For those that haven’t received the memo yet, the future has been now for quite a while. Humanity as a whole has come up with a steady stream of inventions for hundreds of years, but the offerings up the last 50 years or so have been nothing short of amazing.
Many of the modern tools that we now take for granted were science fiction not so long ago. Things like cell phones, lasers, and specialized medical tools seem to have been plucked from the pages of the Star Trek novels. And there’s more. At long last, it is now possible to create three-dimensional objects out of virtually nothing.
This is done with the help of what are known as 3d printers. These ultra modern technological marvels have already transformed the way many industries do business, and promise to transform the human way of life in the very near future. This article will bring readers 5 amazing 3d printed products that will surprise many people. But first, the obvious question needs to be answered. What are 3d printers?
JUST WHAT ARE 3D PRINTERS?
3d printing is an emerging technology that uses specially produced designs created on computers to create actual 3d objects. 3d printers range in size from a small box to the size of a house. Because of this, these technological tools are capable of producing anything from car parts to nails.
5 SURPRISING USES FOR 3D PRINTERS
1. Prosthetic limbs
Unfortunately, many individuals around the world have suffered catastrophic injuries that have resulted in the loss of one or more limbs. While today’s prostheses are better than ever, they still do not perfectly fit every individual’s specific body dimensions. The 3d printing industry promises to be able to change this trend. But entering careful measurements of the patient, it is possible to create personalized prosthetics that perfectly fit the individuals body symmetry. Even though fully formed live limbs are a couple of years off, doctors recently replaced over 75% of a patient’s skull with 3d printed material.
2. New teeth
Dental care is an elusive thing for the majority of people on the planet. Coupled with the fact that tooth decay is one of the most common ailments, the result is a population of people that are in dire dental straits. 3d printers promise to help correct this sad situation. 3D printing technology promises to make creating artificial teeth incredibly inexpensive, and can very quickly create dentures, bridges, and crowns.
3. New organs
There are more people than ever on medical transplant lists, and more or join every day. 3d printing now promises to allow scientists to create designer organs that can control once chronic illnesses. An example of this is the printing of glucose sensitive organs that can regulate sugar levels.
4. Space manufacturing
Getting parts into space has long been a very costly business. With jet fuel and cargo space at a premium, every pound of weight matters. 3d printing is poised to revolutionized this field as well. NASA is now collaborating with companies to conduct zero gravity experiments to test out the feasibility of 3d printing necessary parts in space itself. If successful, this will revolutionize space travel as we know it.
5. Aircraft parts
3d printing materials have long been used in many kinds of aircraft. In the past, 3d printing techniques did not allow the formation of large objects. That said, many modern printers are super-sized, and thus this limitation has gone out of the window. Companies such as BAE systems have been experimenting with techniques of strengthening metal parts as they are printed. This is opening the door to allowing the full-scale printing of actual aircraft wings.
As can be seen, 3D printing is truly here to stay. Only time will tell just how far this emerging technology will carry the human species.