New 3-D printing advances; moving into metal alloys

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In the past decade, 3-D printing has been increasing in popularity and demand. When it comes to creation, this printing style is known as a great advancement in technology. Whether making toys or making 3-D printed houses, this creation has left a mark on history.

3-D printing has seen many advances throughout recent years and has become more popular to the general public and students at California Baptist University.

“3-D printing is a new technology that has some extremely interesting implications for all aspects of engineering,” said Robbie Schertz, freshman mechanical engineer major. “Basically, we can make just about anything we want so long as we can model it. The durability can be an issue depending on the filament used by the printer, but so long as you can model it, you can print it.”

In 2018, 3-D printing has developed ways to print with metal but has met some difficulties trying to make the structures safe to be industrialized. For example, 3-D printing metal becomes hard because the printer can make microscopic holes in the structure and make the durability of the structure unsuitable for industrial application.

Schertz explained that when 3-D printers print at a basic level, trying to print something correctly can be a challenge.

Despite the current difficulties, companies have tried to print structures with metal alloys.

NASA has successfully been able to print a rocket part with two different types of metal alloys. They will continue to try to advance its success.

Many people would never have thought a 3-D printer could print a one-time vaccine but in 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers proved the world wrong. They invented a way to distribute one vaccine at one single time. They print little cups that contain multiple vaccines in one, and the cups can slowly degrade over time. The engineers were able to precisely be able to learn the exact time of the degrade of the cups and matched it with the time line where children get their booster shots avoiding clinic visits. They used a technician called StampEd Assembly of Polymer Layers to print vaccine cups and they presented this to the pharmaceutical industry last year.

“3-D printed vaccines seem especially exciting as a potential mechanism for giving multiple drugs at one time or giving multiple dosages that can be released at various specified times,” said Dr. Bruce Prins, professor of biology. “The exciting part is how it could reduce the need for multiple visits and injections. In an area where few healthcare workers are available-— think Third World countries one injection may be all that is needed for childhood immunization.”

These advancements in 3-D printing have changed the medical field and made  advancements that 20 years ago people did not think were possible.

The 3-D printing industry is still inventing ways to make the public’s lives easier and more efficient for their future.

About Isabel Sterbenz

Asst. Business & Tech Editor

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