April 27, 2011
Laser Printing Speeds Parts On Demand To Manufacturers
Pull into the auto repair shop with a smashed bumper, and there's no wait while they order a replacement. Instead, the technician downloads specifications from the manufacturer's database. You both watch as a laser beam probing a container of liquid plastic material almost magically builds a new bumper inch by inch.
The scenario may sound like science fiction, but advances in polymer materials are moving the technology for 3-D printing" of prosthetic limbs, hearing aids, designer furniture, surgical tools and other products out of the designer's studio and into the marketplace. That's the topic of an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly news magazine.
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