Exploring the Vast
Opportunities of 3D
About a month ago, I was reading the news and stumbled
upon an interesting report from CNN Tech — a robot can 3D
print a building in just 14 hours.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a robotic prototype
that can 3D print the basic structure of a building. Called the “Digital Construction
Platform,” the free-moving prototype has a large, robotic arm for reach and a smaller arm
for dexterity. This impressive robot built a dome-like structure 50 feet in diameter and 12
feet high! When this innovative technology is further developed, it could allow for faster,
cheaper and more adaptable building construction compared to traditional building
methods of today.
As an innovative thinker myself, I applaud those who are helping to reshape their
respective fields through technological innovation and outside-the-box thinking of 3D
printing. The invention has heralded the arrival of many innovations that couldn’t be
imagined, much less realized, before. Today, this technology has great potential in
healthcare because of its customizable nature. With 3D printed face transplants,
prosthetics, bones, blood vessels and more, there are plenty of opportunities for 3D
printing to reshape the way we think about healthcare.
3D Printed Prosthetics
Living without an arm or a leg can be difficult for anyone. That’s why many
people choose prosthetics to help provide a sense of normalcy in their day to
day life. However, traditional prosthetics can be expensive and time-consuming
to make — which can be a barrier to access.
3D printing has changed the game for prosthetics. This new technology has
allowed prosthetic limbs to be produced faster and cheaper than ever before,
meaning people from all socioeconomic backgrounds can have access to this
3D Printed Blood Vessels
A group of researchers at the Regenerative Medicine Research Center of West China Hospital at
Sichuan University successfully created 3D-printed blood vessels for monkeys. The synthetic
blood vessels are made of stem cell-based organic material from the monkeys, called bioink,
that imitate natural blood vessels. This encouraged new growth of cells needed to make a fully
functioning blood vessel. Although this is a major breakthrough, it will still likely be years until
technology can create 3D printed organs.Design Inc. is an experienced and passionate group of
designers, developers, project managers, writers and artists. Every client we work with
becomes a part of the team. Together we face the challenges and celebrate the victories.
3D Printed Hyperelastic Bone
A recent development in synthetic material could be the next breakthrough in reconstructive
surgery. Called hyperelastic bone, this 3D printed material is made from a mixture of a
naturally occurring calcium mineral called hydroxyapatite and a polymer. Hyperelastic bone is
appropriately named for its ability to be very flexible!
“The first time that we actually 3D printed this material, we were very surprised to find that
when we squeezed or deformed it, it bounced right back to its original shape,” said Ramille
Shah, one of the developers of this material at Northwestern University.
Although this material hasn’t been tested in humans yet, it shows great promise with real world
applications because it can support new bone growth or replace old bone matter.
Are there other
innovations in 3D
healthcare I have