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The future of 3D printing is bright and strong

EagleTech Contributed Column

By Quinten Kilborn
On March 23, 2017

Above, a prosthetic arm created by a
3D printer. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED.

3D printing is the future. Last month, we covered the ways 3D printing is being used all around us in shoes, toys, and even cars. But this is only a fraction of what 3D printing will be capable of and much sooner than you might think.

Adidas and Nike are already experimenting with custom-fit 3D printed shoes. Now, imagine that but on a grander scale. 3D printing will one day be used to print customized versions of almost anything you can think of. It could be used in custom cars, electronics, and even clothing. 

A company called Local Motors is already working on a 3D printed car called the LM3D. They’ve printed the car using 75 percent 3D printed parts but plan on pushing that number to 90 percent this year. 

On a bigger scale, even houses are starting to be 3D printed. A company in Russia printed a full-size house in 24 hours for $10,000 that will last for up to 175 years. 

The medical field is also starting to use 3D printing. Prosthetics have been created by people all the way from medical professionals to average people just trying to help. “A global network of passionate volunteers” called Enabling The Future creates 3D printed prosthetics for children who need them. But it gets crazier. Human tissue is being 3D printed from stem cells, and could possibly be used to “test new drugs, grow organs, or ultimately print cells directly inside the body.” 

So that’s it, right? That’s the extent of what 3D printing can do… right? Wrong! There are now 3D printers that print food. Foods such as pizza and chocolate are already being successfully printed.  3D printed food is even being considered as a possible solution to taking food into space.

3D printing only gets more compelling as time goes on. And we’re about to see a lot more of it, from food to things we haven’t even thought of yet. The future may be a mystery, but one thing is for certain: 3D printing is going to be a huge part of it.

 

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