Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Lab Autom. 2016 Aug;21(4):489-95. doi: 10.1177/2211068216649578. Epub 2016 May 19.

3D Printing in the Laboratory: Maximize Time and Funds with Customized and Open-Source Labware.

Author information

1
Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch, Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
2
Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch, Bethesda, MD, USA darrellh@niaid.nih.gov.

Abstract

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the computer-guided process of fabricating physical objects by depositing successive layers of material. It has transformed manufacturing across virtually every industry, bringing about incredible advances in research and medicine. The rapidly growing consumer market now includes convenient and affordable "desktop" 3D printers. These are being used in the laboratory to create custom 3D-printed equipment, and a growing community of designers are contributing open-source, cost-effective innovations that can be used by both professionals and enthusiasts. User stories from investigators at the National Institutes of Health and the biomedical research community demonstrate the power of 3D printing to save valuable time and funding. While adoption of 3D printing has been slow in the biosciences to date, the potential is vast. The market predicts that within several years, 3D printers could be commonplace within the home; with so many practical uses for 3D printing, we anticipate that the technology will also play an increasingly important role in the laboratory.

KEYWORDS:

3D printing; computer-assisted design; equipment; prototyping

PMID:
27197798
PMCID:
PMC5380887
DOI:
10.1177/2211068216649578
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center