Lisa Harouni: A Primer on 3D Printing (Ted.com)
2012 may be the year of 3D printing, when this three-decade-old technology finally becomes accessible and even commonplace. Lisa Harouni gives a useful introduction to this fascinating way of making things — including intricate objects once impossible to create.
Will 3D Printing Change the World? (Gizmodo.com)
It’s obvious to see the appeal of 3D printers in theory. You can print any 3D file you make. That’s cool. Shoes! Toys! Household goods! Cars! Whatever! There’s also an instant-ish gratification to 3D printing too. But is it seriously world changing? PBS Off Book’s short doc on it mostly says yes it will but I think the actual application of 3D printing is geared too much toward people who sat at the front of the classroom. There needs to be a lower bar of entry in order for it to hit mainstream.
3D Printing Is a Game Changer (TheAtlantic.com)
3D printing is right up there as one of the most exciting innovations. It’s going to change the way goods are manufactured across many industries. It’s not just tied up in the engineering world anymore.It’s impacting a large number of industries, and becoming more relevant to consumers.
The manufacturing industry today is a huge mesh of complex processes. Capitalism and the systems that it builds are the product of an evolutionary process gradually adjusting around consumer demand and the imperative of maximizing profit. Just as the internet has revolutionized communications and the distribution of information, new technologies already exist that if widely adopted may do the same thing for manufacturing.
Existing 3D printers are only able to produce homogeneous materials that have the same properties throughout. But graded materials would be useful for printing architectural elements – such as beams or façades that mimic bone, which is hard on the outside but spongy on the inside. Or for printing human skin, which has differently sized pores on different parts of the body, allowing it to act as a filter on the face and a protective barrier on the back.
The 3D Printing Revolution (ScienceNews.org)
3D printing’s real power is not in making things you can buy, but in making things you can’t buy. You can scratch your own itch, says Pearce. “Anything that’s remotely customizable, 3D printing is going to win out. You can do fantastic things.”
Liver cells made with 3D printer (Cbc.ca)
The exploding technology trend of 3D printing, which has already been used to manufacture everything from food to jewelry, has made its way into the realm of biomedical research.