Avi Reichental is the CEO of 3D Systems, which has been a major force in the field of rapid prototyping, turning a design from a CAD file into a solid object.
3D printing is going to enable a craftsmanship and local manufacture that was killed by the industrial revolution. It will allow personalised medical objects, such as
- glasses that fit perfectly to you without hinges
- a more feminine robot leg for a paralysed woman
- hearing aids are being 3D printed to correct size
- ventilated sclerosis splints
- knee replacements.
- GE is designing the next generation of engine, which uses 15% less fuel
- a small startup is designing space probes using 3D printing – they weigh less, are cheaper, and quick to manufacture.
In food, we can ‘print’ food to embed the correct flavours, nutrients and structure.
The power of 3D printing is that complexity is free: it is as simple to make a complicated object as a simple one. It puts this power in the hands of anyone – and to help this there are tools that assist on the 3D modelling side to make it more intuitive.
Avi’s grandfather was a cobbler, and Avi can now design hybrid leather-plastic shoes that honour the craftsmanship and quality of his ancestors.
This was a quick flick through a lot of examples.