3D-printed organs on the way?

Gartner believes that by 2016, 3D printing of human organs will cause a global debate and local regulation.

The IT research and advisory firm said that the 3D printer market will continue moving from niche adoption to broad acceptance – driven by lower printer prices – with the potential for cost and time savings, greater capabilities, and improved performance that drives benefits and markets.

Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner, said earlier this year that 3D printing is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas.

“From descriptions of exciting current uses in medical, manufacturing and other industries to futuristic ideas — such as using 3D printers on asteroids and the moon to create parts for spacecraft and lunar bases — the hype leads many people to think the technology is some years away when it is available now and is affordable to most enterprises.”

“We see 3D printing as a tool for empowerment, already enabling life-changing parts and products to be built in struggling countries, helping rebuild crisis-hit areas and leading to the democratization of manufacturing,” Basiliere said.

Gartner kicked off a series of symposiums in Cape Town on Monday (16 September), highlighting a number of predictions for the ICT space in the near future.

  • By 2016, at least on megatechnology company will have announced plans to develop its own automobile offering;
  • By 2016, 30% of businesses will have begun directly or indirectly monetizing their information assets via bartering or selling them outright;
  • By 2017, 20% of computers will be learning rather than processing;
  • By 2017, 83% of devices will consist of mobile phones, tablets or ultra tablets, versus 17% PCs;
  • By 2020, consumer data collected from wearable devices will drive 5% of sales from the global 1000.

Gareth Vorster was hosted by Gartner in Cape Town

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3D-printed organs on the way?