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The Future (and Present) of 3-D Printing

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3-D Printing has been a hot topic in tech for a while now, but only a few people were able to access it. With the rise in the prevalence and accessibility of this technology, however, we’re starting to see more evidence of 3-D printing and how it can affect our everyday lives. The future possibilities for 3-D printing are endless, but we’ve compiled two specific instances that we could see change in the next few years.

3-D Printed Homes

This past year, something new entered the housing market: 3-D printed houses. There have already been many firsts this year with 3-D printed houses: the first 3-D house built for less than $10,000, the first inhabited 3-D printed house, and the first community of 3-D printed homes have made history just in the first half of this year. It has now been made possible to build structures en masse and for cheaper than traditional construction.

Printable housing has been proven to be around 10 times more affordable than traditional building techniques, faster, and is more sustainable because it creates less waste. The lower cost is partially due to the use of on-site printers, which slash the typical logistical hurdle of transporting parts and building materials. While these printed houses are few and far between now, the future could see more of these types of construction practices used to reduce costs and waste.

3-D Printed Prosthetics

Not only are 3-D printed prosthetics more convenient to make, but they’re actually helping save the planet as well. Companies are now using plastic that would otherwise turn into garbage as filament for 3-D printed prosthetics.

However, printers are no longer limited to 3-D printing exclusively in plastic.  3-D printing can now be used to create synthetic skin. Scientists hope to someday print full human organs, reducing the need for human transplants and providing better opportunities for those currently in need of organ transplants. 3-D printed organs could also be less prone to rejection and infection.

These are just a few of the remarkable leaps and bounds 3-D printing has already made. The future holds even more opportunities for improvements that 3-D printing can make in all aspects of our everyday lives. The best part of 3D printing? It’s applications and innovations are only limited by the human imagination.

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