In recent years, the advances in our day-to-day technological capability have allowed 3D printing to permeate various industries spanning from healthcare to manufacturing. Some of the most well known 3D printing designs are in precision medicine, whereby unique models of limbs are generated in 3D using the patient’s data. Due to the inherent creativity of 3D printing, its uses can are also very varied, ranging from using food scraps for printing gourmet creations to making prototypes for human settlement on the Moon. A commonly used material in 3D printing is plastics. Given that in 3D printing the design is printed as a whole, if it breaks in one part, then it can be rendered non-useable, given that a new one would need to be printed in its stead. Of course, the 3D printed design would need to be mended but if the design cannot be mended and must be thrown out, this affects the already existing problem of plastic waste. The whole process takes about 1 hour and the researchers teamed the new plastic as ‘healed,’ resulting in plastic that is stronger than the previous one. Researchers believe that such approach would be specifically useful in the fields were 3D printing is used high-tech specialized components, such as electronics and sensors.

Read the full article at Forbes