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Innovation centers and investment
MakerBot, one of many companies creating 3D printers affordable enough for the average consumer, recently announced partnerships with businesses and universities to create "innovation centers" that will help firms 'innovate faster, collaborate better, and be more competitive.'
In other words, these centers are the first step in improving collaboration and creating standards for the 3D printing industry.
Over 30 desktop 3D printers and scanners will be placed in each center, where university students will be able to experiment with the fledgling technology, and businesses will be able to speed up product design cycles.
MakerBot also plans to start early with the next generation, and has pledged the introduction of a 3D printer within every school in the United States.
Image credit: Makerbot | Louis Seigal
3D printed cars
Following the success of the 3D printed Areion racer created by Belgian engineers last year, German automaker EDAG has come up with a concept car body "only possible" thanks to additive manufacturing — better known as 3D printing.
EDAG says the Genesis concept car's body is inspired by a turtle shell and is designed to be both stylish and offer greater protection while on the road through extra cushioning in the case of accidents. After printing both thermoplastic materials and carbon fiber for the internal frame, a metal casing would protect the inside of the car.
The hope is that by using 3D printing to create a single, unbroken structure of carbon fiber, the outer shell will make the vehicle far safer than today's vehicles.
Via: Daily Mail
Image credit: EDAG
3D artificial limbs and prosthetics
3D printing has captured the imagination of those within the prosthetics industry, due to the cheapness and lightness of material as well as the high precision and accuracy that can be achieved through the use of 3D modelling.
In one example of many, a "crowd-solving" healthcare organization called Not Impossible Labs took interest in a Time Magazine article concerning a teenager who lost both arms to an Antonov bomb in Sudan. The group went to Sudan and created 3D printed prosthetic arms for the teenager in only six hours — which cost less than $100 to produce.
The project was later backed by Intel.
Image credit: Timoteo Freccia