. Now anyone can purchase their own printers and start making amazing things!

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