It may surprise you to hear that 3D printing has been since 1984, with Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corporation. Most of us, however, probably hadn’t heard of 3D printing until the last few years. I know I hadn’t really paid attention to this technology, and why would I? I have no interest in printing trinkets, coat hangers, and lawn gnomes. The typical fare you’ll find at Thingiverse.
That all changed when Cody Wilson started printing lower receivers, and high capacity magazines for the AR-15, and received some of the spotlight after the Sandy Hook massacre. At that point I realized the awesome potential in this technology – but for entirely different purposes.
Imagine printing prosthetic hands, at a fraction of the cost of typical prosthetics, and giving a child with amniotic band syndrome the ability to grasp objects for the first time. That’s precisely what the Robohand does – an invention of Richard Van As.
It wouldn’t be hard to believe a near future where 3D printers are a fixture in private medical practices. I know if I had one I would be looking to set up the infrastructure to support it.