People who visited the India International Trade Fair in Delhi got to see 3D printers in action; machines that ‘print’ any object to the shape and specification you want. 3D printing involves scanning any object, creating a 3D digital image of it and sending a command to the printer which then extrudes materials such as plastic, metal, glass and even food, layer by layer to create the object. Plastic is already common; it is thought that we may see actual body parts being ‘printed’ too!
Common household objects
A cup, a toy, a decorative object for the home, or a lampshade to your precise specification… you can print them all using a 3D printer.
Yes you can ‘print’ clothes. There are futuristic looking mesh garments, provocative little numbers for the bedroom and more that designers are making. Not sure where the demand for these avant-garde creations is, but several designers are making these er… creations.
An out of production vintage car for which spares are no longer being made or a high tech plane that needs a precise spare – both can find solutions in 3D printing.
A locket just like your grandmother wore or a bracelet that is straight out of the Game of Thrones… take your pick and print the ring, necklace, earring or bracelet precisely as you want.
Your foot can be scanned and then a custom shoe created to fit its precise shape, contour and dimensions. If one foot is smaller or different than the other, no problem! And good-bye shoe-bite!
A prosthetic leg or a bionic hand can be produced at a fraction of the traditional cost with the help of 3D printers. Particularly great for growing kids who may need new limbs as they keep growing!
Prototypes /Design Models
Architects, hobbyists, artists, makers and inventors as well as educators can do a lot by creating scaled up or scaled down models.
Plastic surgeons have created artificial jaws, artificial ears, and even parts of the skull using 3D printers. Are body organs where actual biological material is extruded next?
Author: Reena Daruwalla