In what would have seemed like something straight out of a science fiction movie years ago, British surgeons have performed the first surgery using 3D printing as the main base technology for the entire procedure. Using a 3D print out of their patient's skull, followed by 3D created implants, doctors were able to successfully reconstruct the face of a patient whose face was thought to be damaged beyond repair after a motorcycle accident.
This is just one of the many incredible stories 3D printing has brought to fruition, and this technology is just beginning! 3D printing has been around for years, but it's quickly gaining popularity. This year 3D printers are popping up all over the place, debuting in force at places like the CES International tradeshow. So what exactly is this new technology? How does it work and what are some of the strides that have already been taken? We're taking a closer look at this amazing technology in our Crazy Tech segment!
How does it work?
The basis of 3D printing is layering. Every creation from a 3D printer is consisted of thin strips of material that are repeatedly layered on top of one another. This additive type of construction varies from typical construction, generally starting with a material that is slowly stripped away until the end result is present.
Demonstrated above with the help of @busybots and a 3D yoda, here are the basic steps to a 3D creation:
1. Use CAD (Computer Aided Design) file or animation software for design mockup
2. Choose a material (plastic, paper, rubber, metal, etc.)
3. Watch the fun begin! The 3D printer will begin passing back and forth, slowly layering the material
4. Material is fused together during the process to create a 3D construction
In what seems like a complicated process made simple, 3D printing has far exceeded its debut of creating 3D figurines or bracelets. 3D printing has stepped up a notch and you'd be amazed at what people are creating. With printers ranging from $1,000 to upwards of $600,000, we may be a ways off from regularly building 3D houses, but we're headed in that direction! Take a look at some of the craziest creations so far.
- Transportation: Fully functioning automobiles have been created with 3D printing, like the EV Racing car below. If that's a bit too much for you, how about a boat?
- Healthcare: Like the story above, 3D printing is slowly making its way into the healthcare industry. From prosthetics to face transplants, scientists are making great strides. They hope to soon 3D print organ transplants
- Art: It's not too safe to cart around hundred year old statues, or display precious artifacts, but 3D printing can give you the next best thing. Anyone need a life sized statue of Thomas Jefferson?
What are some of the craziest 3D creations you've seen so far? Comment below!
Information courtesy of: mashable.com, huffingtonpost.com, complex.com; Images couresty of: complex.com
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