We have written about the growing role of 3D modeling and printing in medical applications before, and its impact on improving people’s lives. But this technology holds ever greater promise in enabling life-saving procedures.
Linda Lokay's blog
The term disruptive technology is often overused (and typically just marketing hype), but there are some technologies that evolve over time, having an ever increasing impact on our lives. 3D Modeling is one such technology, often unseen by the public, but changing the way products and systems are designed. Some industries such as aviation could not dream of returning to a world of 2D drawings. But other industries have been slower to adopt the technology, or have limited its rollout.
The marrying of electronics, mechanics and bionics, or biomechatronics, can conjure up images of Iron Man, flying around, wielding superhuman strength. But behind the science fiction is science fact — scientists and engineers are developing systems to enable amputees and paraplegics to walk again. And that is only the beginning.
There is often the high-level assumption with additive manufacturing (aka, 3D printing) that once you have the data from whatever modeling source, you just have to import the data, make a few adjustments and hit print. But often the source files are not truly print ready. Moreover, just because it is additive manufacturing, does not mean there isn’t a process to make the model manufacturing ready.
The term disruptive technology is overused and often can’t be justified. But in the case of additive manufacturing, it truly applies. This technology now makes complexity free, ushering a new age of manufacturing that allows designers to no longer be constrained by manufacturing methods.
The basis of additive manufacturing is 3D printing, which delivers many advantages to manufacturing, not the least of which is the freedom it delivers to the design process combined with higher quality of the final product.