What’s on the 3D Printing Horizon

The ability to print in 3D is constantly growing to include new materials and unbelievable feats. Here are a few new horizons that are opening up in 3D printing.

Doing Good

Recently, engineers have used a 3D printer to spread a bit of goodwill by helping a boy from Haiti. Stevenson Joseph, a 12 year-old orphan born without fingers on either hand, can now play catch, hold a water bottle, and is discovering new things he can do every day. While living at a home for disabled children, Stevenson met John and Lisa Marshal who saw the boy’s potential. The Marshals then got in contact with Richard von As who had made a prosthetic hand for himself after losing his own fingers in a woodworking accident. After months of engineering, the new hand cost only around $300 and has made a very happy child of Stevenson. He is excited to see how much more he can do. Catch the full story.

3D Printed House from Gypsum

Thinking Big

Does building a house in a matter of hours seem impossible? Not with 3D printing. A company in China has put together a program that uses cement walls and recycled building materials called gypsum to construct new houses. Though a huge undertaking for the world of 3D printing, the houses are small. They come ready for plumbing, electrical lines, windows and insulation. 3D house construction has room to grow in the housing market and will likely continue to be both eco-friendly and relatively inexpensive. Read more about it!

Going Soft

Now let’s scale it down a bit from grandiose house construction to teddy bears. 3D printing has not been able to work with soft materials until now. Scott Hudson, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, led a team to develop a printer head that works with needle and thread to create the first ever plush item, a teddy bear. Though an age-old practice, sewing has been a more difficult feat for 3D printing. A needle is threaded with yarn, then process is broken down into instructions for the printer to follow. It layers successive stitches to create the teddy bear. Teddy’s creators hope to use this technology for engineering items we wear close to our skin such as body-monitoring sensors and lifelogging devices. Check out the whole story!

What other jobs will 3D printing take on in the future? Let your imagination run wild!

Greg Gladman
Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers.

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