3D Printing: Printing It’s Way Into The Future

unnamed-1If you haven’t heard about it yet, you’ll be hearing about everywhere now and in the future—I’m talking about 3D printing.

Monday night 2006 Penn State alum Brandon Ledford gave a guest lecture in the Reber building on behalf of the Penn State 3D Printing Club. Even though he majored in Comparative Literature with a Latin minor, Ledford always had a passion for policy. He went to George Mason University and studied health policy and science and technology policy while studying abroad in South Africa. Ledford interned at the White House and the Supreme Court and went on to work at Deloitte and got involved with 3D printing. Ledford has been published on topics about cancer, electromagnetic radiation and 3D printing.

“3D printing will change the world and I have a positive outlook of 3D printing in the future,” Ledford says. His lecture focused on three major points: Personalization, Changing the conversations and physical spaces and Medical Technology.

Ledford gave a great example about 3D printing innovating personalization to consumers. Disney’s D-Tech Me program is allowing young girls to have the ultimate Disney princess experience. Disney can scan a face and create a design file that will 3D print their face onto the Disney princess that they choose. Nike is also using 3D printing technology to print the sole NFL football cleats. NFL players used these cleats in the most recent Super Bowl.

Ledford also talked about the future of 3D printing and changing the conversations around current technology. Say for example that your grandma has diabetes and needs to adjust her dietary habits. With the future of technology your grandma with be able to use a 3D printer to prick her finger and the machine will read her blood sugar and the 3D printer will print a muffin that has the appropriate amount of sugar her body will need.

Medical technology was the third point Ledford discussed in his lecture. Bioprinting organs is a new medical advancement that is revolutionizing medical testing and patients that are in need of treatment. For example, there was a case study of a woman who had an infected jaw and through biomedical scanning, doctors were able to 3D print a titanium jaw with a bioceramic coating so the body accepted it.

Ledford is a great example of Penn Staters making great contributions to the world. It’s incredible how your Penn State education can take your career to amazing heights and how passionate alumni are always eager to help current students. If you’re interested in learning more information about 3D printing club, check out the Penn State 3D Printing Club or 3dprintingindustry.com

Photo by Erica Kasan 


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