February 8, 2013

7 TED talks on the wonder of 3D printing

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 3.52.41 PM.png In honor of 3D printers here are some TED and TEDx talks on understanding this technology.

Lee Cronin: Print your own medicine. [Video]

In this talk, Lee Cronin shares one application — the idea that, in the future, people could print their medicine. With a custom-built 3D printer and chemical inks, users would download the appropriate molecules to perform “on-the-fly molecular assembly.” Meaning that they could print out whatever medications were needed that day — even if they were for a new superbug.

Lisa Harouni: A primer on 3D printing. [Video]

So what exactly is 3D printing? Lisa Harouni breaks it down — from machine to design to product. Learn how it all works in this talk from TEDSalon London Spring 2011.

Klaus Stadlmann: The world’s smallest 3D printer. [Video]

Klaus Stadlmann built the microprinter, the smallest 3D printer in the world. In this talk from TEDxVienna, he demos this tiny machine that could someday make customized hearing aids — or sculptures smaller than a human hair.

Scott Summit: Beautiful artificial limbs. [Video]

In his work, prosthetics designer Scott Summit noticed that a lot of people had to hack their own artificial limbs — with socks, bubble wrap, even duct tape — to feel comfortable. In this talk from TEDxCambridge, he describes how he turned to 3D printing to create limbs that not only match a person’s body, but their personality as well.

Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney. [Video]

The shortage of organ donations is a crisis in healthcare. A possible solution? Printable organs. In this stirring talk from TED2011, Anthony Atala describes his research into the development of an organ-printing 3D printer, and introduces a recipient of the product of a similar technology — a bladder grown by borrowed cells.

Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future. [Video]

Marc Goodman draws from his experience in law enforcement to show the dark side of technology — what happens when great tools get into the wrong hands. In his talk, he shows a way 3D printing could be used for harm and cautions us to guard against these potentials.

David F. Flanders: Why I have a 3D printer. [Video]

In this talk from TEDxHamburg, 3D printing guru David F. Flanders discusses the development of the technology and the implications of its mass use, including 3D printers’ role in recovery relief, architecture, and the office supply closet.