In spite of 3D bioprinting being very far back on the 2013 Gartner Hype Cycle for emerging technologies (just in front of quantified self, and quantum computing), this excellent summary from On 3D Printing points out that 3D printing is already being used extensively to manufacture customised hearing aids, and dental items. It seems there is much progress too in printing truly ‘bio’ materials too. Well worth a read.
Donna Cusano (aka ‘the Boss’) has kindly also suggested this article on Mashable and this on Inhabitat. She tells me there is a further, not-for-the-faint-hearted, video on Medcitynews although if you are in the UK access is blocked.
If you happen to be in the San Jose area in mid September, there’s also a prize draw on the home page for a ticket for the Inside 3D Printing conference.
3D printing is one of those technologies full of promise which has yet to prove that ubiquitous adoption is worthwhile. [Sound familiar?] The promise is that we will be able to download patterns for useful things and print them at home, saving the costs of mass production and distribution and, at the same time, enabling customisation for each user. One has the impression that most of the things produced so far have a toy-like quality but in the following item we see the green shoots of the promise becoming reality. Normal game controllers are too difficult for people with weak muscles to use and purpose-built light-touch ones are expensive, then along comes 3D printing and someone with the vision to use it to produce low cost controllers for people with muscle impairments. Building custom game controllers for the disabled (3ders.org) Hat tip to Nicholas Robinson.
The McKinsey & Company consultants have compiled two lengthy PDFs (one long executive summary and a very long full study), plus a podcast by one of their researchers, on what they see are 12 core disruptors which will be familiar to most of our readers. None are labeled ‘healthcare’ but seven of the 12 fit right into any tech in the field: mobile internet, the ‘internet of things’, advanced robotics, automation of knowledge work, cloud computing, next-gen genomics and 3D printing. Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy (downloads in article)