Amazing Prototypes Built with 3D Printing
Monday May 21, 2018
Although the basic patents for 3D printing were developed and filed in the 1980s, the practical uses for 3D printing have only ramped up the last decade. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, allows manufacturers, entrepreneurs and hobbyists alike to make items more efficiently and often with less material.
This process makes it easier to create more complex and detailed shapes. 3D printing has led to innovations across industries. Doctors, carpenters and even anthropologists have incorporated 3D printing into their work. Learn more about what 3D printers can make and how we’re using them today.
Prosthetics and Transplants
Medical engineers have successfully 3D printed prosthetics. This is particularly useful since prosthetics are custom made pieces that can take some time to develop and create. A 3D printed prosthetic can be made more quickly and can cost less than a traditional prosthetic. Children that require prosthetics benefit from this innovation since they will need replacement prosthetics as they continue to grow. 3D printing makes proper fitting, high-quality prosthetics more accessible to people all around the world.
Taking it a step further medical engineers have successfully “bioprinted” working organs with 3D printing. In the 2000s the proper “ink” was developed for bioprinting and sparked research. Since then innovators have created usable tissue, skin, blood vessels, and even full organs like kidneys, heart and livers. While few have been transplanted into patients, these 3D printed organs have played a big role in drug and disease research.
While this isn’t a stretch with recent innovation in prefabricated homes, 3D printers have printed an entire home. The printers will print the house in layers until the entire thing is assembled. These 3D printed structures not only reduce waste, but the materials can easily be reused. The green operation reduces the carbon footprint of the home building industry.
The largest Buddha statues in the world stood in Afghanistan for centuries before they were destroyed in 2001. Researchers are using the information they have about the statues and remaining ruins to recreate their design and plan to use 3D printing to replicate the statues. They hope to bring them back to life, reinvigorate the scenic area with the unique history.
By understanding the landscape where ruins lay, the cultures that built them and what’s remaining of them, researchers can replicate their original state. This helps us understand and learn from ancient civilizations. Whether it’s recreating the original as a model for study or bringing lost artifacts back to life, 3D printers play a role in history and the way we study it today.
It’s official – 3D printers have become self-replicating. You can use a 3D printer to print another 3D printer. Similar to the house made with a 3D printer, this process would require a printer creating the new machine in layers.
As scientists and engineers continue to innovate 3D printers start to play a bigger role in our lives. The items these printers create quite literally save lives and keep us moving forward with technology.
At Cartridge World, we are not only committed to positive innovation, but also to creating lasting, beneficial relationships with all our customers. Our local, friendly experts are ready to help you with any print-related questions you may have. Find a Cartridge World near you.