3-D printing technology reveals possible advances in multiple fields at MOSI exhibit

Chris Donery
The Digital Bullpen

3-D Printing the Future: The Exhibition is the newest attraction at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). The museum has 3-D printers that create objects during the exhibit.

3-D printing is making consumer goods cheaper by allowing people to print almost anything imaginable.

“Basically what the exhibit shows is the next industrial revolution in all sorts of different industries that 3-D printing is applicable to,” Tom Hamilton, a 3-D printing expert, said. “There was this dad. His son was born without fingers on his left hand. Instead of being $20,000 to $50,000, it cost only about $5 to $15 for that one prosthetic hand.”

Anything from solid concrete buildings to pancakes can be designed and printed using 3-dimensional technology. Not only are scientists making significant advances in the engineering and culinary fields, but in the near future, they hope to be able to print organs to use for transplants.

“Even in the medical field, they have managed to print off graft-able ears and noses out of cellulose and either collagen or hydrogen,” Hamilton said. “They can just take a CT scan of you and use that as a computer assisted design file and they will just print that. We have a 3-D printed heart here, not a real heart, but it’s a plastic heart that has been printed from a CT scan of a patient.”

Some of the unique artifacts in the exhibit include: a pistol, a model car, a bikini, a heart, a fetus, a mask, a microscope and a working wrench.

The exhibit will be at MOSI until Sept. 28.