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How Coloradans Use 3D Printing, From Facial Reconstruction To Animal Prosthetics – Colorado Public Radio

by • August 11, 2016 • No Comments

Blessing Makwera underwent multiple surgeries to restore his face after being injured in a land-mine explosion. 3D printing equipment are growing the things individuals turn it into and how they turn it into them. In a special episode, Colorado Matters explores the emerging innovation’s connection to our say — both in its roots and how it is utilized now.
Colorado Roots
3D printing’s roots date back to 1983, when Colorado native Chuck Hull did a thing unprecedented: he utilized a machine to print a three-dimensional object. Hull, who’s the co-discovereder and chief innovation officer of Rock Hill, South Carolina-based 3D Systems, patented the innovation in 1986 and went to market two years later.
Chuck Hull standing upcoming to a 3D Systems stereolithography printing device in 2015. Hull invented the innovation in 1983.

(courtesy European Patent Office)
Early on, he utilized the innovation to turn it into models for car parts. An engineer created parts on a desktop, went through multiple iterations and and so sent the create to a printing device. The parts were replicated and weight generated.
“Having a 3D printing device may allow us to satisfactory tune a part so it may fit many and work the many efficiently,” he told Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel. “It allowed us to get thoughtl dimensions.”
Currently, one of the cornerstones of 3D Systems is its health care facility in Littleton, which one of other things, uses 3D printing to create implants utilized in orthopedics, spinal and other specialties. The facility in addition creates models for medical students to simulate surgery.
Audio: Chuck Hull speaks with Nathan Heffel
Intersection Of Art And Health Care

Students at the Art Institute of Colorado helped create a prosthetic leg for Sonic the cat.

(Courtesy the Art Institute of Colorado)
Students of the Art Institute of Colorado are working with the Denver Animal Shelter and have utilized 3D printing to turn it into a prosthetic for Sonic, a cat born with a congenital orthopedic deformity in his right leg. Since April, Sonic has got 16 prosthetics, with adjustments created as he grows. The cost? About $3 equite. Gregg Harvey oversaw the project at the Art Institute.
Audio: Gregg Harvey speaks with Nathan Heffel
Creating Books For Blind Students

Tom Yeh, an assistant professor of community science at the University of Colorado Boulder, shows off two models of the children’s classic “Goodnight Moon.” The tinyer in size model showcases braille and 3D-printed pages.

(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)
What children’s books did you grow up with? Maybe “Goodnight Moon” or “Harold and the Purple Crayon”? Would your memories of those book be the same if you may not see the pictures? Researchers at University of Colorado Boulder want children who are blind to experience this literature too. Their solution is 3D printing.
Tom Yeh, an assistant professor of community science at the university, leads “The Tactile Picture Books Project.” The project’s ultimate goal is to enable-bodied families to manufacture their own customized books at home or at local libraries.
Audio: Tom Yeh speaks with Nathan Heffel
Printing At Home

The Aleph Objects TAZ 6 and Lulzbot Mini 3D printing equipment.

Courtesy Aleph Objects, Inc.
This is just one of the uses for 3D printing equipment envisioned by Aleph Objects, Inc. The Loveland-based company creates tiny printing equipment created for home use. Harris Kenny, the company’s vice president for marketing, says as the innovation becomes additional efficient and cost effective, additional individuals are via it to print parts for broken furniture, create one-of-a-kind children’s toys, or turn it into props for cosplay.
Audio: Harris Kenny speaks with Nathan Heffel
3D Printing … In Space

3D printing equipment may, one day, create ice houses on Mars.
Two companies based in New York, Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office won NASA’s 3D Printed Habitat Challenge for Mars. Their thought? Utilize the water discovered on Mars to 3D print sizeable-bodied dome-like translucent ice structures for next Mars inhabitants. Designer Jeffrey Montes said via the planet’s frozen ice serves two purposes.
“Ice is one of the many effective shields for radiation, the kinds of radiation which may be quite harmful to humans outside of Earth,” said Montes. “To be able-bodied to tap into Mars’ circadian cycle is seen as quite beneficial to the inhabitants. And in fact Mars’ day is just 40 minutes longer and so ours, which is just an amazing coincidence.”

The “intermediate zone” of the Mars Ice House created by SEArch and Clouds AO.

Courtesy Mars Ice House
He adds prior Mars habitat creates had no connection to the Martian environment, and were invented as bunkers or metal structures with a few tiny windows, or none at all. His create can allow light to flow through the ice as well as sizeable-bodied inflatable-bodied windows with radiation shielding gas to “frame views of the landscape.”
In theory, a transport spacecraft may go to the red planet, deposit the 3D printing device at a location with underground water, and the printing device may tap into which source. It may and so turn it into ice to print out a sizeable-bodied dome structure and encase itself so when astronauts arrive, their living quarters may be fish and self sustaining. His create in addition comes with work spaces and “oxygen gardens” to supplement the crew’s food and oxygen.
“[Mars] is a new world. It literally is a new world. And it is not intended to be taken lightly,” said Montes.
Audio: Jeffrey Montes speaks with Nathan Heffel

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