Friday, July 24, 2009

Sound Off

It's about time I sound off, I haven't done it in a while.

I want to tell you about something that I think is SO cool. I'm a terrible reporter, so I already know this is not going to come out the way I wish it would. :)

Ever see Star Trek: The Next Generation? I love that series. In high school I would watch it with my dad after supper. It seemed like we only ever saw reruns, and to this day I've never seen the last season, but we enjoyed it all the same. Ok, are you familiar with replicators? The crewmen would walk up to a replicator, speak what they wanted (Picard: "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot"), then a swirl of glitter and the desired object [usually] appeared just like that!

Yeah, that was fiction. But it was a really cool thought.

Ever heard of a 3-D printer? This is real. According to Wikipedia:

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology. A three dimensional object is created by successive layers of material. 3D printers are generally faster, more affordable and easier to use than other additive manufacturing technologies. While prototyping dominates current uses, 3D printers offers tremendous potential for production applications as well.[1]

This technology is commonly used in the jewellery, footwear, industrial design, architecture, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries.

And if you care to follow the link, you can read on and on about how this actually works. And see a picture: a laptop computer with two figurines sitting on the keyboard. The gargoyle on the left is an original, the gargoyle on the screen is a 3-D scan, and the gargoyle on the right is a poly resin reproduction, printed using the 3-D printing technology. It blows my mind away. I mean, in real life it's the closest thing we have to the fictional Star Trek replicators!!

I read an article today that got me thinking about 3-D printing, and a unique way it is being used in Brazil. Here it is:

Invention Allows Pregnant Women to Hold Models of Their Unborn Babies

Here's an excerpt:

"Professor Campbell is keen to use the technology as an educational tool for expectant parents and to help mothers who have difficulty bonding with their babies. It could also allow parents better to understand physical abnormalities that are diagnosed during pregnancy...

Dr Lopes is now focusing on developing simple software that doctors would be able to use independently and on the spot." [emphasis mine]

I was doubly blown away! If you are aware of what the ultrasound technology has done for Pregnancy Resource Centers, can you begin to imagine and hope what this would mean for them?

Literally, a scan is performed on a pregnant women, then this new technology converts the data and sends it to the printer--voila! A little model of the mother's baby is produced. I'm speechless. Not some generic model--but a model based on scans of THAT baby. My mind is racing (I probably will not be able to go to sleep now, lol) thinking of all the different ways this could be used and the things we could discover. My heart pounds to think of the TRUTH PROCLAIMED IN GOD'S WORD!!

Psalm 139:13

For you formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother's womb.

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