3D printing

Three-dimensional (“3D”) printing is a method of converting a virtual 3D model into a physical object. I only learned about this recently, but I am all about it.

I love designing–especially in 3D–and I can’t wait to be able to see a 3D printer make a 3D model of my own design. But what has recently become new use for this technology has me blown away. Apparently, biotechnology firms and academia are studying 3D printing technology for possible use in tissue engineering applications where organs and body parts are built using inkjet techniques. The process would essentially involve printing layers of living cells are onto a gel medium, which are then slowly built up to form three dimensional structures. According to the wikipedia article on 3D printing, “several terms have been used to refer to this field of research: Organ printing, bio-printing, and computer-aided tissue engineering among others.”

Why the technology is so great: 3D printing is optimized for speed, low cost, and ease-of-use, making it suitable for visualizing during the conceptual stages of engineering design when dimensional accuracy and mechanical strength of prototypes are less important. No toxic chemicals like those used in stereolithography are required, and minimal post printing finish work is needed.

apparently this technology has been around since _(year)_. Like most–if not all–technology, 3D printers prices have come down considerably since. Printers sell from $__ to $__, depending on ____.

How much does it cost?

a couple pictures of created 3D models

the video of the printer creating a model