3D printing in the news again!
There has been no shortage of 3D print news this week with stories such as the Ford Motor Company, who adopted 3D printing in 2013, for rapid prototyping and are now reckoned to be printing around 20,000 parts a year in just one of its 3D prototyping centres (Lucas Mearian, June 2014, Computerworld report). According to one of Ford’s technical specialists, it is thought that the Ford Motor Co. simply will not be able to meet its new model vehicle build deadlines without 3D printing technology.
In another field of research at the University of Leicester, a 3D printed model has been made from scans of the spinal bones from Richard III, revealing that he was not a hunchback as reported at the time but, in fact suffered from scoliosis. This was suspected at the time when his remains were found 2012 (under a parking lot in Leicester) as scientists noticed that his spine bones lay in a curve. Creating a complete, assembled model from the 3D printed bones has now proved this diagnosis.
Meanwhile work by the Plasticbank group who seek to turn plastic waste from around the globe into a valued resource, such as 3D printer filament, is leading towards the possibility of having communities in impoverished or underserved countries and communities collect waste plastic. They will then exchange it for credits towards micro-loans or have new products 3D printed from the very same plastic they have collected.
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