There is hardly any sphere today in which 3D printing is not making an impact. The evolution of high quality 3D scanners and softwares are making it ever so easy to adapt this technology to a wide spectrum of applications. While one may have heard about this fascinating technology, one wonders “What is in it for me?”. Most would assume 3D printing as a type of printing that gives an output similar to engraving, embossing, etching etc. The ability of a machine to custom manufacture an object in a layered fashion (using different materials), guided by a computer aided design is called 3D printing. In effect, it is manufacturing by addition of multiple layers on top of each other. The more appropriate term for this is Additive Manufacturing (AM). The technology is advancing at an astounding rate. The capability of the printer available today are mind boggling and have implication from our homes to space! Here are 6 ways this revolutionary technology will change the world.
Fashion at your fingertips, literally!
Fantasy is having our very own 3D printed dress based on our design and mouse-click it to manufacture a product that is as unique as we are. Apart from 3D printed dresses, one could have a range of customized, personalized fashion accessories like cufflinks, jewelry, shoes, bags and even spectacles. In addition to feeding ones vanity, these custom manufactured items could be used for making non specific sizes and tailor made conformal designs for certain medical conditions. With integrated electronics onto plastics becoming a realty now, one could also wear a glowing 3D printed dress.
Food… Yes, you read it right.
The ultimate dream for any people managing home and work is the dreadful chores of the kitchen. Mothers have a nightmare early mornings to decide and prepare their kids menu. With 3D printers capable of printing pizzas, doughnuts, pastries, burgers, chocolates and noodles, one can only wish the list becomes endless. NASA is working on a project to send 3D printers on board space shuttles to allow the luxury of variety of freshly made food compared to the stale, bland packed frozen food which astronauts have to eat on the long space missions.
Healthcare and Medicines
What if you could live till 100, 110, 120… 3D printing is already being used to make artificial skin, liver cells, bone structures and kidney replacements which will find its way into mainstream medicine soon. The technology is still in its infancy. Currently dentists have been using artificial dental crowns called (MLS – metal laser sintered) for years now. Orthopedic surgeons are already using custom fitted robotic arms and legs which have better aesthetics and functionality for amputees. Maxillofacial surgeon have been using titanium which replaces missing skull, jaw and facial parts and this process has recently received USFDA approval. In the future, medicines would be 3D printed at home to the exact dosage one needs of it.
Mattel has recently introduced a 3D printer for 300 dollars and this could change the way one makes and plays with toys. Apart from firing up a child’s creativity, one could make their own toys in the comfort of their home. The possibilities are only limited by one’s imagination. Whether it is a fantasy superhero, lego blocks or even a fancy school project, the power would now be in the hands of the child. Hewlett-packard (HP) has announced their entry into the 3D printing segment and mass penetration would be a reality with the power of the distribution channels that HP has.
Prototypes of 3D printed cars are already performing well and companies like Boeing, and BMW have already started using printed parts in manufacturing cars and planes. Apart from cost cutting and being fuel efficient, these cars could embed energy absorbing crashes and super strong seat belts. Whats more, if there is a crash, the debris could be melted and 3D printed again.
Mini human clones/gifts
Selfies are passé… The buzz word is 3D selfie, a 3D miniature figurine in full colur (with 6 million colour capability) which can be made in any pose and attire. Whether it’s a birthday party, wedding event or a graduation day, one could freeze these special moments forever by encapsulating their mini clone which can be kept on the shelf for the futures. Personalized objects made with ones clone can range from a clone card on a desk, fridge magnets to any super quirky gift. A 3D clone is the ultimate personalized gift item.
About The Authors:
The article has been written by Siddharth Rathod and Dr. Kamlesh Kothari, Founders, CloneMe. Siddharth Rathod is the force behind the company. An engineering graduate in Electronics and Communications from M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, he also has a Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from The University of Manchester, UK. Dr. Kamlesh Kothari is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who comes with an experience of over 16 years in the field of facial plastic surgery and dental implantology. Based out of Kolkata, he is also the clinical director of Aesthetica – Dental Implant and Facial Cosmetic Surgery Clinics.He has also been awarded as the “Implantologist of the year – 2013”.
(Disclaimer: This is a guest post submitted on Techstory by the mentioned authors.All the contents and images in the article have been provided to Techstory by the authors of the article. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)