3D printing has been around for a number of years, since the early 1990âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s in fact. The biggest problem for companies is that back then they cost a phenomenal price. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000, which even for a company isnâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t exactly a small price. Thankfully with time has come the decrease in price down to current $10,000.
Currently they are working on trying to get the prices even half of that to around $5,000. One company named Sweet Onion Creations creates 3D architectural models. One of the co-founders is hoping with the fall of 3D printing costs will help spur the market. Rather than just the architectural and medical fields heâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s hoping it will go all the way down the chain from design firms all the way down to colleges, high schools and personal homes.
At Walter Reed Army Medical Center they are known for treating wounded soldiers and are used to the near impossible operations they have to do. However, with the technology and declining cost of the 3D image printing they were actually able to make a printed 3D model of the knee! With that being done the doctors were able to know more accurately where the patients nerve and arteries were and helped the doctor avoid hitting them. ItâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s a little bit of a crazy concept how they did it but once the computerized 3D model gets sent to the printer a machine drops thin layers of powder on a surface one on top of the other and it creates a 3D model.
Who knows what the future holds for the 3D printing world, but there has been mention that it may come so far as to create a special bandage for cuts. Which is, at this point in time, hard to believe.