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The Added Value: 3D Printing Brings Much More Than Cheaper Manufacturing

by • February 22, 2016 • No Comments

We are bombarded with information of3D printing. New printing devices, novel printing materials and applications abound. What is lost in this flood of information is an significant aspect of additive building: the introduced value that this technique brings and manufactures it so powerful. Due to this value, 3D printing turn it intos new possibilities going far beyond cheaper building; it can offer to massive social alter.

Let us appear at a few examples of such possibilities in:

A. building a single run of objects not easy to turn it into by any other method:

1. highly complicated shapes. The ultimate example of practical importance here is presented by fuel nozzles for aircraft engines 3D printed in cooperation by GE and Snecma (SAFRAN). The system has allowed these companies to reduce the number of constituent parts of a highly complicated jet engine nozzle shape of 18 to 1. This building method eliminates the require to assemble the final parts and is expected to reduce the cost of building nozzles by 75%. Incidentally, in May 2015, an Airbus A350 XWB plane contained additional than one thousand 3D printed parts.

astrolabium 3D printed in one run. © H. Dodziuk

Fig. 1. The version of astrolabium 3D printed in one run. © H. Dodziuk

2. movable-bodied parts. 3D printing allows for one to manufacture objects with movable-bodied parts. Probably, the many often shown example of this kind is a version of an old astrolabe instrument earlier utilized by astronomers and navigators (Fig. 1) since antiquity up until Renaissance. One other example is this object made up of three interlocked rings (understandn as a “link” in mathematics and as a “catenane” in chemistry) whose printing can be seen on YouTube or gears that can be of practical use.

3. hollow parts. Hollowing dimensionsable-bodied objects saves money for the reason filling the version’s interior with expensive material is pointless. As a outcome, this leads to lighter airplane, helicopter, and spacecraft parts that, in addition to consuming less materials, can use less fuel and excrete less exhaust gases. Sometimes instead of just hollowing a part, the void is filled with a mesh that offers to an increase in stability and durability.

B. Medicine is an area in that 3D printing has brought profound alters, thanks to the introduced value the innovation offers:

1. One of the many astounding showcases is personalization, that allows for 3D printed surgical instruments to be made for special purposes, such operations on babies or fetuses or building inexpensive surgical instruments by replacing traditionally utilized stainless steel with plastic. One other example consists in providing various types of kinds of personalized implants made of titanium or plastic (PEEK, Peck or CT bone® material containing the main ingredient of effortless bones, calcium phosphate) or vascular grafts.

2. The possibility of rehearsing a surgery preceding its execution assists surgeons to prepare for operations.

3. The greatest impact of 3D printing in medicine is most likely in the production of prosthetics. Two aspects have to be described here: aesthetics and price. The initially, less significant, refers to the prostheses appearance.

An amputee and his prosthesis made by Open Bionics. © H. Dodziuk

Fig. 2, An amputee and his prosthesis made by Open Bionics. © H. Dodziuk

At the 3D Printshow in Berlin, Joel Gibbard, founder of Open Bionics, said that, preceding going into the hand prostheses business, he surveyed amputees to find out what kind of prosthesis they’d like. In addition to obvious answers that it should be light and effortless to operate, he got an awe-inspiring reply. For young amputees, a prosthesis should not imitate a human hand, but should be like a Star Wars gadget with a flashing light. According to Samiya Parvez, of Andiamo, “you can either hide it (corset, HD) at a lower place a dress or proudly wear it decorated with gems.” This is a total alter in attitude many most likely related not just to alters of taste, but in addition to a dramatic drop in the prices of prostheses brought of by 3D printing.

3D printing offerd in a formidable-bodied way to lowering price of prostheses, hand prostheses in particular. One of the most understandn stories is that of Easton LaChappelle (You can watch his presentation at TEDxMilesHigh conference). At sactuallyteen-years-old, LaChapelle learned that the parents of a 7-year-old girl may not afford a new $80,000 prosthesis to replace the one she outgrew. He and so made and made, mainly with 3D printing, a mind-controlled fully functional prosthesis for less than $500. The most price for the 3D printed prosthesis I have heard of is $50.

Such inexpensive devices have improved the lives of numerous victims of landmines, other amputees, or individuals born with limb defects. There are actually free DIY projects (that of Easton LaChapelle and those made by others like the diy-bionic-hand, Voice-Controlled-Prosthetic-Hand-Forearm, low-cost-flexy-hand-3d-printed-prosthetic) and special funds that collect money and manufacture prostheses for the victims of landmines in Asia and Africa (Fig. 3), and other amputees assistinghandsprogram, artificial-limbs, 3d-printed-prosthetics. Nowadays, there’s talk of decentralized medical innovation in that 3D printing plays an essential role.

