Fabricating the Future - 6 Fascinating Capabilities of 3D Printing

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fabricating the Future - 6 Fascinating Capabilities of 3D Printing

3D Printing

3D printers are exploding into the world thanks to the variety of really cool things they can do and ways they can help people. 3D printing has already come a long way and can utilize a variety of materials to create an item from an original blueprint.

Here are some of the coolest things that are currently able to be produced via 3D printing.

1. Medical Implants

Anything from airway stints to dental implants can now be created using 3D printing technology, and eventually it will likely make such implants much cheaper than they are now. This market is continuing to grow, and the devices created by 3D printers continue to be tested and approved for use.

2. Customized Portraits

Thanks to 3D scanning, customized portraits using your likeness can be created, such as 3D figures to put on top of wedding cakes or for other uses. It can also create funny or cool statues of yourself, a favorite character, or even Internet memes.

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3. Circuit Boards

Circuit boards can now easily be made with a 3D printer. Currently, they are most useful as prototypes or for experimental circuits, as they as not as vibration resistant as a soldered circuit board, but that may soon change.

4. Prosthetics

For people who have lost a body part, 3D printers are now able to print all kinds of prosthetics big and small, from noses and ears to arms and legs. They can be made from soft substances like silicone to mimic skin or harder plastics and metals like for prosthetic arms and legs. Cameras are being used to ensure the prosthetic looks and fits the patient correctly.

5. Pharmaceuticals

In 2015, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals became the first company to have a 3D-printed drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug is called Spritam (levetiracetam) and it helps with epilepsy. More types of drugs will likely follow, greatly reducing medication costs for many, many people.

6. Guitars

At least one company is already offering custom 3D-printed guitars that behave and sound like traditionally-made guitars. These guitars can be created to individual specifications and preferences and can easily be engraved with the name of your band, your name or any phrase you want.

3D printing technology will continue to have an impact on products and everyday life, and that impact will only get greater as the technology continues to improve and more reliable and diverse items are able to be created. Given what the technology is already capable of, it's anyone's guess what cool new things 3D printing is going to provide us in the near future.

By  Dixie SomersEmbed

Author Bio - Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance and self improvement. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


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