Saving lives and weaponization with 3D printing and other technology

3D bioprinters were used to make a life saving splint to help a baby breath.

The image-based design and 3D biomaterial printing process can be adapted to build and reconstruct a number of tissue structures. Green and Hollister have already utilized the process to build and test patient specific ear and nose structures in pre-clinical models. In addition, the method has been used by Hollister with collaborators to rebuild bone structures (spine, craniofacial and long bone) in pre-clinical models.

3D printing is predicted to enable a new industrial revolution. The disruption in areas where 3D printing already works well – including furniture, cutlery, machine tools, car components, toys, garden equipment and so on – will be intense. Some retailers will be disintermediated and go bust, just as music stores have been destroyed by Apple’s iTunes.

Airbus has long term projects to print whole wings and other large components.

3D printers have been used to print working guns and DARPA weapons and vehicles using additive manufacturing.

Weaponization versus purely constructive uses of other technology

There are some other classic examples of technology for weapons versus purely beneficial applications.

Nuclear bombs versus MRI’s and clean nuclear energy

Internet search and education versus Spamming and loss of privacy.

Metal working for swords and armor versus shovels and tools

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