3D printing – this is what’s next.

3d printing

3D printing – it’s here. It’s amazing.  And what will it mean for many aspects of society? Not sure. But there have been some really amazing things lately that have made me sit up and take notice of this new advance in technology. I want to present a few of them here.

First, it was my trip to the dentist. With a tooth almost completely gone, after an old Amalgam filling from the 70s was removed, I needed a crown. A very large crown. In comes my dentist with his computer screen perched on a cart. He starts pointing a laser and outlining my teeth and explains to me that he is going to “print” my tooth out of a ceramic material in the back room (a temp while the porcelain one is made).  PRINT? A TOOTH? Cannot be….

“Do you want to watch?” he says.  “Hell yes!” I replied (thankfully my dentist is entertained by my curiosity). I sat and watched as a 3D printer in the back room of the office “made” my tooth. Every groove and bump perfectly fabricated.  It was incredible.  Here is how it works in the video below (and that is not my dentist btw).

After becoming aware of this whole 3D thing at the dentist’s office, I really started to notice small news items here and there about 3D printing. Some of my favorite ones are below. They are all ONLY related by the fact that they involve 3D printing, but as you can imagine in each instance the possibilities are astoundingly endless!

Escher in 3D

The folks at Technion University in Isreal have brought to life the artist MC Escher’s fantasmical structures using 3D printing technology. His talents were always thought to be architecturally incorrect…but with the 3D printing we can see these fictional buildings and spaces come to life. A video showing how it happened is below.

83 year old Woman gets New Jaw

A company called Layerwise recreated a new jaw for a woman out of titanium. The BBC reported on this earlier this year. I was actually suprised there wasn’t more coverage. Think of the advances this could mean in prosthetic limbs, arms – for veterans. More in the video below

Copying the Masters

Cosmo Wenman shows us in this video how he was able to use 3D scanning and printing and a MakerBot to recreate some fine art sculptures from the Getty.

Finally – let your imagination run wild with USC Professor Khoshnevis‘ TedX talk on large scale 3D printing. You want a 3D house you say?  Well just you wait…..