The Power of 3D Printing

February 8, 2012

A computer model of the fitted 3D-printed jaw is shown next to an image of the manufactured part
(Photo from BBC News: Technology)

Over the past few months, 3D printing has become more popular in the world of technology. For those who may not be familiar with them, 3D Printers are machines that produce three-dimensional objects from digital data by printing layers of physical material. Essentially, it doesn’t print words on paper, but a thing.

In product development, 3D printers are an important piece of technology and one which is developing rapidly with new research. The printers allow designers to create instant prototypes and make continuous product changes where needed.

We read a story today on BBC News that an 83-year-old woman in the Netherlands had a transplant jaw made by a 3D printer. The implant was built by LayerWise—a specialized metal-parts manufacturer based in Belgium. The transplant took place last June, but is just now being publicized. This transplant demonstrates that precision 3D printing can be effective for both bones and organ implants. Seems crazy that something so simple can create something so complex. You can read the full story here.

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