If you’re a fan of the Bond series then in “Skyfall” you would’ve hated the bad guy – Raoul Silva for blowing up our beloved James Bond’s Aston Martin. However realistic that scene looked, it wasn’t that real but it did make us clench our fists. Hollywood, thankfully, works through the magic and revealed it was indeed a 3D-printed life-size replica of the same.
This was a decade ago, imagine now what all is being accomplished by 3D printing.And if you think that’s mind-blowing, wait until you hear what’s in store for the future. To get you excited about this incredible technology, here’s a quick overview revealing what we can create now… and what is coming in the not too distant future?
All Things Plastic
If you can draw it, you can 3D print it. Everything from a tripod adapter for your camera to comic book action figures.Whether it’s functional or fun, plastic (Nylon/Polyamides) is a wonderful medium that has a multitude of uses.
From Cabinet Knobs To Car Parts
With the recent technological advancement, laser deposition technology in the world of 3D printing has made it possible to print droplets as tiny as 0.005 inches. This opens more creative avenues for jewellery and sculptures since it’s possible to create high-definition metal objects. Additionally, printed metal objects can take on a much more utilitarian aspect and include such items as machine parts and highly customised tools.
Since it is now possible to print through concrete, Lewis Grand Hotel in the Philippines was the first of its kind to try and beautifully execute the project of creating a fully operational commercial structure. Once completed, the structure was an impressive 10.5 meters by 12.5 meters by 4 meters. Not to forget, it had a Jacuzzi, a living room and two bedrooms.
The process called additive manufacturing makes it possible to put together small uniform pieces. There is no liquid or ‘ink’ as such but minute wood pieces can be combined while printing household stuff like bookends, bowls and furniture. This process allows to experiment with different materials and creates hybrid materials with remarkable new properties.
As of now, the machines that print with molten glass are in the early stages of development. Consider how dot matrix was the rather crude predecessor to modern-day printers. Crystal like products are constructed with cables of molten glasses coiled or drizzled in layers to create glass products
Yes, printing food is going to be a reality, though, in the nascent stage, the technology exists. The following food products are already tried successfully, products like quiche, brownies, pizza, crystallised sugars, and delectable coils of chocolate. Since the technology is at infancy the selection is limited. Once it is practised full-fledged, the culinary art will be culinary science. The future holds the possibility of food vending machines, virtually printing anything and everything you like with a press of a button.
Dentists are already printing 3D Xrays of the dentures to help them better with the patient’s treatment. The process is called 3D bioprinting. Researchers are working towards the possibility of manufacturing kidneys, livers and artificial hearts. The scope of bioprinting is immense and will help in transplants where donors are less than those who require it.