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New Technology - 3D Printing

Written by Klaus Fuechsel

 

I just read this amazing story about a baby that was born with a birth defect that caused his airway to constantly collapse. Doctors printed out an airway splint using a 3D laser printer and and implanted it successfully to save the baby’s life! While even the simplest 3D printers are still expensive and take a long time to create copies, within the decade I believe such printers will become as common household items.

Just think of the possibilities! Specialty items would not have to be manufactured in bulk; instead, they could be printed out on demand. Just think of the possibilities. You are missing a button from your shirt, just duplicate it. Need a cog to repair an old motor, make a copy. You could even convert your child’s drawing into a 3-dimensional sculpture! With the right 3D hardware and software, the possibilities are endless. Remember those replicators in the star trek films? “Computer – generate me a …”

 There are some downsides to 3D printing, including copyright violations. Buyers of cheap online collectables should be wary. If it’s so easy to print a copy, how can you know if the collectible you’ve been offered is genuine?

3D copying is already a boon to scientists, engineers, and artists. If you can’t afford your own 3D copier, search online. There are companies with labs full of 3D printers taking orders for custom designs. Just send in a picture or the specs, have it duplicated, and the 3D product will be sent to you. So why not give it a try, and create a 3D copy of a favorite heirloom to share with your family?

The following content is inside a Google Doc stored on our Google Drive using Google Apps for Business.

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