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Quite often when out at dinner, you will take your keys out of your pocket and place them on the table in order to feel completely comfortable - but what if this meant that random people on the internet could then enter your house with ease?
According to Håkan Hedlund from the Swedish Theft Prevention Association, burglars can pinpoint a Facebook photo in which your keys are displayed, enhance the finding (CSI pun intended), model this find on their own computers and print out the exact design on a 3D printer - using this to open your front door. In a chat with PC World, Hedlund stated "Yes, it's possible to copy a key from a photo, in any case if it's a fairly simple key."
With 3D printers being made more accessible to the public, Hedlund recommends you keep your keys in a safe place. Anton Månsson reaffirmed this risk, commenting that keys don't have to be made out of metal to work efficiently "You can use many different kinds of thermoplastic, nylon or wood-plastic composites, but none of the simpler 3D printers can use metal."
Companies want to 3D print human skin within the next five years, using a mix of live cells and specialized 3D machines. The bioprinting market could evolve into a $1 billion market by 2025, and offer a scalable method for personalized medicine.
Cosmetics company L'Oreal is working with the Organovo biotech company to begin 3D printing skin tissues. If done successfully, both companies hope for realistic product testing in the future. It's possible to grow real skin in a laboratory, but it's a slow and costly procedure - using bioprinting with 3D printers would greatly accelerate the process.
"Some safety questions are still difficult to mimic with today's methods and new, additional non-animal alternative methods are needed," said Elena Lurie-Luke, P&G Global Life Sciences innovation leader, in a statement published by CNN Money. "3D bioprinting is a promising option for the future."
Technology has helped push the sport of cycling to new levels in recent years, and Sir Bradley Wiggins will use custom 3D-printed handlebars in his hour record attempt.
Using 3D printing technology, bike manufacturer Pinarello and other sponsors were able to custom fit titanium handlebars designed for Wiggins to remain as aerodynamic as possible. Exact details about the one-piece handlebars will likely remain a secret until his June 7 record attempt.
The hour record has become popular in recent times, with the record being broken multiple times in the past year alone - starting with fan-favorite Jens Voigt setting a 51.115KM pace in September, with it increasing up to 52.937KM by Alex Dowsett in May. Realistically, Wiggins should be able to eclipse Dowsett's record, and some believe he could even reach 55KM in one hour on the velodrome.
It looks like 3D printers are one step closer to widespread mainstream adoption, with 90 percent of respondents from companies saying they are "very satisfied" with their 3D printing experience, according to IDC.
Price, ease of use and service/support are critical to help drive adoption among business users, the survey found. In addition, non-users have a curiosity with 3D printing, and momentum will continue to build even further in the future.
"These printers are typically acquired for a specific creation workflow, but once in place the usage expands rapidly to other types of applications," said Keith Kmetz, VP of hardcopy peripherals solutions and services at IDC. "The early adopters who recognized the substantial cost and time-to-market benefits of 3D printing have carried the day, but it's their overall satisfaction and the ability to expand usage that will ultimately drive 3D printing to the next level."
The Airbus A350 XWB jet has more than 1,000 3D-printed parts manufactured by Stratasys, delivered to the aircraft manufacturer in late 2014. The A350 XWB has a 7,750-nautical mile range and can seat around 315 passengers in its wide-body plane.
Airbus and Stratasys started working together in 2013, with Airbus seeking 3D-printed parts to help keep production costs down - and so it can meet scheduled timelines. The custom parts must be able to meet airline safety standards, while reducing production times and overhead for the airline manufacturer.
3D-printed parts have a growing number of uses, and the aerospace industry wants to use them for commercial and private aircraft.
The US Air Force's 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group (ISRG) is testing 3D glasses paired with the Common Geospacial System to provide an enhanced view of environments. Each person wearing the headset can view ground elevations, building heights and other geographical data used for more precise missile strikes.
To provide this view, two overlapping images, captured from different viewpoints is used - as part of a custom $17,000 bundle that provides software, monitors, and goggles. Unfortunately, the 3D images cannot be created in real-time, so it takes time and patience to create superimposed data used by the ISRG team.
"The glasses used to bigger and have batteries," said Tech Sgt. Tiffany, who has tested the system at Langley, in a statement published by The Daily Press. "They are much smaller and easier to use now. They look like regular sunglasses."
3D printing is helping push the boundaries of modern surgery, allowing surgeons and other medical practitioners to work on more accurate models before live operations. Violet Pietrok, a two-year-old born with a rare cleft deformity, is undergoing a series of operations in large part because of 3D printing.
Trying to make precision cuts in the skull, which would be extremely close to the optic nerve, has serious consequences - but doctors were able to practice on a 3D model first. The firsthand experience gave them a better idea of sawblade trajectory - and to better understand how they would be able to make the cuts.
"We were actually able to do the procedure before going into the operating room," said Dr. John Meara, plastic surgeon-in-chief at Boston Children's Hospital, in a statement to CBC. "So we made the cuts in the model, made the bony movements that we would be making in Violet's case and we identified some issues that we modified prior to going into the operating room, which saves time and means that you're not making some of these critical decisions in the operating room."
Although this video is currently sitting at 10.6 million views, many technology and 3D-printing enthusiasts still haven't discovered or thought about the possibilities ranging around developing weapons out of their newly-found printing machines.
VICE talked to Cody R Wilson two years ago and looked at his life surrounding 3D-printing of weapons conducted out of his own home. This 25 year old Texas law student lists himself as an advocate for 3D-printed weapons with this documentary covering the making and firing of a real-life 3d-printed rifle.
Are you against 3D-printed weaponry of some or all kinds, or is it something you encourage and support? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
It's going to take a while before 3D printers go mainstream, but consumers have shown a genuine curiosity about 3D-printed food.
3D food printers operate by printing out layers of edible materials, capable of creating pastries, chocolate, pasta, pizza, and other delicious snacks and foods. Unfortunately, supporters are struggling to find ways to turn this curiosity into a long-term business model - and whether this is an ideal strategy for home cooks or restaurants.
"The really exciting thing is the food we can't even imagine today because we don't have any way to make it," said Hod Lipson, Cornell University Creative Machines Lab director, in a statement to the AP. "That's the part I don't think anybody has really figured out."
3D printing technology has evolved at a fast rate over the past few years, but 3D printing still struggles to go mainstream among consumers. Prices for 3D printers and filaments are dropping, but consumers simply don't need one, even as more 3D-printed products and foods are introduced.
A wider selection of consumer 3D printers are available, but most consumers appear willing to wait for the market to develop further.
"Other than some of these cool examples, when does 3D printing go mainstream?" questioned Guy Kawasaki, tech analyst and former Apple chief evangelist, in a statement to CNBC. "I understand you can 3D print food. That's kind of a stretch for me. The fact that someone can 3D print a car doesn't mean you're gonna do it. So it may be that we're just a little bit too early to see what's really gonna happen there."