3D printing implants?

Given that we have 3D printed titanium implants, I was wondering if anyone has made an attempt to get a custom titanium implant 3D printed or are we still some way off before that is not prohibitively expensive? Following on the "transdermal armour" thread I have this idea of getting titanium implants to the back of the hand/fingers to strengthen my punches as self defense, and I feel like our current bone plate/pins are rather not quite the right shape for that purpose.


  • With the hand, you'd need to strengthen the bones as well, then the wrist, then the forearm. It's the whole redo everything cascade.

    The reason you can punch something and not break every bone (every time) is because everything flexes. If you put titanium there, and then punch, the bone will flex and the metal will not. I picture the metal leaving your hand quite traumatically.
  • The only way I can see to effectively accomplish reinforcement of the skeletal system would be triggering a system-wide effect that deposited/ossified a layer onto the bones that was composed of ceramic, or something like that. This topic has been discussed to death, though. 
  • edited October 2015
    I am not thinking about punching that hard though (nope, no punching through walls/superhuman strength/all that business against laws of physics). It's more like a knuckle duster except that it is a series of plates (if even that since knuckle dusters are a series of rings where the fingers go through) implanted in the fingers that make up the surface for impact rather than an external knuckle duster.

    It's going to help a bit but not anything extreme.

    More to the point though: has anyone tried to 3D print a titanium implant? 
  • Superhuman strength isn't against the laws of physics - it's just impractical with current technology.

    A prosthetic arm could easily punch through a wall if designed properly, but replacing your natural arms with prosthetics means you lose a lot of functionality.
  • edited October 2015
    Well, unless your brain gets taken out and placed inside a crane. That crane has support systems that keep your brain alive and it is directly hooked to the controls. :P

    Though whether you're still human at that point is another matter (or that even if we can do that technologically we peasants would not be able to do that by ourselves).

    Still, back on topic: has anyone tried to get a titanium implant 3D printed?
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