3D Printing Body Parts
With the advent of 3d printing, no longer will Shakespeare ask to borrow your ears. He’ll be able to 3d print as many as he wants. I’ve been intrigued with this technology ever since I was introduced to it a few years ago now. My first encounter was at the University of Toronto. A group of students foresaw the possibilities of this technology; although what I mostly saw was bobble heads, fully functional plastic wrenches and even LEGO. Just the fact that you could manufacture items from a device was amazing to me. Now, jump forward a few years and the same team is working to address a real-world issue. In some parts of the world, access to prosthetic limbs and those who make them, (prosthetist), are difficult to come by even non-existent. The answer is both simple and yet complex. How does one design an inexpensive and easy way to 3d print a limb tailored to the individual. This team was able to do just that. Their first project was launched last year in Uganda. You can find more info on this project and their progress at the following link: The PrintAbility Project
If 3d printing limbs isn’t cool enough, what about living tissue and even organs? Well, a group of scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have proven that this is yet another possibility. In particular, they were able to successfully 3d print a human ear… and I was able to use a Shakespeare quote. Win win. Read more on this bleeding-edge technology at: 3D Printing Replacement Tissue Proven Feasible So, don’t be surprised in the next few years if you start seeing 3d printers as part of your doctor’s office swag. Now if they could only 3d print fully functional eyes, I’d be on board for that.