3-D printers use plastic, metal, or other materials, such as paper, to build layers upon layers to create 3-D objects. The technology has been developing for almost thirty years and is currently exploding into many industries: medical, manufacturing, architecture, fashion, aeronautics, food, toys, and more.
It’s gaining ground in the medical field. In fact, a news story from March 2014 lauded the efforts of Dr. Glenn Green and Scott Hollister, a biomedical engineer, both with the University of Michigan. They teamed up to create a device that holds open an infant’s windpipe to help him breathe. The device used was 3-D printed with a polymer that is gentle on the body and dissolves within two to three years. Scientists are using 3-D printing to build more body parts including noses, ears, blood vessels, skin, organs, and more.
Last fall, the first 3-D printed, fully-functional, metal gun made news and caused a big stir. Several Lawmakers proposed that the government may need to control public purchase of 3-D printers. Highly skilled engineers designed the gun and created it with a 3-D printer typically used for manufacturing aerospace equipment and medical devices. A similar working gun would be extremely difficult to make with a consumer grade 3-D printer.
Something sweet is also coming from 3-D printers. Manufacturers are using 3-D printers that extrude chocolate and sugar into intricately shaped candy. Picture an edible cake topper or custom designed chocolates that resemble the guest-of-honor at your next party!
Do you need to find a gift for that “hard to buy for” person? Everyone loves to see themselves in photos, but how about their image on a doll or action figure? At just $69.99 + taxes and shipping, you can upload a photo of someone and cubify.com will send you a realistic a mini figurine with their face! In addition, cubify.com shows examples of creating jewelry, home decorations, shoes, and more. You may not need your own 3-D printer because the service may be available soon from the company Mcor Technologies, who is teaming up with Staples to develop an in-store printing service. Mcor Technologies uses a paper-based process to create photo-realistic colored objects.
We may not yet carry 3-D printers, but we are the place to call when you need a friendly, knowledgeable person to repair your printer in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Dexter and the surrounding areas. We’re also happy to get you a price on replacing your existing printer, computer, and peripherals. We may be small, but we’re pretty competitive with the big box stores. Contact us today! Call us at 734-213-5400 and we can discuss meeting all your computer supply needs.
So, with 3-D printing gaining popularity, what’s on the horizon now? Teleporting? It sure would make the commute to work go a lot faster!