Profs and Pints presents: “Our 3D-Printed Future,” with Sharon Flank, entrepreneur, inventor, and adjunct professor at Pace University.
The world of manufacturing is on the verge of revolutionary change thanks to 3D printing. In the last two years, 3D printing has become fast enough and detailed enough to transform not only how we make products, but how we fix broken things. Imagine never again hearing someone say, “Let me see if I have that part in my truck.” Instead, you’ll hear: “I’ll download the model and print that part for you right now.”
The U.S. Navy and Maersk shipping have tackled the same problem on a much larger scale. If you are on a ship and you need a part, it’s a big help to be able to 3D print it on site. Astronauts on the Space Station needed a wrench, and NASA sent them a file to print it.
3D parts can be built with pockets of air inside to be incredibly light. Parts that are impossible to mold can be 3D printed, so a whistle with a little ball inside can be created as just one piece, not three, or a complex engine part once built out of 100 different pieces can now be built with one or two.
Mass customization will become much easier. We’ll no longer have to suffer with off-the-rack shoes that don’t quite fit our feet or our gait. Doctors will be able to repair or replace tissues and organs by printing them with stem cells.
Will 3D printing bring back sturdier products that can be repaired, not replaced? Will “Made in China” no longer make sense? Will tariffs lose their bite if it’s digital files, rather than physical objects, that cross borders? Come hear what’s already possible and what’s coming next, so you get out in front of technological and economic trends. (Advance tickets $12. Door: $15, save $2 with student ID.)