What Next, 3D People?

Ian Hancock General, Industry News, Stuff

I love this story. A 3D printer has just created a new lower jaw for a 83 year old woman. The lady, who lives in the Netherlands, had the new jaw fitted as part of a heated and fused procedure.

If you have never seen rapid prototyping in action, check out this link for one of our clients. HK Rapid Prototyping use Objet machines to create the most amazing prototyping. In fact, just looking at what can be created with these types of machines, makes me wonder about the future. For example, how long before we have trainers created by our own 3D printing machines. I can imagine it now, my trainers have lost their grip and I shred the prototyping material to reconstruct my new trainers in my Nike prototyping machine.

Seems like something out of a science fiction movie. What’s next on the agenda, 3D people with working parts?

Mr Wauthle, a medical applications engineer, discussing 3D printing for LayerWise, said that the ultimate goal was to print body organs ready for transplant, but cautioned that such advances might be beyond our lifetimes.

“There are still big biological and chemical issues to be solved,” he said.

“At the moment we use metal powder for printing. To print organic tissue and bone you would need organic material as your ‘ink’. Technically it could be possible – but there is still a long way to go before we’re there.”