3D printing is fundamentally changing the way we make many objects – from construction materials to toys and even food.
And being able to 3D-scan the environment, even our own bodies, means that tools and prosthetics that were once mass-produced can now be custom-made for the people they’re designed to help, at a low cost.
What if one of the most essential items in the hospital of the future is a 3D printer?
William Isdale speaks with Queensland University of Technology’s Mia Woodruff about the work she and her team are doing to explore the use of 3D-printed bio-gels and scaffolds in healing cartilage and bone injuries, and looking to a future where biological functions for those currently on organ donor lists might be fulfilled by bio-compatible machines created in a lab.
Associated Press, Obama announces new manufacturing hubs
My Angel Foundation, The Power of Yes - organ donation myths vs facts
730, ABC News – Why are Australia’s organ donation rates so low?
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William Isdale does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
Authors: William Isdale, Research Assistant, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne