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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is