Wow, what will be available for 3D printing next--a human being?? :) I'm just kidding, of course, but this story is impressive! Printing sure has come a long way from dot-matrix, hasn't it? Look forward to more developments in this area and the potential for doing this commercially someday. If it progresses I forsee a whole new era of at-home inventions and armchair mad professors being inspired!
I'm looking forward to a bioprinted liver to replace my current transplant when it wears out in about 20 years. It would be nice to get off the expensive immunosuppressant drugs I have to take to prevent rejection.
But why stop with existing organs, why not make a few improvements while we are at it?
I find it interesting that they are talking about including 3D printers on space flights so they can make replacement parts. Would have come in handy for Apollo 13.
I thought robotics were going to be the future, right now it looks like 3D printing is going to be the transformative technology.
Sounds like you've been reading Raymond Kurzweil's books, BrainiacV. I don't know if any of his predictions involve 3D printing, but the two of you seem to be on the same wavelength. He has written two books on living forever: "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and "Nine Steps to Living Well Forever." Kurzweil's a prolific inventor (notably, the Kurzweil reader) and, it should be mentioned, former Design News Engineer of the Year.
I believe that in 20 years, we will be 3D printing organs like the liver, pancreas, etc. I thought robotics would be transformative, and it is in biomechanical medical procedures, but 3D printing is certainly leading the pack.
Thanks, everyone--isn't this fun? I think it was only a matter of time once the industry achieved the ability to "print" flexible electronics via lithography, as DN has covered in the past: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=249722
Cadman-LT, I agree. Its an awesome feeling to be able to think of a design and within several minutes see it materialize before your eyes. Neil Gershenfeld's vision of Fab Labs has definitely transformed into opportunities he could only imagine. The Manufacturing of the Future is alive and it fits nicely on a desktop.
Cadman-LT, I'm just wondering what great innovations and applications will be developed this year for 3D-printers. I had a discussion with my Control Systems class last Friday and explained that manufacturing is slowly coming back and 3D printing is the next evolution in this technology movement. Showed a Makerbot Replicator 2 video to connect the dots. They thought the video was pretty awesome.http://www.makerbot.com/
mrdon, I don't know...it's getting pretty crazy what they can do. I just saw a show where they 3D printed a house!! I think it was the walls, but it was amazing. This has come so far in say the last 3 years or so, I can't imagine 10 years from now.
Cadman-LT, That's the cool thing about tech: its based on imagination and projection into the future. No one knows how the innovation will turn on but the creative process and implementation phase of development is definitely worth the risk!
I agree. I guess what I was trying to say was.....with the way things are going....you used to need an engineering background to design things....now anyone can do it.....I just hope kids still learn the fundamentals. It's kind of like what I mentioned about calculators, just because it can do the math for you doesn't mean you don't need to know what it's doing.
Cadman-LT, I agree. I tell my Electrical Engineering Tech students just because you puncha bunch a numbers into a calculator and press the enter key doesn't necessarily give you the correct the answer. The potential answer needs to be checked against the original problem for proper validation.
mrdon, I was wondering something that maybe you can answer for me...being a teacher. Years ago I borrowed some books from a network engineer. Basically they were about policies and directories. Everything I read was stuff I knew....not from books...it's just the way I taught myself. It just made sense to do things that way. I just couldn't understand why someone would have to read a book to know this. So my question is, do some people seem to understand tech better than others? What I read...to me...was common sense...but they had to write these books for a reason. Maybe it's like math, some people just "get it" and some don't.
Cadman-LT, What I found out in teaching engineering and technology to students is basically some folks have the ability to see complex subjects (ie math), thereby grasping the subject matter with little effort. Then, there are folks who learn by rote method requiring constant practice of the subject matter using reading and self-quizzing techniques for material retention. Last, there are folks who learn by building (tactile) stuff for visualizing the solution to the problem.
Belief it or not, Common Sense is not common in our society. One of the key elements to teaching is to relate the subject to the students' personal experiences. The result of this engagement technique is to allow learning the material through self discovery facilitated by the educator. The challenge for an educator is being able to make a quick assessment of the students in the classroom and to engage them based on some of the learning modes mention. I teach 4-1/2 blocks of electronics engineering tech courses and believe me, its educational entertainment at its finest! Hope I answered your question.
mrdon, you did and then some. I appreciate it. People learn in different ways. I can just read a book, but some need another form. Well, that's why you're a teacher and I am not. I've trained in the work force, but never taught. I'll leave that to you guys. I bet it's very rewarding!
mrdon, I kind of envy you in one way. You get to mold young minds. They have no preconceived ideas. When it comes to training in the work force, people come in thinking they "know it all". I have always been humble enough to know that every place is different and has a different way of doing things. I have taken on trainees that just refuse my help....they don't last long...lol It's really discouraging to see that. It is almost like they don't think I am trying to help them...I never did get it. I would see them struggling and try to help, and they would refuse. I was NEVER like that. That's the wrong way to be in my opinion. I think you learn where you can and you never stop learning. Some people seem to think they know it all, and they are the ones that fail.
