Fifty years ago, people couldn’t even imagine that some day, there would be a way to print large objects. Today 3D printing is still not an integral part of our everyday life. But, this industry is advancing really fast.
Everyday researchers, scientists and engineers come up with new ways to improve the lives of people, using 3D printing. Considering the applications of this technology, 3D printing will change our world for the better.
3d printing is a technology for manufacturing physical 3-dimensional objects using digital data. It was developed in 1983, by the American scientist Charles Hull. Today, there are many techniques of 3D printing. Details are created layer by layer and there is a wide selection of materials.
Considering how this technology can improve the life of modern society, starting with people with disabilities, 3D printing technology has changed Tilly Lockey’s life and helped her pursue her goals.
When Tilly was less than 2 years old, she almost died of meningitis septicemia. In the end, she fought the disease. But, because of complications, doctors had to amputate both of her hands.
A few years ago, the UK National Health Service launched the world’s first 3D printed Bionic arms for children. Tilly was one of 10 volunteers who received these prosthetic limbs.
Today, the girl is an actress, a singer and a dancer. Also, she enjoys her life to the fullest.
Kiran is another kid who got lucky. He got a prosthetic arm created with the help of a 3D printer. The boy was born with amniotic band syndrome and lost the fingers on his right hand. Kiran says that he was constantly teased in school and he always wanted to be like all other children.
The prosthetic limb could be the way out. But, usually they are quite expensive and children outgrow them quickly. In the end, 3D printing is what helped Kirin. 3D printed prosthetics are lightweight, functional and most importantly affordable. Of course such prosthetics are made not only for children.
Kate gray was only two years old when she lost her arm in an accident. The same project that gave Tilly her arm, also helped Kate. Now she can do her daily duties and lead a very active lifestyle. People are not the only creatures on the planet whose life can be changed with the help of 3D printing.
This technology allows creating artificial limbs of the most diverse forms quickly and with affordable cost. So, why not help animals too?
The great pied hornbill living in Jurong bird park in Singapore has lost part of its beak due to cancer. The bird was facing certain death. But, the vets were able to recreate the missing part.
It was printed on a 3D printer. The bird was named Jerry because it means Helmeted warrior in the ancient Norse language. Jerry feels great with a new beak and even managed to color it yellow using natural pigmentation from his tail.
The possibilities of modern 3D printing are truly infinite. The volumetric model is created on the computer. Each millimeter is adjusted to their required dimensions. Then the printer makes an exact copy of this model, which is a crucial benefit of this technology.
It was 3D printing that gave Derby, the dog new legs. He was born with deformed front legs and paws. The wheels helped. But, they severely limited the dogs movements. Now, with the new legs, Derby can run and play with other dogs and feel great. Help is undoubtedly an important aspect of every person’s life.
In 2016, Reebok introduced a new technology called liquid factory 3D. Traditionally, you need molds to create Footwear, the process is long and rather expensive. Liquid factory technology allows you to make shoes without molds.
Experts set up the robot and it creates a sole layer by layer. The printed shoes are more elastic than the ones manufactured in a traditional way. The design you see on the screen allows sneakers to wrap around the lake and provide full support from all sides.
Production becomes faster and cheaper. Printed shoes are also superior to its competitors, in terms of quality. Nike also uses 3D printed shoe parts, insoles and soles made from thermoplastic polyurethane to develop shoe prototypes and some manufacturers even started to produce special printers that can print shoes.
3D printing technologies which are actively used in construction are also something to be considered. In 2017, Copenhagen began the construction of an office, hotel which will become the first 3D printed building in Europe. Equipment ofcourse is not cheap. But, it quickly pays off because the number of workers at the construction site can be reduced to a minimum if we can print the entire house. Then, of course we can create smaller objects.
For example, furniture or sculptures unlike traditional works of art, they can have any shape and you don’t need a lot of time and effort to make this shape because all the work is done by a 3D printer. This is especially convenient for sculptures.
The guys who designed the first car in the world with all the details printed on a 3D printer took 3D printing into a new level.
It is quite small and weighs only 650 kilograms. It accelerates only 270 km/h but it costs less than $10,000. The 3D printing industry is expected to bring many surprises in the future.
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