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Restart Radio: 3D printing, from prosthetics to blender spare parts

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We hosted our friend Paul Sohi, 3D printing and digital fabrication expert, to talk us through the promise of new kinds of making. Paul explains what 3D printing actually is, how he got into it and tells us about some very exciting projects he has undertaken with his company Autodesk.

Most recently, Paul helped paralympian cyclist Denise Schindler make a special prosthetic limb. (Yesterday she won a silver medal in Rio, w00t!) He has also been involved in preservation work with museums, including the V&A. We talked about how 3D-modelling has benefits for public education too, as objects and designs can be “shared” virtually.

Our blenders may not be as precious as a museum artefact, or world-class athlete, but we talked at length with Paul about how 3D printing opens up new possibilities in the manufacture and distribution of spare parts for household appliances. Decentralised manufacture of spare parts could allow us to dramatically extend the lifespan of a whole class of appliances, which break because of failing plastic parts.

Links we mentioned or hinted at

[Feature image “Customizable Knob” by Thingiverse user charliearmorycom is licensed under CC BY 4.0]

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