Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | May 13, 2016

Techie Corner – 2016 – Post #4 – Quietly Emerging Technology

Techie Corner – 2016 – Post #4 – Quietly Emerging Technology

Which emerging technology is currently arriving, quietly?

My two cents, but please share yours:

Early stage 3D printing is available today, for businesses and for the home. It’s still pretty primitive but will become a huge game-changer as it gains momentum.

The home versions function a bit like the printers attached to our computers. You download and send a software file over to your 3D printer. It uses source materials to print out layer by layer any object you desire.

The most interesting medical application coming in the near future will be printing human organs, using the patient’s own adult stem cells as the source material (the “ink”). The key benefit will be that these organs won’t be rejected by the patient’s body.

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Responses

  1. Fascinating though I still don’t completely understand. Does the printer ‘build’ the object or do you put the layers together?

    • Hi Mona,

      The printer builds the object.

      Each deposited layer adheres to the layer below it per the design software. If the object is a hairdryer, you will end up with an electrically wired hairdryer you can plug in and use. No shipping. No warehousing. No manufacturing plants. This is manufacturing in the home, perhaps even desktop manufacturing.

      By the way, there are large-scale 3D printers (prototype) that can print houses in 20 hours. These houses are fully wired, plumbed, and furnished (appliances included). The source materials include concrete, metals, yarn, threads, and whatever else is needed in a home.

      Cheers, Ashley

  2. It is amazing the advances we are making in the last 20 years. Now how do we get the materials in the hands of those who are most in need to make a difference. Wish we could 3D print food 🙂

    • Hi Lorian, Actually, printing food is one of the near-future applications for 3D printing. Getting source materials and printers into the hands of those in need may be tricky due to the agendas of various foreign governments. Another emerging technology that will help with feeding the world population is vertical farming. There are a few prototypes in startup today. Cheers, Ashley

      • Way cool. Thanks

      • You’re so welcome! Cheers!

  3. I saw a Ted talk where they printed organs for transplant. If they could get it to work right, imagine the people that could be saved.

    • This 3D printing application is definitely coming soon, Linda. No one will have to wait on organ donor lists, and organ rejection levels will plummet, a very good thing. We will see this in our lifetime. 🙂 Cheers, Ashley


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