Teaching is very rewarding. To be able to give people hope through knowledge/skills training is the ultimate high. I walk in a classroom to reach one student but instead several of them appreciate the experiences I bring to the classroom. Man, what a great feeling to transform people's lives.
mrdon, that is great. You do a very good thing. I am not a teacher, but I tried to help some along. In fact I was once one that needed some teaching. I guess the only thing I did different than the ones I tried to help was I listened. Always be open to new ideas and ways of thinking. Being hard-headed will get you no where fast. Keep up the good work!
Cadman, there are so many different 3D printers for so many different applications and material sets, that it would take me about as long as it would take you to create a list--probably longer, since I don't know what you're looking for. I suggest you search on 3D printing/printers on the DN website. We have tons of articles about lots of printers and uses.
Ann, good point. My first deciding factor HAS to be material....go from there. Also, there used to be only a few manufacturers, but now everyone is getting in the market. I see that as a good thing though as prices are dropping.
Cadman-LT, decision making will get even more complicated when third-party materials suppliers begin emerging, as Lux Research predicts is likely: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=262205
mrdon, here is another thought on the subject. I really don't like this one either. It used to be, to do 3D modeling and such you had to study and learn it....and it wasn't exactly easy. I see with all of this 3D printing..they are making it so easy that anyone can do it. There are still needs for 3D modeling outside of this area, I just hope people remember that. It's an iffy thing with me.
mrdon, I think what my fear is that it might get so easy to do that kids might think they don't need the math to do it. Why learn that when the pc does it for me......I can still do math even though we had calculators. Remains to be seen I suppose.
Cadman-LT, I agree. Although the tool makes it easy to manufacture cool products, the fundamentals, like math, is necessary to ensure the automation will work correctly. The tech being developed today is an extension of the human brain and its thought processes. I'm a firm believer in continual use of mental analytics and re-assure understanding by way of software analysis tech tools.
It is a benefit so long as people still realize they need some engineering background. The flaw comes in when kids think why do I need to go to school for engineering when the computer does all the work for me.
When they say they are trying to make the wires and cables, are they inferring the use of a combination of plastics and sintering printing? That would be incredible to mix the two technologies, then you could truly create some awsome things.
I suppose one could build everything by the molecule. There have been several developments in the past few years that may lead to such a process.
However, I think at home printing of enclosures is a possibility. However, even the best 3D printing I have felt is not the same as molded plastics. In many cases the molded is far nicer in about every single way.
Like most people, who has the time/energy to print a game controller and assemble it. When one can be bought for cheaper than it costs to print one.
Cabe, that gave me a good laugh. I don't think 3D printing technology has yet arrived that can print at the molecular level :-). Regarding why do this, the main point is customizing the electronics to fit an individual's needs, such as the customized grip mentioned in the article.
Wow, Cabe, you weren't kidding! I remember hearing about MBE a while ago, but didn't realize it was a 3D printing method. Must be insanely expensive. I'd bet a lot of technology has been inspired by Star Trek shows.
I'll bet we can look forward to all sorts of electronic hacks in the future with this techology. I can imagine future nerd clubs sharing files (and a 3D electronic printer) that you can interlink to build all sorts of stuff.
I recall reading about conductive plastics many years ago, but it never occurred to me that they could be used in 3D printing applications. Ann, any idea if this could be used in high-production-volume applications?
Good question, Chuck. I, too, had previously heard of conductive plastics used in flex circuits. This is the first time I've seen them combined with 3D printing. 3D printing isn't yet aimed at high volumes, but several efforts are underway to do just that, including this one we wrote about http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=248401
Hey Ann! I was thinking that there might be a better or alternative way for the "reply". I think you should be able to reply to the article or discussion on hand as usual, but I also think that you should be able to reply to someone specifically without having to say it in your response. Just a thought. I think it might make things easier.
Cadman, the "Reply" button means "reply to this poster". So adding a function won't change anything. I agree it would be nice if the poster's name you're replying to automatically shows up in your reply post. I think adding it manually just takes a little getting used to.
Ann...I know. Sorry, it was kind of a rant...lol It would make it better though. I doubt it would take that much code either..:) It isn't the fact of writing a name, it is just that it would be tagged. Anyway...:)
Ahan, this is really amazing printing wires and connecter through 3D printers will definitely be a breakthrough in the technology .After reading this post i can sence that time is not too far away when all the circuitry will be printed through 3D printers by the university students for there projects instead of spending hours on soldering and wiring.This is really very exciting.
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George Leopold's talk at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis helped restore astronaut and engineer Gus Grissom's role in the beginnings of NASA, and outlined how Grissom played a pivotal role in winning the Space Race.
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