What Objet/Stratasys is doing in the dental industry so far is mostly models for dental devices, not so much the actual devices themselves, as we covered here Slideshow: Smallest Dental Labs Get 3D-Printed Models http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=261369 Another 3D printing company, EOS, is more focused on the actual appliances, especially those done with metal such as the ones made by BEGO http://begousa.com/Wironium_FAQ.wss
taimoortariq, your comment about bone is interesting. See what MIT has come up with here, although this is only a very small start: MIT 3D Prints Tough, Bone-Like Composite http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=266382
Pharmaceutical companies initially used to test the drugs on 2D printed tissues but 2D cell cultures donot reflect human tissues as accurately as 3D printed tissues . There 3 d printed tissues can be used by these pharmaceuticl companies as well to test the drugs on initial stages and prevent further investment if the drug is not giving necessary results .
Other than just developing the models engineers are also trying to develop organs for replacement like kidneys and so on . For this they are trying to develop bio printers that have bio ink made of living cell mixtures to form human tissue and with this printed tissue engineers are planning to develop the organs .
The other day i came ocross that one of the university in North Carolina is trying to develop a 3D skin printer that deposits cells on the wound which helps to heel in quicly, Engieers are cornell university have printed heart valves and bone implants . All these advancement was just the dream /fantasy of people once but now it is becomming reality similarly in future many more advancements will be done which we cant even imagine as well.
Thats really very great that 3D printing is being used in medical industry at such high scale .If this technology becomes common then it will overcome the hassel of waiting for a long time to get the models . Few days back i read somewhere that 3D printing is not only being used in making the models but also in manufacturing the organs for replacement as well like kidneys and so on .Bio printers are used which has bio ink which manufactures 3D structure of the cell. But this technology will definitely take a long time to become common and to boom .
The project sounds pretty awesome. I suspect 3D Printing via the Cloud will become a mainstream industry pretty soon. Again, anyone can now create products without the overhead of purchasing 3D printers and maintaining them using Cloud services. It's quite amazing to see how a product that was for hobbyists has now opened new opportunities in Additive Manufacturing. I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on this exciting Manufacturing trend.
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