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3D-Printed Terminator Look-Alike Arm

(3Ders.org) A Terminator-look alike 3D-printed prosthetic arm is one of the highlights of the 600 3D-printed objects on display at a new London Science Museum exhibit. The arm illustrates how the technology could evolve to print customized prosthetics with electronic moving parts and nerve endings. The prosthetic arm concept was made specially for the exhibit by the UK’s University of Nottingham.

“At the moment 3D printing uses single materials, a polymer or a metal, which are fused together with a laser,” said Professor Richard Hague, Professor of Innovative Manufacturing and leader of 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) at the University. “You can create interwoven geometries but they’re still passive. What we’re looking to do is activate those and make them functionalise. So rather than make a component you make the whole system — an example might be rather than print a case for a mobile phone you make the whole phone — all the electronics, the case, the structural aspects, all in one print.”

Professor Hague said additive manufacturing would help transform the industrial landscape, with more emphasis on smaller, localized manufacturing. He added Nottingham is currently leading research into the next phase of Additive Manufacturing: the 3D printing of mixed materials in multifunctional devices.