3D printing technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we see and interact with the world. 3D printing can be done almost anywhere: at home, at the office, and at a hospital.
But would it surprise you to know that 3D printing technology could also be making its way into your favourite restaurant reproducing the swirls on your favourite dessert. What’s next outer space? Would it surprise you to hear that NASA is developing the technology right now to produce food through the use of 3D technology? What if you were told that a 3D printer could extend your life?
Read on and you may just be amazed at what 3D printing can do to change our lives!
3D-Printed Hearts Help Surgeons Save Babies’ Lives
Image Source: Materialise
The medical profession is using 3D technology to help extend people’s lives. Heart replicas are designed to match a baby’s heart. This technology is not only helping to save lives, but it is also helping surgeon’s understand an individual’s heart’s anatomy prior to their surgery.
Working Mechanical Fingers - A Cheaper Alternative To Prosthetics
Image Source: Enabling the Future
After a table saw accent Richard Van lost two fingers, and mangled two others. He was determined to find a way to return to work, but after some research realized that prosthetics were too expensive. After some further research and collaboration with Ivan Owen, Van developed a working mechanical finger. He continues to make hands at no cost to children in his region. He calls these hands Robohands.
Make Your Own Robot
Image Source: Inmoov
Print your own 3D Robot! A 3D Robot can be programmed to shake hands and respond to commands - and it’s all open-source - meaning you can print them yourself too. So long housework!
Regenerate and Replace Muscles and Cartilage
Image source: Smithsonian
3D printing is not just about making objects for personal consumption. The machines provide social value as well. While we’re still a few years away from perfection, organs and body parts can be created from a patient’s tissues, which will decrease waiting time for organ donors.
Print 3D Photos For Everyone To “See”
Image Source: Bored Panda
Just as Braille was invented to help the blind read, ‘Touchable Memories’ was a project to help the blind “see” memories by 3D-printing old photos, scenes from movies, and CD covers.
Give Injured Animals A Second Life
Image Source: 3D Printing Industry
3D printing is giving animals needing prosthetics a second chance at life. While traditional prosthetics were an option, 3D printing allows these prosthetics to be made low-cost and on-demand - and this is important as the prosthetics needs to be revised several times to keep up with the animal’s growth.
Hearing with a Hairclip
Image Source: 3D Printing From Scratch
Developed by Tatsuya Honda, this 3D hairclip, called the Ontenna, transfers the vibrations through the hair to enable the wearer to differentiate one sound from another.
Print Your Dinner (Edibly!)
Image Source: Inhabitat
Yes, 3D printed foods are a thing - just think, hot food with the touch of a button! Choose your cartridge, add some water and voila - dinner is served. The catch is we are still years away from perfecting this type of 3D printing. With the projected increase in world population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 3D food printers will help to reduce food waste and feed the growing population. Furthermore, printing foods, as they did in Star Trek, will allow people to venture further into space.
Personalize Your Exercise Gear
Image Source: Sport Techie
Shoes, swimming gears, and even racing cars can be 3D printed. While 3D printed shoes may be more costly than those in stores, athletes report that 3D printed shoes allow more agile movements because they are lightweight. Currently, these shoes are not available to the consumers, but it will be a thing in the near future.
Make Your Own Tools
Image Source: Thingiverse
If you’ve ever misplaced that wrench, or didn’t have the right size wrench, don’t go out and buy one! Make one with your 3-D printer!
Micro Batteries for Miniature Devices
Image Source: Top Info Post
Harvard researchers have created 3D printed lithium-ion batteries that can be used in portable and remote devices useful for industries like communications, defense, and medicine. Applications include the use for miniaturized devices, including medical implants, flying insect-like robots, and tiny cameras and microphones that fit on a pair of glasses.
The Future of 3D Printing
It would appear that 3D printing will change the world. 3D printers are helping people heal bones, pick up a pen for the first time, a dog run, and an eagle eat. Does this mean our future’s looking brighter? Well, if it is then you need a pair of sunglasses - and the 3D printer can always print you a pair.