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3D printing the future

Artist Daniel Widrig used 3D printing technology to represent the human body in motion. Image courtesy of Daniel Widrig Studio
Artist Daniel Widrig used 3D printing technology to represent the human body in motion. Image courtesy of Daniel Widrig Studio

In April, Horizon learns about devices that can print liquefied food, machines to make personalised spectacles, and the research that is paving the way for the printing of implants using live cells.

We look at the role of 3D printing in personalised healthcare, including made-to-measure spectacles and insoles that fit a patient’s feet, and technology that could one day enable doctors to 3D print implants using the body’s own cells.

Consultant Dr Phil Reeves gives his views on how Europe can build the momentum required to turn 3D printing into mass-scale personalised production, and lawyer Joren De Wachter explains why 3D printing has new implications for copyright and intellectual property laws.

Horizon has also produced an interactive timeline, based on the EU’s first 3D printing roadmap, which looks into the far future of 3D printing. To find out whether that future includes a Star Trek-style replicator, we recorded an interview with Marcel Slot, the man who coordinated the roadmap project.