As we have already seen here with a t-rex, the human face and a lack of support, 3-D printing has already proven itself to be one of the most innovative and expansive technologies in the designing of art objects. It allows artists to construct any image they create through a series of algorithms, making the possibilities for creative output endless. However, two stories were released in the news this week that attest to the real-life uses for 3-D printing as well: the first ever 3-D printed room, and the first 3-D printed jaw transplant.
Firstly, the 3-D printed room is called Digital Grotesque, the result of a collaboration between two architects - Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger. Their goal in the completion of the 16 square meter grotto was to craft an uncanny, chaotic space, existing between the binaries of the natural and the artificial. Made entirely out of sandstone and algorithms, the room also serves as an unique exploration of 3-D printing as a technology. The grotto itself is fantastic to behold, melding different types of imagery together - including human bone structures - to create a towering cathedral space. The architects involved think that 3-D printing might be the next step to restore historical buildings without damaging the original structure.
The second story that puts 3-D printing in the limelight is the world’s first 3-D printed jaw transplant. The recipient, an 83 year old woman, received the jaw after developing a chronic bone infection. The jaw itself is made of titanium, built layer by thousands of layers. The patient regained her ability to speak only a few hours after surgery. This development is majorly important for the future of artificial body parts; the printed ‘bones’ can be modified for each recipient and be accepted by the body.
To view the Digital Grotesque video, click here.