July 31 2009
Each machine is capable of creating an exact replica of a computer aided design by cutting the electronic model into thin horizontal layers of plastic powder, a laser is used to fuse these slices until the plastic component is complete.
Laser-sintering can produce fine lattice detail which is impossible to reproduce by any other means and the facilities are available to architecture practices, educational establishments and members of the public.
The strength and rigidity of these models allows them to be used as functional items, notably as two wedgewood-style ceramic coated tureens used to adorn the main staircase of an ocean liner.
Indeed such is the advancement of technology now that a neuroscientist, Dr Morten Kringelbach, was able to map the shape and edges of brain activity when a person was in pain by turning body scan data into physical models of the human mind.
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