3-D printers change the face of R&D innovation

By Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun

Today with the growing popularity of 3-D printer technology, anyone who fancies him or herself an inventor can find out overnight if they’re truly innovative – or just a pretender. “We have an enormous advantage over a poor guy like da Vinci, whose every idea would involve a laborious effort to verify. Things that were good ideas, he would have discarded because of the manufacturing challenges. We don’t have that problem any more,” said Stocco, a professor of engineering at the University of British Columbia who is an inventor himself. His specialty is creating equipment for robot-assisted orthopedic surgery. He designs a part in three dimensions using computer-aided design or CAD software, feeds the design into a 3-D printer and, within a few hours, the machine spits out prototypes of the parts he needs to test his idea.


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