Does 3D Printing Have any Limits?

By Martin Kubáň – November 26, 2015
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A variety of 3D printing applications were widely discussed at the 3D printing events we attended this year in Europe. Special printers are being used in the manufacturing sector for producing parts from metal and rubber-like materials, or so-called "digital materials". In healthcare, professional 3D printers can now combine bio-compatible materials with photocurable resins of varying textures, transparency, and flexibility. Surgeons can therefore now plan complex operations using CT scan data of patients’ bones, blood vessels, and other organs. This data, transformed into a 3D-printable digital file, can be studied, modified, or printed well in advance of a surgical procedure. Drawing on all the products, technologies, and trends we saw and discussed with participants at events, in the following article we introduce primarily the less obvious uses of 3D printing – mainly involving the printing of very small, and, conversely, very large objects. These uses, perhaps currently seen as less suitable 3D printing applications, actually represent unprecedented possibilities for many human activities.


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