North Korea has shown a new 3D printer, which it claims is used for cosmetic surgery and dentistry, according to recently released footage from Korean Central Television (KCTV).
3D printing is a cutting-edge technology that can assemble objects and designs created on computer software. It is currently used in a variety of industries, and is progressing quickly in fields like medicine.
“With this new technology, we can mould various bone fragments through a detailed facial blueprint,” Dr. Hwang Seong Hyeok from North Korea’s Department of Dentistry tells KCTV.
The printer reportedly allows North Korean doctors to work with very detailed images and models, which will save time and improve the precision of medical procedures.
The footage shows several doctors apparently working on models for the printer and the device in operation. The narrator says the printer is assembling a human lower jaw.
The segment also shows two documents, which it claims are a certification of assessment at the “intellectual products exhibition” and a “patent certification”.
Although 3D printers have been used in various industrial applications for some time, falling prices coupled with greater sophistication and availability have seen them encroach into more industries.
But even South Korea, one of the world’s cosmetic surgery and technology capitals is still establishing the regulatory processes for 3D printing in medicine.
“We are calibrating 3D Printers for procedures of dental implant prosthesis and physicians … are taking advantage of the current limits that 3D Printers can take,” Park Hyun-wee at the 3D Convergence Technology Center in Seoul told NK News.
“3D Printers also remain in the R&D paradigm of inspection and testing, a strict set of guidelines that would assure regulators of the variety of industries 3D Printers could shape,” he added.
The footage is the first time a working 3D printer has been shown by North Korean media. However, a previous NK News report revealed that a DPRK university was advertising an older model printer at a recent trade fair.
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) Chancellor Chan-Mo Park told NK News there were a couple of 3D printers at North Korean universities. But those were being used to make prototypes for products like solar lamps.
Additional reporting by Kyung Lee
Featured image: KCTV