Show Stopper: The ZPrinter 310
system by Z Corp. was recently showcased on TV drama CSI: NY as a
A tool that's growing
in popularity among design engineers, 3D printing still has a long way to go
before becoming a standard fixture in the crime scene lab. But on the popular TV
series CSI: NY , the tool—which rapidly creates models of parts by depositing layers of material much like an ink jet printer—has proved to be also useful in solving a crime. In the Dec. 1 episode, a mounted policeman was shot to death. Investigators believed the weapon was a high-power rifle, but could not prove it without the key evidence—the bullet. It passed through the victim's body, entered his horse's vertebrae, and could not be safely removed. No matter, said Oscar-winner Gary Sinise, a.k.a. Detective Mac Taylor, who took digital data from a scan of the horse and used the ZPrinter 310 System by Z Corp. to create a 3D model of the bullet. Karen Kiffney, Z Corp.'s marketing manager, says inquiries about the 310 model have gone up after the episode aired. Marketed as an entry-level system, the machine can create parts up to 8 × 10 × 8 inches (203 × 254 × 203 mm) in size. To learn more and to see an animated demonstration of the system, go to http://rbi.ims.ca-4385-540.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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