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3D Printing Set To Become The Norm

2011-03-04 08:45:16

Published on 2011-03-04 08:45:16

Using a printer to produce a dizzying range of goods – like cars, instruments and even food – is no longer the stuff of science fiction, it has been claimed.

According to Chris Brown, writing for the Winnipeg Free Press, the technology – which uses modelling software to build up plastic replicas of designs – has the potential to play a key role in the production of products for the jewellery, dentistry, auto parts manufacturing, medical applications and aerospace industries.

But, perhaps more importantly, 3D printers could soon be making their way into our homes in the not too far distant future.

"Three-dimensional printers will soon be able to take our ideas composed on a laptop and reproduce them in plastic right on our desktops," Mr Brown writes.

The writer envisages a time when he'll be able to use a 3D printer to resolve all manner of household problems – like when you drop the remote control and the little plastic door that covers the back of the batteries gets lost or broken, for example.

"I can already see myself going to the manufacturer's website and downloading the 3D printing files to my computer and printing out a new battery door panel."

The same idea could be applied to losing the house key, he also suggests – simply print out a new one.

Recently, researchers in the US modified a standard inkjet and put human cells in it, instead of standard ink. They hope to one day be able to use the device to 'print' skin – and it could be used to treat wounded soldiers.

Posted by Canzil Ahmed.

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