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Exciting applications of 3-D printing technology

(People's Daily Online)    17:06, September 09, 2016

A 3-D printer. (Photo/Xinhua)

Already, 3-D printing technology has entered society and changed the way many people live. In the coming years, the impact of this advanced technology will only increase. According to a report by Digital Trends, a 3-D printing company in Poland allows blind mothers to "see" ultrasounds of their unborn babies. But what is 3-D printing? And what's next for this vital technology?

What is 3-D printing technology?

3-D printing refers to the process of successive layers of material being assembled under computer control to create a tangible, three-dimensional object. These days, 3-D printers are equipped with materials including metal, ceramic, plastic, clay and more.

Applications of 3-D printing technology

Photo shows Grecia the toucan at Zoo Ave Animal Rescue Center near Alajuela, Costa Rica. The toucan, who suffered the effects of an impaired beak for over a year, can now eat as usual thanks to its new 3-D-printed beak. (Xinhua/Kent Gilbert)

Xinhua reported on Aug. 11 that a toucan named Grecia at Zoo Ave Animal Rescue Center near Alajuela, Costa Rica, was given a 3-D-printed beak. The toucan can now eat independently using its new beak.

Photo shows Thor, the world's first 3-D-printed aircraft, being presented at a Berlin air show. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)

A report on June 6 said that the European aerospace company Airbus presented a mini-plane at a Berlin air show. The plane, christened Thor, is the world's first 3-D printed aircraft. Thor is a windowless drone that weighs 21 kilograms and is less than 4 meters in length.

Photo shows a 3-D-printed model of a bone. (Photo/Xinhua)

Guangming Daily reported on Sept. 2 that 3-D technology has also been widely used in the medical field; 3-D-printed models of organs and cells, as well as 3-D-printed artificial limbs, are being used in clinical practice.

The 3-D printing industry is developing all over the world, and making great strides in China. However, it also faces some obstacles.

Luo Jun, an expert in Chinese 3-D printing technology, pointed out that the development of the technology should really be based on application - building an open service platform, opening the application market and more.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Du Mingming,Bianji)

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