With news that 3d printing can be used to build guns and other dangerous objects the fear about the subject only seems natural.
However, this technology is currently being used to do more good than harm and better the world in more ways than one.
What first began as a contraption that popped out plastic filaments for models and random art pieces now does more than that and is much more advanced.
We will see how people are using the technology to change lives.
Printing prosthetics for much cheaper
Artificial body parts called prosthetics are in big demand. The ones used right now are called maxillofacial prosthetics that are quite expensive to produce and as such out of reach for most people.
They are popular because these prosthetics match the skin tone of the body and fit well. Silicon prosthetics like ears and noses cost $4000 each which is yet another big expense.
However using 3d printing tech, researchers were able to capture pictures of damaged ear or nose and model a prosthetic based on the images.
These artificial ears and noses cost only about $150 a far cry from downing 4 grand over an artificial ear.
Creating 3d art with pens
Creating art with 3d pens is an affordable hobby thanks to the affordability of the filaments used in them.
One can start by modelling over 2d art and convert them to 3d art by painting over them. You can also use moulds as well.
A 3d printing pen and filament ink will only cost you around $100 and you will be amazed at the terrific art that you’re able to create with it.
This gives new avenues to unleash the creativity inside each of us.
Not long back NASA printed a pizza with this technology. It was pretty basic with a tomato ketchup topping and flour base but that goes on to tell you what else you can achieve with the printer.
The possibilities seem endless. The story began with NASA announcing that it was investing in 3d food printers that could bake a pizza. And for months the plan and design stayed on the drawing board, until recently when a live machine was demonstrated popping out printed pizzas.
The robot prints a square pizza with simple toppings. It makes a non-traditional square pizza in place of a round one.
The company behind it called BeeHex received a $100,000 grant from NASA to develop the robot and is an attempt by NASA to make astronaut palates delectable. Mostly astronauts carry frozen dried up that has to be reconstituted with water. In the process most food is rendered tasteless.
The solution to the problem as it turns out is in a robot that can bake pizza.
3d printers will also print clothes that will take customization to the next level.
Right now two startups are working on developing clothes that will scan a person’s body and print fully customizable clothes that fit the body inch to inch.
There’s another startup working on a product that scans your foot and prints footwear that matches and is a perfect fit.
Customization and personalization has ruled fashion senses and 3d printing is going to make things even more fashionable with clothes that fit your body exactly.
Printing life size models of foetuses
If you have never been a parent you would not know the excitement surrounding the birth of a child.
Pregnancy products is a multi-million dollar market with hundreds of brands and companies catering to every whim and demand of expectant mothers, parents, and newborn babies.
As such, a life size model of the fetus which may seem out of the ordinary is definitely one that parents would be excited and jumping in joy about.
Fasotec, a Japan based startup specializes in this. They along with Tokyo’s Ladies Clinic is providing a service where expectant parents can get a real life-size model of their unborn child.
The semi-formed baby is printed using ultrasound imagery with plastic filaments and given to parents. The real baby is left unharmed in the womb and the process doesn’t interfere with the growth.
Replacement auto parts
Replacement automobile parts at least for a few cadre of vehicles is expensive business.
For instance, if you’re purchasing a Mercedes Benz you may rather discover polar bears in South Africa but not replacement parts for the vehicle. Precisely why no one wants a second hand Merc. The parts are costly and upkeep can drown you in debt.
Perhaps that’s the reason why so many people are buying of 3d printers and using them to print replacement parts for vehicles.
It’s easier and safer and less intrusive.
3d printing holds a lot of potential. However, negative news surrounding the idea has instilled fear in the minds of many. Though some fear is warranted, most of it is baseless.
It’s a technology that can do a lot of good and help a lot of people. Ultimately it will revolutionize how to paint art, how we eat food, purchase things and how the economy will finally become independent of factory based manufacturing.
George Mathew is the editor at 1dayreview.com— a tech blog covering the latest news, reviews and happenings.