3D Printing,this time its personal

There is a lot of Hype around 3D printing at the moment. Some of it is really good such as 3D Printed Solar Cells and some of it is a lot more controversial .

My opinion is that like a lot of new technologies we aren’t quite there yet, prices are coming down,software is getting better and people are finding more and more interesting and innovative uses for 3D printers but I don’t think yet anyone has hit on the killer app. That one thing that will really embed 3D printing in everyones consciousness and be the tipping point that takes it from cool interesting technology to something that is on sale on every high street.

But as well as the growth in mainstream 3D printing there is also more specialist uses. I found out a few days ago that Scientists can now print Human bladders and reading about them on the internet there is a lot of research going on into 3D printing organs that are either difficult or impossible to transplant.

The reason I care about this is because my dad died of bladder cancer.  I don’t know if he would have been able to have a 3D printed bladder if they had been available back in the late 1990s, I don’t know if it would have cured him as I think it was too far advanced by the time he was diagnosed and despite having his bladder removed and then further treatments of chemotherapy  he wasn’t able to recover.

The discussion about 3D printed Bladders did remind me though it is really important that Science and Medicine get the funding that they deserve and that research and treatments keep getting  pioneered and  that schools and universities  are properly resourced to teach next generations of Doctors, scientists and Engineers.

Who knows how long it will take for 3D printed organs to be common place but hopefully soon they will become a practical reality and be able to save lives and remove pain and suffering.

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