Posted by Neil Bennett 09 October 2013
Why the real amazing future of 3D printing isn't in your home
We interview 3D printing guru Professor Richard Hague at the launch of the Science Museum's new exhibition, 3D: Printing the Future.
If you believe the hype, everyone will have a 3D printer in their home soon for churning out everything from new spoons to replacement parts for your washing machine.
Not everyone is convinced by this. At the launch of the 3D: Printing the Future exhibition at the Science Museum in London, we interviewed to Professor Richard Hague from the University of Nottingham – one of the UK's leading researchers into 3D printing as part of the University's Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group. You can watch the video above. Please note that additive manufacturing is the technical name for 3D printing – and is often how Richard described it.
Watch the video above to discover why you probably don't want a 3D printer in your home (unless you're into crafts such as making doll's house furniture) – but how the real impact of 3D printing is going to have a very positive affect on your life. A combination of the affordability of 3D printers with what designers and companies can do with them – and what's going to be possible soon – means that you're going to be able to buy a lot more tech, lifestyle and home products that can be customised to your needs from dolls for your kids that can look like their mum to scooters match exactly to your height.
Richard also details what his team's working on currently, including a 3D-printed concept model of a fully functional prosthetic hand created from multiple materials (below). It's a level of complexity beyond previous 3D-printed medical projects. While project such as Magic Arms – which is also in show at the exhibition – are truly amazing, they generally use single materials. Richard's prototype aims to introduce multiple materials including electricity-conducting materials to produce objects capable of being powered.
3D: Printing the Future is at the Science Museum's Antenna Gallery – the one at the back on the ground floor, behind the V2 rocket, to you and me – until January 7 2014.