3D Printer Will Print Body Parts Within the Next 20 Years

A MakerBot 3D printer.
What if you could do anything you wanted without worrying about losing some limbs? That day may be here soon! Researchers in the Computational Synthesis Laboratory at Cornell University are working on a 3D printer which will print body parts, all the different tissues included. If you lose a finger or ear, they'll just print you a new one.

Over the past few years 3D printers have taken off and now 3D printers can print a variety of materials; everything from plastic flutes to metal/plastic cars. You can even get 3D printed titanium parts on-demand! But Dr. Hod Lipson and his group of rogue researchers at Cornell hope to start printing biological body parts soon enough.

See the BBC video:

The researchers hope that someday within the next 20 years you will be able to walk into a body scanner(and no, not those wonderful TSA scanners that we all love) which will copy all your features and store them into a database. Then when you lose a body part, the doctors will be able to look up the exact dimensions of that body part in the database and simply print you a new one. The body parts will be fully functional and made of the same separate tissues as your old parts.

[Engadget via BBC / Photo: 'Geekubator' on Flickr; used under Creative Commons]

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