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3d Printing: Endless Possibilities Essay

3D printing is beginning to break through in almost every field imaginable. From Architecture, Medical, Space, Art, Culinary, and Arms fields; some I’m probably even forgetting. 3D printing has made me really interested since I first read about the controversy around the 3D printing of a gun that could shoot at least one round before it broke. Later there were blue prints posted online to a 3D printed pistol that could shoot up to 9 rounds, before the government took the download offline over 100,000 people downloaded these blueprints within’ two days! That’s a lot of downloads in a short time (Matus).

Now there are so many other interesting aspects of 3D printing that I am into. 3D printed guns could be dangerous because they aren’t detectable by metal detectors, but you can never have something that is only good, there will be a bad aspect of it somewhere but I believe the good comes much greater with this technology. What interests me most about 3D printing is the medical field, I think it is amazing that we can 3D print new windpipes like what was done for a baby boy from Ohio, which saved his life and can save thousands of other babies that are born like him from now on (MARCHIONE). D printing is becoming so large that Staples has become the first major US retailer to sell 3D printers. These printers will be available by the end of June 2013, which is just one month from now (Zimmer).

Right as this is happening the company BotObjects has recently unveiled their new full-color 3D desktop printer and it has five color reusable cartridge systems so it’ll be just like replacing your current printers ink color and just like the regular desktop printers went from black and white to color the 3D printing has the ability to print any color you desire now. Matus, http://inhabitat. com/) More and more companies are popping up in the 3D printing industry and are making their own printers or software, so much now that you can purchase a 3D printer for cheaper than a tablet now.

The company Indiegogo has one of their 3D printers listed for $399 and the prices will only fall as they become more common place. (Zimmer, http://inhabitat. com/) Returning to the medical field though, this has my interest whole heartedly recently a man has had 75% of his skull reconstructed from 3D printing and replaced. (Matus, http://inhabitat. om/) This is incredible for him and others, no longer will we need to borrow parts of our body or skin from our thigh’s to graft somewhere else that might have been injured, now we can harvest cells and 3D print them into replacement parts.

“Princeton University scientists used a 3D printer to create a bionic ear by using live cells and metal nanoparticles, the researchers were able to use a 3D printer to create a bionic ear with an integrated coil antenna. The fully-functioning organ receives radio waves, and it could potentially improve upon the human body’s sense of hearing. (Matus, http://inhabitat. com/). My fiance has degenerative joint disease and recently I’ve researched that they are testing and starting to be able to grow and manufacture discs via 3D printing which would replace and completely cure degenerative disc disease and could move on to cure peoples degenerative joints everywhere as well (Druce-McFadden). They are 3D printing prosthetic limbs and just made a man that suffered a gunshot to the face a new 3D printed prosthetic face (Zimmer, http://inhabitat. com/).

The possibilities seem endless; I believe they will be able to 3D print anything but a replacement brain in the future. Another interesting find I stumbled upon is NASA is looking into 3D printing food (Souppouris), and said they are going to start with pizza. This would allow them to print their own food in space and make food storage micronized for the world and for the space program. The military is said to be using 3D printers on the “front lines” to create supplies on the spot. I believe this technology will revolutionize the world.

They are even creating cars and houses with 3D printers. Taking a fraction of the time normal to build and cost effectiveness is through the roof, this might replace people in the workforce everywhere we’re going to have to deal with someday or another in the future I believe. In the end I believe 3D printing is amazing, and it interests me greatly. I cannot believe how much has been accomplished with this technology already. I recently watched a video on the 3D printing convention and just saw thousands of ways to use a 3D printer and what people are coming up with is so cool.

I hope to see more and more people being healed or cured through this technology and the support by physicians and scientists everywhere. I am grateful to be alive to witness these advances that will someday be the answer to problems of illness and injuries we’ve been trying to solve for a very long time. I’ll be watching for when not only can you purchase a desktop 3D printer but when you can purchase a 3D printer that you’d use in your garage to build new tools or print out a new car, or even design your own clothing.

I believe 3D printers will be like the television and most households in America and possibly the world will own more than one. Maybe someday my grandchildren will be able to print me a new hip or something (enter sarcasm here). I’ve learned that technology isn’t going to slow down; it will only speed up and can and will easily leave you behind if you let it. I want to be a part of creating and wielding technology such as 3D printing and beyond. I can’t wait to see what is next in the world of 3D printing, the possibilities seem endless.


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