The Exploding Possibilities of 3D Printing

The Exploding Possibilities of 3D Printing

Thu Oct 20, 2016
6 -
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Additive Manufacturing, or large-scale 3D printing, has been described as the beginning of a third industrial revolution. The industry has evolved well beyond impressive yet impractical objects into producing components and fixtures that are as important and as far afield as biomedical devices to parts on military planes.

There are many creative forces behind the status of this technology. This panel will discuss the current state of 3D printing technology and expected growth in breadth of capability and known applications.

Interesting uses for 3D Printing 

From a Forbes Online article

1.) 3D Printed Organs: 3D printing has been used to print organs from a patient’s own cells. This means that patients may no longer have to wait a long time for donors in the future. In the past, hospitals implanted structures into patients made by hands. 3D printing has drastically improved this process.

2.) 3D Printing In The Automotive Industry: When General Motors started to build the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, engineers at the company used 3D printing to save time required in prototyping the parts for the vehicle.  GM used stereolithography, specialized software, math data and laser sintering to build parts out of liquid resin in order to make improvements to the Malibu.

3.) 3D Printing In The Aerospace Industry: Recently, NASA’s rocket engine injector made from a 3D printer passed a major hot fire test. In the test, the rocket engine injector generated 10 times more thrust than any injector made from 3D printing in the past.

4.) 3D Printed Gun: Defense Distributed is a high tech gunsmith group that created the world’s first fully open-sourced 3D printed gun called the “Liberator.” Fifteen of the gun’s sixteen parts were made out of 3D printed plastic and the body can be etched overnight.

5.) 3D Printed Prosthetics: When Emma Lavelle was born, her legs were lifted up to her ears and her shoulders were internally rotated due to a rare genetic disorder called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. Emma’s legs were casted down and she slowly started to develop again.  Dr. Tariq Rahman of the Nemours Biomedical Research facility at the Alfred DuPoint Hospital For Children worked with engineers at the hospital to build her a durable “exoskeleton” using a 3D printer.

6.) 3D Printing As A Way To Help The Senses: In Japan, Yahoo! is working with a creative agency called Hakuhodo Kettle to help a school for the blind.  Yahoo! is teaching blind children to search the web using a machine called Hands On Search. The Hands On Search is shaped like a cloud and it combines voice recognition technology with a MakerBot 3D printer to turn voice queries into physical objects.


Terry Wohlers

Andy Christensen has been active in the additive manufacturing industry since the mid 1990’s, all the while focusing on medical applications. He has created entirely new toolsets that didn’t exist in the areas of virtual surgical planning, patient-specific anatomical modeling, personalized surgical guides and 3D printed metallic implants.

Charles Overy Headshot

Charles Overy

Terry Wohlers is the founder of Wohlers Associates, Inc. His team has provided technical and strategic consulting on the new developments and trends in rapid product development additive manufacturing. Wohlers has twice served as a featured speaker at events held at the White House and is regularly cited by national and international media including CNBC, CNNMoney, The Economist and Financial Times.

The program will be moderated by Charles Overy, a founding principal and director at LGM, a full service architectural visualization practice he established in 1992, utilizing additive manufacturing technology.

6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. program