Advancements in technology have spawned some pretty incredible things. In particular, 3D printing is making a positive impact on everything from education, medicine, and even the auto industry. Highlighting some examples from each, it’s pretty incredible to think about what other life-changing innovations lie ahead.
Dr. Steven Sahyun, a physics professor, currently uses 3D printing as a way to create models used for learning. The students who benefit are visually disabled. Because of the limitations that visual impairments have on learning, he is using 3D printing to create models of objects, such as light bulbs, so that the students can better understand the physics concepts. Some of these will include braille lettering to make it easier to learn.
In Cincinnati, high school and college students are using 3D printing to help disadvantaged kids in their community. For the last couple of years, they have been creating prosthetic hands for kids who need them. Costing about $20 each (compared to thousands of dollars for professionally made prosthetic hands), they’re affordable and only take about a week to make. They also use other items, like twine and elastic, so that the fingers are able to flex. While they aren’t the same as the professionally made ones, the hands that these students are creating with 3D printers are making an enormous difference in the lives of the kids who receive them.
Several companies in the automotive industry are hopping on the 3D printing bandwagon. For some, it was a form of technology already in use for creating prototypes. But now, it’s beginning to play a bigger role. From building the frame of a car to creating molds for parts, advancements in 3D printing are sure to propel the automotive industry in new directions. Michelin has even developed its own 3D printer to create one-of-a-kind tire molds.