Since its inception, 3D printing has been used to produce physical objects. It’s a very useful technique and finds applications in medical sciences, robotics, military industry, etc. In recent years, scientists have used 3D printers to build guns, parts of aircrafts, medical equipment, among other useful things. 3D printing is something that will reshape the entire manufacturing industry in the coming years. An interesting thing is that the technology is not limited to big companies and corporations; a common man may also have a low-end 3D printer in his home.
A few days ago, researchers developed a unique 3D printer which can print electronic touch-sensory devices directly on human skin. The printed devices are compatible with human skin. This printer will also help robots feel environments.
In the field of medical sciences, 3D printing is used for tissue fabrication, prosthetic limb manufacture, pill manufacture, creation of patient-specific models for CT and MRI scans; to make ear molds, and biocompatible dental guides, etc. Some doctors believe that such 3D printing techniques provide invaluable visualization aids for surgeries. These solutions are not only beneficial, but also very cost effective.
The good news is that 3D printing is now being employed for medical treatment of poor patients living in developing countries. In India, for instance, a six-month-old was saved using a 3D printer. The patient had a hole in the heart and doctors were unsure about the feasibility of the operation. They then used a 3D model obtained from a CT scan to prepare for the surgery.
In future, the use of 3D printers for medical purposes will become even more common.