3D Printing is one of the most exciting technologies in the world, with limitless applications ranging from jewellery casts to vehicle parts. What if you could make a 3D design, upload it online, have it printed and delivered to your home in India? With i.materialise(http://i.materialise.com), you can do just that.
In India 3D printing is being used by jewellers, especially those based in Mumbai, says Wim Michiels, executive vice-president of Materialise, a Belgium-based 3D printing company. "We have worked with researchers from institutions such as the IITs and they mostly seek prototypes. However, jewellery is one exception. Many people in Mumbai use 3D printing in jewellery, whether directly or indirectly by printing wax casts. I'm not saying all of them use our software for it, but 3D printing is definitely being used in Mumbai," he adds.
The device was created from a CT scan of Kaiba's trachea, "integrating an image-based computer model with laser-based 3D printing to produce the splint". Kaiba's breathing troubles ended after he was taken off ventilator support three weeks from the day of surgery in February 2012.
Wim Michiels says the technology is capable of 3D printing organs too. "Will we see it in our lives? I hope so. There are several ethical questions to be addressed regarding organ printing. It can be used to prolong lives, yes," Michiels says.