The Future of 3D Printing

A lot has been said about 3D printing, though the knowledge about the technology among the common population can be best described as sketchy and mysterious or terribly less. Often people view the technology as something fiendish and unholy. 3D printing essentially involves a printer which prints in 3 dimensions. The common printer prints only in two dimensions and is not able to envisage the depth of any object. With the 3D technology, it is possible to create any copy of any object with special printing materials. In earlier times only a few objects and prototypes could be created since the printing material was limited. However with the latest advancement in 3D technology , a large array of materials are being used which includes plastics and even metallic powder which can be heated or shredded with laser guns to get any desired shape. The technology is very accurate and even the most intricate designs could be created.

3D printers were first used in premium industries such as AeroSpace and defence. The high cost was primarily responsible for the slow spread of the technology. However with the advent of cheaper printers, the technology is increasingly finding varied use. The most exciting branch in which the technology is finding use is medicine and healthcare.

One of the most widespread uses of 3D printing technology is in the making of prosthetic aids. Take for example a person who had his legs amputated. By feeding the 3D image of the stump, the head of the artificial limb can be fashioned in a much better way so that it fits snugly into the stump with the help of 3D printers. The same is the case with hearing aids which can be better prepared by having a 3D picture of the eardrum. In coming times 3D printers will be creating artificial joints of the hip. Material which are inert and more compatible and less prone to rejection by the body will be used to create these joints.

3D technology is also being used to create models of human organs so that future Physicians and Surgeons can study and do operative procedures in a better way. This will also help to get over the acute shortage of bodies which are usually faced by the medical institutions. However this is nothing as compared to what the future holds for 3D printing technology. In future 3D printers will be creating tissues like cartilage, bones and even blood vessels. One of the future uses of 3d technology would be to make a framework of a blood vessel or a part of the organ with organic material such as sugar or proteins upon which the body will form new tissues. This will be particularly useful in treating trauma and accident victims.

 

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