3D printing and 3D printers reach a new level


A few years ago, 3D printing was perceived by most people as something special, high-tech and completely inaccessible to "mere mortals." This is partially true now, but the development of 3D printing technology allows us to create implants, prostheses, parts for industrial equipment, and sometimes incredibly beautiful confectionery products. At the same time, the field of medicine has become the main branch of the development of 3D printing, and more and more news appears that doctors abroad and in Russia have learned how to perform breathtaking surgeries, organ transplants, and save lives a few seconds before the death.

3D printing and 3D printers reach a new level

They also use 3D printing in industrial production, not just equipping workstations with any machine tools or parts, but creating objects that workers use every day. In particular, the well-known automobile concern BMW equipped workers at a factory in Munich with special gloves with a fingertip for the thumb. It was this fingertip that was created on a 3D printer, and it performs a very important function – it reduces the load on the muscles of the finger and hand during the installation of plugs or during any other manual labor, which is incredibly large at the car factory. All gloves and fingertips are created for a certain size of the hand, so workers are previously taken measurements. During the application of force, the fingertip distributes it throughout the arm, and the finger itself does not already experience a large load, and the joints hurt less. Say this is a trifle? But many thousands of workers in factories for a long time acquired diseases of the joints of the hands and fingers, and treatment was incredibly expensive – thus, companies can save on account of new technologies!


An interesting fact is that in the medical sector not only smart glasses are used (like Google Glass), but also three-dimensional printers. The last sensational operation in this direction was the removal of a tumor in a boy of five years. The diagnosis was referred to as a "neuroblastoma," or "a malignant tumor of the sympathetic nervous system." It appeared in the abdomen, and it was required to remove it as quickly as possible, but since there were a large number of blood vessels and important organs around it, the doctors did not dare to carry out the operation right away because of fear of accidentally damaging them. The solution was found due to the presence of a 3D printer in the clinic. No, new organs were not made on it and new vessels were not grown with it. But they created a model of the body with a tumor and trained on it in this operation. In this case, two models were created: one with a tumor, the other without, so that the doctors could see clearly what the result should be. After a week and a half, the boy underwent surgery, and now it is known that his condition is stable, he is gradually recovering.


The use of 3D printing and 3D printers nowadays

3D printing and 3D printers reach a new level

In another interesting way, they used a 3D printer at the University of Illinois (USA). Thanks to him, a robot (or rather a biorobot) was created from muscle tissue that was created artificially. Such a "monster" (in the good sense of the word) moves almost the same way a worm does. The sizes of the biorobot are also known, they are 1 centimeter in length and 1 millimeter in thickness, and he imitates a fragment of a human muscle with his appearance. If an electric impulse is applied to the robot, then the muscles will move and will act in the same way as in a living person. This news proves the fact that biotechnologies are developing and have gone far ahead, all thanks to 3D printers.

But not only people participated in the development of three-dimensional printing technologies. In the animal world, there was also a place of application for a new and unusual device. In particular, due to the possibilities of volume printing for animals, artificial limbs are created. As you know, poachers prey on almost all birds and animals, some representatives of the fauna manage to escape, some do this when they are wounded. One such wounded eagle had to build up its beak. It is amazing that the bird's body took the prosthesis, and the eagle itself got used to it and uses it as if it were its real beak.

Meanwhile, ordinary consumers may well acquire an undemanding “household” 3D printer and enjoy creating three-dimensional models and objects. Printrbot Simple is a vivid example, it is estimated at 300 dollars, that is, an average of about 10,000 rubles. For this price, the consumer receives the printer disassembled, with the details in the box. That is, the company offers to assemble the device on its own. At the same time, the device only works with biodegradable PLA plastic, and printed objects cannot exceed the size of the cube of 10.16 centimeters on the sides. As for printing, it happens in layers and is similar to that used in expensive printers. But the cheap model, accordingly, has its drawbacks: inaccurate printing according to the drawing, and the quality is not always satisfactory.

3D printing and 3D printers reach a new level

A more advanced model will cost one and a half thousand dollars (Cubify Cube), but on the other hand, it looks like a really familiar household device, moreover, it is not necessary to assemble it yourself. Objects can be created with a volume of 14 centimeters on the sides of the cube, and the device itself already works with two types of plastic: ABS and PLA. In addition, the device has a Wi-Fi sensor and can work with flash drives and files. It is especially interesting that the company has posted on its website many drawings of various objects that anyone can freely download and print on their new device.

An expensive printer today is Formlabs Form 1 for three thousand three hundred dollars. It can be placed on a table, but it works by industry standards and uses a different printing technology, more precisely, SL stereolithography, in which a liquid polymer with high sensitivity to light is illuminated by a laser through a photo mask, and only then does the object solidify. Accordingly, it is undesirable to keep such an object for a long time in the light, because it will simply fall apart. As for the size of the object, they are calculated to a maximum of 125x125x165 millimeters.

Thus, three-dimensional volumetric printing is becoming denser and denser in the ordinary life of people, in various fields of activity, science and technology. It is already quite possible to predict further development, however, as well as a positive impact on the development of life on the planet as a whole.

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