According to foreign media Techspot, researchers at the Applied Photonic Device Laboratory (LAPD) of the Faculty of Engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a breakthrough 3D printing method that may disrupt the entire industry. Traditional 3D printing involves building objects layer by layer from scratch through a process called additive manufacturing. It is effective, but also tedious, and the resolution or level of detail is usually not that good.
If one day, human beings can freely make human body “parts”, and replacing organs is as convenient as replacing batteries, and the source of organ transplantation will no longer be a problem. But to truly realize 3D printing of living organs, the road is still a bit far away.
In the “primary stage” of 3D printing, humans have been able to accurately print relatively simple parts and components such as teeth and bones, and apply them in clinics. Patients with skull injuries can also be reshaped by 3D printing the skull. If the printing target is to be extended to all the “parts” of the human body, the challenge is much greater.
First of all, you must ensure that the artificial organ can adapt to the human body’s mechanical environment and cannot be too hard, too soft or collapsed; secondly, the organ must be able to survive and perform specific functions. For example, although there are many 3D printed heart “models”, there is no real 3D printed heart that can be successfully implanted into a living body.
This new technology is based on the principle of tomography. It starts with a bucket of transparent liquid (depending on the required output), which can be liquid plastic or biogel, and then plugs it into the printer. It began to rotate, almost as if by magic, the object began to appear in the container. In about 30 seconds, the entire 3D printing process was completed.
Damien Loterie, CEO of Readily3D (the company was founded to help develop and sell the technology) said that everything has to do with light. The laser is used to harden the liquid in the barrel through a process called polymerization. He added: “According to what we want to build, we use algorithms to accurately calculate the position, angle and dose we need to aim the beam at.”
At present, this new technology can produce objects two centimeters long with an accuracy of 80 microns, the diameter of the hair. However, they hope to be able to print structures under 15 cm in the future.
There are many potential use cases for this technology. Christophe Moser, head of LAPD, said this may be convenient for making small silicone or acrylic parts that do not require finishing after printing. In addition, it is also promising in the fields of medicine and biology because it can be used for soft objects such as hearing aids and mouthguards.
The current problems of 3D printing technology are mainly high equipment costs, high raw material costs, and low processing efficiency. For example, EOS’s M400 3D printer is priced at 1.3 million euros and the printing speed is only 100 cubic centimeters per hour. The raw material uses titanium alloy powder. 3000 yuan per kilogram. It is the above reasons that the current cost of 3D printing for mass production is relatively high, but with the advancement of technology, the cost of 3D printing in the future will rapidly decrease and the performance will be greatly improved.
In China, the 3D printing industry has also developed rapidly, and various 3D printer manufacturers have sprung up. Searching for 3D printers on a certain treasure, the price is hundreds to thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions, and there are many types, which are widely used in all walks of life. Of course, the most widely used is to make prototypes. What is a prototype? Some places are also called the first model, that is, the first model of the product. After your product is designed, if you directly open the mold for production, once the product has a design problem, it will be scrapped, which greatly wastes manpower, material resources and time; while the prototype is only a small number. The sample does not need to open the mold, and the production cycle is short, thereby saving cost and time.
3D printing hasn’t really entered the lives of ordinary people now. Although there are many 3D printing services and offline experience stores, they are mainly used for printing portraits and customized products. However, it costs about 1,500 yuan to print a simulated portrait, which leads to few customers. However, as an emerging manufacturing technology, 3D printing should not only be used to make those flashy “luxury accessories”. In the future, it will be integrated into the lives of ordinary people and become a powerful tool in the hands of mankind.
In the future society, with the advent of aging, labor shortages, labor costs will become higher and higher, and perhaps soon human resources will become the most scarce and most expensive resource in the entire society. This is from the development of first-tier cities and Western countries. The trend can be seen. Many people will be forced to become DIYers, and 3D printing is just a powerful tool for DIYers and all kinds of enthusiasts.
When they were young, many people had dreams of becoming inventors, but limited by factors such as insufficient hands-on ability and high cost, many beautiful ideas could not become reality. However, with 3D printing, everyone can become an invention. Family. Someone may say that 3D printing software must be very complicated and too difficult to learn. It will not be possible to master it in a few years. This idea is wrong. Traditional mechanical drawing 3D graphic design is really difficult to achieve without professional training. The author is fortunate enough to come into contact with 3D design software (3D ONE) used in quality education in primary and secondary schools, maker education, etc. The software has a simple interface, powerful functions, simple operation, and easy to use. It realizes the direct connection of 3D design and 3D printing software, greatly Lowering the threshold of 3D graphic design, even children without any foundation, in just a few hours of learning, they can draw their own 3D works by stacking building blocks and simple dragging operations, and export them directly to 3D. The printer prints.
It is conceivable that it will not take long for the threshold of 3D printing to be further lowered. It is truly suitable for all kinds of enthusiasts and DIYers. The golden age of 3D printing will truly come. Are you ready?
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