3-D Printing! (so cool)

First legitimate patent was filed in 1986 for the stereolithography apparatus (SLA). The technology kept growing, and names kept changing from the mid 90's up to the early 2000's.
The first 3-D printer, the SLA-1, was built in 1987, and the first unit sold in 1998. While this was a success, another form of 3-D printing was emerging as well....
The patent for the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) RP process was filed by Charles Deckard. This would later be acquired by 3-D Systems.
After a host of new technology, patents, and businesses formed through the 90's and 2000's, commercially available printers were available in 2009, in kit form, thanks to RepRap. Now that the tech, accessibility, and the number of applications have advanced, we have the 3-D printers of today at a more affordable price...though they're still pretty expensive.
Now 3-D Printers are benefiting society in a number of ways. From entertainment to building cars. From printing prosthetic limbs for amputees, to new skin for burn victims. More and more beneficial applications are being found or created all the time.
The 3-D Printer has been a boon for the art world, providing artists new way to bring creations to life, like this rooster. It's even being used to bring classic paintings into the 3-D realm. Artists Rob and Nick Carter used their printer to create a 3-D version of Vincent van Gogh's sunflowers painting.
A group of scientists came together to create a 3-D bio-printer fully capable of printing human skin. The printed skin can be transplanted to burn victims, or be used for chemical studies and other such experiments.
There are even 3-D Printers being developed to print fully functioning organs. This could save hundreds of people who would have previously been stuck on a wait list, in need of a critical transplant.
To summarize, the 3-D printer can solve many problems. From giving a burn victim new skin, cutting medical costs and wait times, to simply giving the masses something new to gawk at and think about. The 3-D printer still has a lot of potential and we can't possibly know all the ways it may be used in the future.
Could 3-D printing be used for nefarious purposes though? What if someone printed a gun or knife in the hopes of inflicting harm? What if someone printed a key to your home? Despite the good it can do, there are always people who can twist it into something negative.

Sources:

(2017). 0-2 History of 3-D Printing. Retrieved from https://3dprintingindustry.com/3d-printing-basics-free-beginners-guide/history/

Brooks, K. (2014, June 30). 14 Ways 3-D Printing Has Changed The Art World. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/3d-printing-art_n_5534459.html

(2017, January 23). 3-D Bioprinter To Print Human Skin. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170123090630.htm

Ledford, H. (2015, April 15). The printed organs coming to a body near you. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/news/the-printed-organs-coming-to-a-body-near-you-1.17320

Credits:

Created with images by mebner1 - "printer 3d making" • fdecomite - "Quadrifolium 3D Print" • Cooperweb - "Money" • SD-Pictures - "green laser light beam" • starpause kid - "#3d #printer #printing #makerfaire #maker #tiger #tifers #tigerd #tired #togers #tigers #princeton" • splotramienny - "prostetic proteza 3d" • stevendepolo - "3-D Printed Sintered Dragon 2016 Spring Break Trip April 03, 2016 3" • burnbless - "#medical" • Hey Paul Studios - "Brain Embroidery" • TeroVesalainen - "question mark why problem" • G20Voice - "Police"

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