3D printers have been gaining in media attention as of late for being able to print some pretty nice objects, such as the Terminator looking arm for the purpose of prosthetics. With a 3D printer, it is possible to make objects like this to help people understand the way things function and to maybe provide limb replacements with some sort of sensors to help someone regain mobility that was once lost. This 3D printed arm was designed by Richard Hague, director of the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group at the University of Nottingham, UK, and his students.
“It’s a mock-up but it shows circuits that sense temperature, feel objects and control the arm’s movement,” says Hague. “3D printing gives us the freedom to make complex, optimized shapes, and our research aim is focused on printing-in electrical, optical or even biological functions.”
This technology created in 1984 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corp has been around for a while, but with the massive drop in prices and the industry market set at $2.2 billion in 2012 it could be in a matter of years when they become a house hold name in many places instead of just in aerospace,jewelry,automotive,education, geographic information systems, food, and many more other fields.