Many years ago the invention of electricity turned upside down the whole world. Today 3D printing can be such a factor. Humanity has not fully realized the possibilities of such technology, but the results in some already exploited areas of its application can undoubtedly impress us.
The Future Is Near
The market of 3D printing is constantly developing and according to experts by 2020 will expand by four times and reach $4 million. Moreover, if today only a limited number of companies uses 3D printing, in 3-4 years this technology will be able to replace 20-25% of world industry.
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3D Curios and What Waits for Us in 5-10 Years
- 3D Buses With Artificial Intelligence
Microbus “Olli” by Local Motors created in collaboration with IBM marked the beginning of 3D printed public transport. Due to its own brains, this microbus can orient itself in space without a driver, pick up passengers, tell them about the sights outside and even talk with them and answer their questions.
3D printed bus will shuttle along a probational route in Columbia state later this year and after a trial period the bus will be used in the parks of Las Vegas and Miami.
- 3D Printed Cars Across The Globe
A successful implementation of “intelligent” bus Olli by Local Motors served as a cause of full-scale expansion of production capacities. Within the next 10 years the company is going to open about 100 factories all around the globe. One such a factory will be able to produce approximately 250 intelligent cars per year.
- 3D Printed House
Beijing company Beijing HuaShang Tengda Industry and Trade presented a 3D two-storey villa. This project, having an area of 400 square meters, was built only for 45 days and using high-performance concrete C30 as its main material. This allows the project to stand earth shocks of 8 scores on the Richter scale. The walls of villa were constructed on the building yard, not printed beforehand and then assembled.
- Self-Constructing 3D Bridge
The Dane presented a technology that has all chances to become a new standard of complicated constructions building. Company MX3D developed the project of a pedestrian bridge across a channel in Amsterdam. Special printers designed in the shape of mechanized hands will heat the concrete to 1500°С and print main beams and supporting bridge construction in the air, sliding on a mobile basis. This bridge is actually the first step of implementing new building technologies for hi-rise construction.
- 3D Printed Pills as a New Branch in Medicine
Recently American Food Safety and Inspection Service, being the first in the world, has officially certified 3D printed pills. These pills were developed for epileptic cramps treatment and according to doctors, they may appear several times more effective than a range of existing pills. Its main difference from pharmaceutical analogues is the possibility to choose the medication dose and active components combination individually. 3D pill is printed gradually, layer upon layer, which makes it smaller, allowing to control the active agents more accurately and increasing the speed of medication cytolysis in the organism.
- 3D Printing of Human Organs
Scientists plan to use 3D printing technology for generating live tissues and organs. This technology is being developed for astronauts that will take part in long-term space missions. Similar technology has been tested in all necessary for this area experiments.
During the experiment, a special biological 3D printer successfully printed heart and vessel tissues from stem cells of adult people. The project was carried by space agency NASA.
Dangers of 3D Printing
Every invention of humanity can serve both for benefit or cause some damage. A gun can protect civilians as well as kill them. The same 3D printing technologies can bring some harm.
- Plastic Guns
Not so far ago a 3D model of a real gun appeared in the net web. As 3D printing mainly uses plastic materials such arms cannot be detected with the help of a metal detector. In this case, the technology can do arms more accessible for criminals and people with mental diseases.
However, the technology attracted the attention of the militants, who have already started the experiments of some basic drone printing. Such drones can be used to detect dangerous substances and mechanisms on board the aircraft. Besides, according to experts, soon using a special 3D printer they will be able to print ammunition.
- 3D Forgers
In Portugal a group of three criminals created a special laboratory to print European currency. As Portuguese policemen announced, using a hi-tech set of instruments, including also a 3D printer, the forgers managed to produce a counterfeit of very high quality. It was even impossible to distinguish a printed “copy” from the original without using specific equipment.