3D printing has been the talk of the town in the past few years. With several startups gaining support from premier institutes like MIT, IIT, TU DELFT and many others, 3D printing has been getting the much-needed acceleration which will take it much closer to the SME sector and eventually play a huge role in influencing consumer choices. We bring you certain facts about 3D printing which you might not be aware of.
IT IS DECADES OLD
The core technology on which 3D printing is not new. It has been in use for the past 3 decades. It was in 1981 when Hideo Kodama of Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute came up with the idea of developing a functional rapid prototyping system using photopolymers which could create models by printing layers on top of each other in a particular pattern. In 1984, stereolithography was invented by Charles Hull based on the same principle developed by Kodama.
Hit a vat of liquid photopolymer with UV laser beam and the exposed part becomes a hard material as per desire. The idea was special but the devices were quite expensive to make back in the day. The idea was shared by distinguished academicians which gave birth to the concept of additive manufacturing which was restricted to industrial level manufacturing. It was only recent advances in technology and conceptualization that made 3D printing possible for small businesses.
2.WORLD’S FIRST 3D AIRPLANE
Ever thought of an Airplane which is created out of liquid photopolymer. Well, European airline company Airbus created history by creating the first ever 3D aircraft codenamed Thor which it showcased at Berlin in June 2016. The model is a windowless drone weighing 46 pounds and is less than 4 meters in length. Designers of the aircraft have hailed the arrival of 3D printing by stating that it can help create zero manufacturing waste thereby reducing manufacturing costs. The electrical components are metallic however but the aircraft is considered safe to fly.
3.SELF REPLICATING 3D PRINTER
Scientists are creating a special type of 3D printer which can replicate itself. Such printers can be used to create infrastructure for people to live on the Moon. The idea is to create enough no of 3D printers which can provide for infrastructural maintenance support as well as civic support for people or research teams who might be making base on the Moon in the near future. This might help humans to build space shields which can protect us from harmful UV rays of the Sun as well as farming of solar power which can provide power supply to millions of homes on Earth. Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK have been involved in this project for the past few years.
4.WORLD’S FIRST 3D PRINTED HOUSE
Beijing based firm Huashang Tengda has been part of a group of construction firms who were involved in a project of building the first ever 400 sq meters 2 storied 3D printed home which was eventually completed in 45 days. The Engineers used special reinforced concrete to build the home and used melted filament for the project. The House is said to withstand Earthquakes of up to 8 points on the Richter scale. Experts are of the belief that such Houses will bring a sea change in the construction industry as well as Real Estate.
5.3D PRINTING AND ORGAN TRANSPLANT
The most important sector which will be benefiting in the long term by the arrival of 3D printing is Medical Sciences. It’s already started doing research in this frontier as we speak. Tests have been underway to create organs using Bio materials. In Northern Ireland, a 3-year-old girl has become the first ever recipient of a 3D kidney transplant. The creation was made possible using living cells from the donor’s kidney and the girl’s abdomen was also scanned to give the doctor’s an idea on how to proceed. After all the complexity, it was a huge relief for both the girl’s family and the doctors as well.
6.WORLD’S FIRST 3D PRINTING RESTAURANT
We all have heard of 3D food but this is beyond that. Food Ink, a 3D restauarant launched in London has a special 3D based menu for its customers which it serves on utensils which are also 3D printed. Even the furniture used is also 3D printed. All the customers need to do is to select their choice of food at the press of a button and voila it will be printed hot and fresh right in front of them. The price is a bit hefty 250 pounds per person for 10 lucky people at night. But the experience is worth it as several people have stated it. The firm has opened its bases in Seoul, Tokyo,Dubai, New York, Las Vegas and other such major global cities and will soon be coming to India.
7.3D PRINTING AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
The 3D printer developed by NASA in collaboration with Space Inc. has successfully created the first ever 3D object in space. The printer was sent to the ISS as part of a SpaceX commercial resupply mission. The mission’s next objective is to bring back the object to Earth to test for any anomalies in the material in comparison to other products produced on Earth to ensure and certify that 3D print objects or Food are safe for consumption or use in outer space. This Research assuming it will be successful will provide an option for Humans in terms of food supply for future manned missions to Jupiter, Mars or maybe Interstellar Travel.
So these are some of the facts of 3D printing which very few will be aware of. Hope you like it and let me know your views.
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