3D printing ( additive manufacturing) has been around for more than two decades now. with improvement in technology and increasing industry participation, 3D printing is moving to the mainstream manufacturing from being a mere tool for prototyping. One of the key factors inhibiting the adoption of 3D printers in the manufacturing sector was the limited options of materials. Photo-polymers and plastics have been the dominant material in past. However, metal is now being widely used and being widely seen as the future material of the industry.
One dramatic surgery made worldwide news in 2012 when an 83-year old Belgian woman with oral cancer had her jaw replaced by a tailor-made, 3D printed titanium mandible in what can be called a first-of-its-kind surgical transplant. Metal-focused additive manufacturer LayerWise from Belgium used a method developed by a surgical team from Belgium’s Hasselt University to create the fake jaw. Titanium, a well known material in the medical implant industry because of its biocompatibility, was powdered and then printed out layer by layer.
Why is HP foraying into 3D Printing?