Well we already knew this didn’t we? 3D bioprinting is going to change the future of medicine in a way we never thought possible. Researchers are already using bioprinting for cancer research, drug development, printing skin, the list goes on. While bioprinting may be seen as something of the “future” the truth is, it’s happening now. Scientist are working with bioprinting on a regular basis to improve our quality of life. See below how bioprinting is being used to in several areas to change life as we know it.
3D printing is part of the innovative process called additive manufacturing, which means the production of three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The printer uses a kind of layering process, by which one layer is added after the other until you have a fully formed object. It allows designers and engineers to create complex parts for cars, machines or airplanes much cheaper and in much less time than any other production method. Currently, rapid technological development enables start-ups and other companies to bring 3D printers out of factories into smaller businesses and even people’s homes.
The first step in the 3D printing process is the creation of the blueprint of a given object. For this step, you can use special software or you can go to various websites and see for yourself, what other people already 3D modeled. Once you finish the design, you can send it to the chosen printer. Take for example the MakerBot Replicator. It has removable bioplastic spools in the back of the device, so when the printer receives the data, it pulls the material through a tube, melts it, deposits it to the plate, where it instantly cools. Then, the printer repeats this process for as long as it is necessary to create the wanted object. For example, a complete house.