Changing the world is similar to a jigsaw puzzle. As computer engineering online degree holders know, profound changes take place as lots of ideas and small breakthroughs build up over time, waiting for the one pivotal piece that brings it all together. Then, your whole world seems to change overnight. Let’s take a look at the result of one such pivotal world changing technology.
Janine April 1, 2050
Janine starts her day in the usual manner. Up at 6:00 AM, she starts with a hot cup of tea and a quick scan of the schedule for the day. She skips her usual morning run on doctor’s orders; taking it easy until her new pancreas settles in. Instead, she’ll spend some time in her garden. She could use some new pots and solar powered garden ornaments.
Taking her tablet outdoors, she looks online and finds several pretty pots and a pair of solar powered butterflies. While she places the order, she sees sections of a new house arriving a few doors down. The new family will probably be moving in by the end of the week.
This scenario seems pretty ordinary until you know more. Janine’s teacup, new pancreas, gardening accessories and her neighbor’s new home all share one characteristic. Every one of them is manufactured using 3-D printing technology. Just minutes after placing her order, Janine’s household printer will produce both pots and solar powered butterfly. In just a few decades from now, 3-D printing will change the way you do just about everything.
3-D printing may have a profound effect on the way manufacturers make and sell their goods. Consumer goods of all kinds, manufactured on demand by 3-D printing technology eliminate the need to keep a large inventory on hand. Instead of large assembly lines, industrial 3-D printers manufacture complete items ready for shipping. Automobiles assembled from just a few printed components and houses built with 3-D printed sections with all the wiring and plumbing fixtures installed at printing.
Benefits gained include increased profitability, less waste and less impact on the environment. 3-D printing also presents exciting opportunities for new invention. Engineers and designers can quickly print design prototypes for testing. This will shorten the time needed to perfect products and get them on the market.
For many items like Janine’s butterfly, the future is now. Desktop 3-D printers can take an image and quickly produce the finished product. In years to come there will be a thriving market for creative 3-D printing designs.
3-D Printed Health
The ability to print living cells promises dramatic changes for health care and medicine. Burn victims can have replacement skin printed onto their bodies. Replacing damaged facial features with living replacement printed using the victim’s own cells will make life better for accident victims and children with genetic impairment issues.
Even rejection resistant human organs may soon be available for transplant. Scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine use stem cells and bio-printing as part of their effort to produce transplantable human kidneys. Your children may well live much longer and more active lives because of easily manufactured replacement tissues and organs. A new and exciting world is coming; just click print.