3D Printing Draws Fans and Detractors
Not all that long ago, a young man devised a way to make parts for an assault rifle with the technology of a 3D printer. The gun enthusiasts applauded him. The gun control advocates attacked both him and the technology that made it possible to make those parts: the 3D printer. Many of these people wanted 3D technology outlawed.
Did gun control advocates consider all the other possibilities that 3D printers offer? Since the dawn of time, mankind has found a way to fashion weapons; they would still find a way to make them without a 3D printer. The question is, could those humans still make a human kidney, or an ear, without that same 3D printer?
Yes, it is a technological miracle. Researchers used 3D technology to actually make a human ear. They used the 3D printer to combine calf cells and a hydrogel material to form the ear. They used pure silver for the antenna and discovered the ear was fully functional. These ears have not been used on humans as of yet. The research and fine tuning still has strides to make, but there are teams at major universities, such as Cornell and Harvard, working day and night to develop 3D-printed organs.
Considering the possibilities
Have you ever wondered how many people die daily waiting for an organ? The numbers are staggering.
Researchers have already stated that once they are able to 3D print any one organ that will work as good or better than the original human one, all the other organs will fall into place. Just consider the people who have been on a waiting list for a kidney for years. Surgical beds will be loaded with individuals getting their new 3D-printed kidneys installed. Other organs such as livers, hearts and more will allow people to live more years, and be in comfort doing so.
3D printing has already been a huge asset to the medical field. Hearing aids have been printed that are far more advanced than ever before. Instead of braces, companies have 3D-printed molds that are designed to the patients mouth structure. These molds align the teeth, and are much more comfortable and visually appealing.
The 3D printer has also helped doctors research extreme circumstances with patients. They use the printer to duplicate the organ or tissue, allowing the doctor to practice on the same condition, before opening the patient.
Prosthetic arms and legs will be made stronger through the miracles of 3D printer technology. In the future, a person who is missing a leg just may have his/her own 3D printer and will be able to just hit the print button and have a new leg. The costs associated with 3D printer ownership have already reached a level that a normal individual could have one in their own home.
To Help or Hinder?
In March of 2011, a surgeon by the name of Anthony Atala gave a TED talk about how a human kidney was developed using 3D technology. That video has been viewed by over 1,000,000 viewers.
What is bothersome is the video of Cody Wilson and his 3D-printed assault weapon has been viewed by more than 6,000,000 people. Are the priorities of many humans to take life, or save it? 3D technology has given mankind the opportunity to both help and hurt other humans.
What is the best course for humans to take in the 3D printing debate?
Should we just discard this wonderful technology? Should it be so controlled that the 3D printing machines are so expensive that no regular individual would be able to afford it? Keep in mind that with that form of thinking, poor individuals who will need an organ will never be able to afford it.
The Future Path
Perhaps the best course of action is to let the 3D revolution materialize and form. Allow what happens to happen. Make laws that will severely punish anyone who makes a 3D printed weapon in criminal activity.
Keep in mind that medical services rely on this technology, and human life is dependent upon it. Medical costs are to a point that most individuals are suffering because they cannot afford to see a doctor or go to the hospital. If 3D printing realizes its full extent, many medical costs will come down substantially.
3D technology is here to stay. It is making it possible for our loved ones to enjoy a healthier, more productive lifestyle. Let’s all use 3D technology for the good of mankind. It just makes good sense!
This 3D technology uses a brand new process that really changes your mind on what ink technologies are.
Reference for: 3D Printers Revolutionize The Medical Industry