Over the course of the last couple of years, great strides have been made in the 3D printing technology. From what started off as machines being able to print 3D whistles and keychains has now grown into technology that is capable of reproducing things such as homes, and even eyes. As the boundaries of 3D printing continue to get pushed, there’s no telling what could get printed in the future.
After an unfortunate incident with another dog, a puppy was brought to the University of California Davis School of Veterinary medicine and engineers scanned the puppy’s skull. From there, a custom-fitted mask got printed on a 3D printer. The mask was designed to help hold the pup’s fractured face bones in place during healing.
History was made in March of 2017 when the very first 3D printed home was built in under 24 hours, for less than $11,000. The house got designed as a studio, and the walls and partitions got printed as one structure instead of one that would have had to get assembled manually. The developer stated that the windows and doors were most difficult, and those along with the roof needed human workers for installation.
Cheese is one of the most natural things to melt down, which makes it a prime candidate for 3D printing food experimentation. The research team at the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork melted a mixture similar to processed cheese and pushed it through a 3D printer nozzle. It was heated at 167 degrees and put through the syringe at two extrusion rates. They haven’t concluded whether or not the new type of processed cheese is healthy enough to pass proper consumption inspections.
Dutch researchers have successfully printed eyes using a 3D printer, and while the prostheses won’t give children sight, it works in other ways. The 3D printed eyes help those with undeveloped eyes appear normal. Children grow very fast, so the eyes are only temporary. However, when they get made on 3D printers, it’s done cheaply, precisely, quickly, and in a variety of sizes.
Art in Laughter
February 2017 was a big day on board the International Space Station. Using a machine that gets typically used for the 3D printing of spare parts needed on a mission, the first piece of 3D art got printed. Made in a collaboration between Eyal Gever and Made In Space, the project was titled #Laugh. The piece was designed by an app that captured user’s laughter and then converted it into a digital 3D design similar to a star. More than 100,000 people contributed to the laughter.
With the assistance of 3D printing, German researchers printed a micro-camera that provides eagle-eye vision. The camera was designed to get used in surgical endoscopes, or miniature drones. The researchers printed small groups of four lenses onto an image chip using laser writing technology. The four micro-lenses can get scaled down to 300 by 300 micrometers, and the lenses range from wide to narrow and low to high-resolution. The new design makes it so images get consolidated into a bull’s eye shape that’s similar to an eagle’s view.
The majority of the above strides in 3D printing got created in 2017, and there’s no telling what’s going to happen in 2018. More people are getting accustomed to the technology, and as the awareness continues to grow, the advancement does too. The researchers in all of the studies seem to agree on one thing. Their research states that in the future, 3D printing is going to be the most economically friendly way to construct not just every day necessities, but life-saving ones, too.
Would you live in a 3D printed home or eat cheese that came from a 3D printer? Leave a comment below.