3D Printing Advancing Steadily

3D-dronesBack in May, we chatted on the blog about what was new and revolutionary in 3D printing, including printed fruit, makeup, and houses. The cool thing about this type of technology is how drastically it develops.

In just over a few months, the changes in the industry are incredibly significant. And since then, Omaha has gotten its first commercial 3D printing shop, the 3D Kul Factory, and seen collaboration in 3D printing increase at UNL.

Although what’s being printed is different, what’s still important to understand about this type of production is that it inherently changes what it means to “make” and manufacture something– when design and production are available to the masses, how will that change our perceptions of design and creation? It’s an interesting question for all manufacturers, and not one anybody really knows the answer to yet.

So to show a bit of the scope in which printing has changed, we’ll outline some of the exciting things being printed now (remember, just a few months earlier 3D makeup was one of the most poignant new innovations from these printers). Watch with us as this dynamic new invention progresses, and we’d love to hear your thoughts in tweets or comments.

Print Your Pet: If you want to capture your beloved Fido for all eternity, PetPrints3D can help you out. Send the Canadian company a picture of your pet, and they’ll send you a physical 3D reproduction in a sandstone-gypsum blend. Depending on size, one of these faux puppy dogs or kitty cats can cost $250 to $1500 to cover the costs of the digital image processing and model generation.

Printed Skin: One really wonderful thing about 3D printing is that it’s been used in many ways to help victims of tragedies or for health-related reasons– it’s truly changing lives. The University of Toronto is experimenting with 3D printed skin to help with immediate skin grafts for burn victims– as of now, their Print Alive Bioprinter has actually been able to create uniform, large-scale engineering of tissue, according to ComputerWorld. For a person injured in a fire, this could be an amazing way to use their own cells to create exact skin matches.

Printing Drones: If you’re interested in the implications of 3D printing, watch this video from BBC News. BBC speaks to designer Joost Hezemans about  how 3D printing is being used to help create speedier, more efficient drones (alternately known as unmanned aerial vehicles). Since parts can be designed more quickly and produced in a lightweight version of the original, drones are flying faster and further than ever before.

To keep up with what’s going on in 3D printing around the world and here in Nebraska, make sure to check back on the blog every once in a while to see what’s new. And in an industry as fast-paced as this one, there almost always will be new information to share or see.

photo credit: Internet Chronicle