Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have had a wrench shipped from NASA’s ground station – via email, within seconds! Usually astronauts have to wait months until the next launch for parts to reach them.
In a sign of 3D printing technology coming of age, NASA responded to a request for a wrench by emailing the design for it. This design was simply printed using the 3D printer that had been installed in the ISS in November.
3D printer technology is fast becoming a game changer. They are becoming cheap enough for people to afford in homes. This means that once you download the designs, we can easily print hardware at home! Online services like Thingiverse and Shapeways already have downloadable 3D designs that one can print on home 3D printers.
3D printing had also recently hit the highlight when a video of Derby the dog being able to run for the first time using 3D printed legs. A team of orthopedic and 3D-printing experts designed and printed a pair of prosthetics for Derby, who had been born with deformed front legs.
So, Logical Indians, 3D technology is coming of age. Start thinking of social and business opportunities leveraging the fascinating technology!