6 ways 3D printing will change the world

We have heard lots of negative press about developments in technology. But here at RLR Distribution we hate to be pessimistic. 3D printing could certainly have its down sides and there will always be people telling us we shouldn’t play God but for people with serious health conditions, 3D printing could be a huge blessing in disguise.

Organ Printing

In the UK there are over 6,500 people waiting for an organ donation and last year nearly 500 people died whilst waiting for an organ. For those people and their friends and family, they spend every day with crossed fingers. They wait for a call to tell them they might be saved.

Right now, scientists all over the world are racing towards advancements in 3D printing that will allow them to help these people. Printing organs is a complicated process using lasers and stem cell derived tissue (the body doesn’t recognize stem cell tissue as foreign DNA and is more likely to accept it without any issues).

There has been some success with 3D printed liver organs, so far scientists have managed to keep to printed tissue alive for up to a year. The next long-term objective at this stage is to create a liver implant that could support the body for longer.

Clinical Trials

Many of our medical trials are still carried out on animals and then (if no harmful side effects are discovered) they move onto human trials. What if scientists could create replica organs or skin tissue and test the products directly on those instead?

This would lead to quicker advancements in science as the amount of red-tape restricting medical testing would be reduced.

Ethical Ivory

Rhino’s are hunted for their horns and elephants are hunted for their tusks. What if ivory was readily available because we could print it? Exactly the same product based on DNA we already have. We could then sell it cheaper than the poachers and they would be out of business.

Images that the blind can ‘see’

I’m sure we’ve all imagined it at some point. Being completely blind. How terrifying and emotional you would be if you couldn’t see your loved ones faces. How hard life would be if you couldn’t remember the sun.

A company based in California have created a printer that can be set up in any household. This printer makes images 3D allowing blind people to feel the faces of loved ones that they miss, allowing them to remember happy days.

Aiding Recovery

Most of us have broken a bone in our lives and those of us that have can usually remember the uncomfortable casts, not being able to wash that area of our body for weeks, how hot and sweaty it got. Ugh! 

Thanks to 3D printing, breathable, recyclable, washable casts can now be made. They’re light weight and supposedly more comfortable (though honestly, I’m not hoping to need one!) than their predecessors.

The best part of a printed cast? They can be designed and shaped to the specific type and placement of your break or fracture. No more icky gloopy stuff that they stick on over bandages. (I may have been four years old, but I remember!)

Service Please!

Imagine picking what you want online having it printed and delivered when it suits you. Easy! No worldwide shipping, no huge carbon footprint… Just quick, easy and local!

There is no reason that retailers all over the planet couldn’t have access to a 3D printer where products could be printed and local collection or delivery would be possible. No importing or exporting, no international transit lorries. Just simple, straightforward products.

Doesn’t it sound amazing?

Some of these things are further away than others, but we have a lifetime of possibilities and 3D printing has the potential to change the world. Let’s hope it’s for the better. I think it could be.

Written By Yazmine Howes

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