3D Printing Bridges & Organs
3D Printing is a disruptive technology.
Recently in the US, 3 baby boys born with a condition called tracheobronchomalacia, which causes a child’s windpipe periodically to collapse, received 3D-printed bronchial-splint implants at the University of Michigan CS Mott Children’s Hospital in the US, as reported by the FT.
Meanwhile, Dutch designer Joris Laarman and start-up MX3D has teamed up to build a 3D printed bridge in central Amsterdam across a river; this is expected to be completed by 2017.
The company use robots to print sustainable materials such as metals and synthetics. It plans to showcase its revolutionary multi-axis 3D print technology by building a fully functional, intricate steel bridge.
Additionally, there is no doubt about the opportunity for many industries to skip a number of the traditional manufacturing processes and produce an end-product. However, this could potentially lead to a wide ranging implications in the supply chain.
Will 3D Printing replace any forms of traditional manufacturing, or will it be complementary to these methods?
We believe 3D printing would, in fact, work in conjunction with traditional manufacturing process to produce, for example, an extremely complex design. Our research indicates that once new products are printed using 3DPs, traditional manufacturing can be more cost effective over a period of time in producing high volumes of that particular product.