3D printing is a technique in which successive layers of material are laid down under a computer’s control. It is a technique that is widely used today in areas like medical science, machinery as well as aeronautics and many other areas. However, the masses still consider it to be futuristic technology.
The development in medical science through 3D printing is revolutionary. Scientists are now developing 3D printed eyeballs with filters and cameras. Scientists in Italy have been researching and claim that they will be able to create synthetic artificial eyeballs that will be able to change color perception, to enable recording as well as transmitting data via WiFi.
Technology and medical science are now joining hands to not just create cures, but also to create organic, functional body parts. Technology has now reached that height wherein using 3D printing it is now possible to actually ‘print’ these organic body organs and to place or replace them in the living body.
Artificial Eyeballs Through 3D Printing by Italian Researchers
Researchers in Italy have proposed 3 eye models which will serve the following functions:
- Heal – to cure
- Enhance – to improve vision
- Advance – to make way for additional glands to record and capture what a person sees with the artificial eye. This will be done through a WiFi connection.
The 3D printed eyes are supposedly going to be constructed with the help of a potential bio-ink that incorporates the cells required to replace those, that are found in a fully functional natural set of eyes. The bio-inks thus obtained from it, can be different in varying combinations.Once the original set of eyes is surgically removed from the body, the 3D printed ones will apparently be connected to a ‘deck’ inside the body’s head, which would then allow the 3D printed eyes to not only to be inserted — but also to be upgraded as well.
While prosthetic eyes have been made earlier and also been used on a large scale in UK, the creation of a complex eye which has the power to record and transmit information through WiFi has never been done before. The artificial eyeballs are presently estimated to release by 2027. Earlier, 3D printers have been used to research on making some other bodily organs like ears, blood vessels and kidneys.
The toy industry is also blooming in the era of 3D printers. Gone are the days when toys were handmade or machine-made. Nowadays, 3D printouts of 3D models and toys are now the ‘in’ thing.
3D printing has now become easier and, has a tremendous growth in the economic sector. It has grown by 35.2% in 2014 and is expected to become a $20.2 billion global industry by 2020. The compound annual growth rate for the last 3 years is reportedly over 33.8%.