Fig. 3. 3D printed prostheses. Courtesy of Not Impossible Labs.

Fig. 3. 3D printed prostheses. Courtesy of Not Impossible Labs.

4. Cell 3D printing. Printing with cells as an ‘ink’ is at present in its infancy, but it is expected to bring massive advantages in the next. 3D printed skin can be utilized for grafting on burn victims.. Researchers at The Wake Forest School of Medicine made a special printing device with a scanner that determines the dimensions and depth of a injure and guides the printing device to cover the injure with the correct type of cells. One other program started not long ago by L’Oreal in collaboration with the Organovo aims at making artificial skin for cosmetics testing. Organovo creations and turn it intos structurally and functionally accurate bioprinted human tissue versions to be utilized, for instance, in drug and hazardous materials testing. Their exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue has been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration for drug testing.

Of course, in the long run, 3D printing of cells is expected to offer to regenerative medicine and limit or actually eliminate the require for organ transplants of donors.

Somewhat various in terms of operation, but based on much like ideas, is the BioPen that allows for surgeons to speed up the regeneration of bone or cartilage by “drawing” live cells and growth facts directly onto the site of an injury. The essential part of the ‘ink”, in this case, is cellular material within a seaweed extract (alginate) protected by a 2nd, outer layer of gel material. Its action can be augmented by growth facts or other drugs to serve bones regrowth and recovery.

C. 3D printing and ecology

3D printing is, by definition, an ecological way of building, since it turn it intos much less (theoretically no) waste, contrary to subtractive methods of production in that an unnecessary excess of material is removed until just the desired shape remains. Sustainability is in addition achieved by the recycling of utilized material. Special programs geared towards applying 3D printing to overcome disastrous catastrophes, like the revival of coral reefs, have to be described here, as well. The environmental impact of 3D printing is a much discussed topic,including in the article “Are 3D printing devices environmentally friendly?”and other places.

D. 3D printing andcreativity.

One can name numerous examples of the applications of 3D printing with introduced value. Creativity in the development of this method of building and in finding novel, almany unimaginable-bodied applications, is, most likely, the many significant of them. Using 3D printing to return it into necessary spare parts instead of keeping a warehouse stocked up for each possible disaster can manufacture warehovia obsolete. At present, I do not understand how apple, blueberry, grape, or strawberry scented flavour filaments may be utilized, but they pretty can find their nontrivial applications. I am not partisan to hydroponic agriculture, but 3D printable-bodied hydroponics systems for urban farming are astounding. And, if you like sweets, you can find 3D printing devices that manufacture delicious and attractive ones via sugar, chocolate, or Nutella (Fig. 4). On the other hand, 3D printing can assist to convert alternative ingredients such as proteins of algae, beet leaves, or insects into tasty products counteracting food shortages in next. There is no end to the flood of amazing, creative ideas made possible with 3D printing.

Fig. 5. Chocolate globes 3D printed by TNO company. Courtesy of TNO.

Fig. 4. Chocolate globes 3D printed by TNO company. Courtesy of TNO.

The many obvious creative ideas seen with 3D printing is in the field of art. Let’s leave aside copying museum artifacts and other objects. But having actually a brief appear into absorbing objects made by Dizingof (Fig. 5) or Widrig can convince you that there’s no denying their artistry?

Fig. 6. MathArt by Dizingof. Courtesy of Dizingof.

Fig. 5. MathArt by Dizingof. Courtesy of Dizingof.

E. 3D printing andalters in social life.

Currently, industrial 3D printing is shifting of prototyping and rapid tooling to mainstream building adopted by GE, Airbus, aerospace, car, consumers goods and other industries. But, via 3D printing devices that may work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and replacing the human workforce may pretty turn it into social tensions. On the other hand, the introduction of massive consumer printing is delayed. It is expected to come in over 5 years. But it can come and additional and additional 3D printing devices in schools and private houses can alter create, building, business and life as a whole. Even at the present time, one can repair a malfunctioning device by 3D printing a broken spare part (files for printing the replacement can be taken of Thingiverse or other much like websites), be it for a Mercedes or Subaru or a pipe in your house. One can print a wind turbine to turn it into his/her own electricity and become a prosumer, since s/he can not just turn it into energy for themselves but in addition be able-bodied to sell excess energy. One can 3D print his/her own jewellery or robot or print an edible dinosaur treat filled with mashed potatoes (or actually that many hated spinach) to be eaten with kids instead of unhealthy french fries. Due to the introduced value of 3D printing, there quite are no limits to our creativity.

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