3D Printing is perfect for making complex, customized parts to fit a specific purpose and/or person. Recently BMW has started testing 3D printing custom thumb reinforcements for factory workers to help them to work safely and efficiently with minimum strain on their hands.
Each BMW factory worker is 3D scanned and a custom thumb support is 3D printed to exactly fit their hand. The worker can then exert far greater force with their hands without stressing the thumb joint that could otherwise be prone to repetitive strain injuries. This may not be the most glamorous use of 3D printing in the automotive industry but it is one of the more practical and meaningful, especially for the health and well being of the factory workers.
How else could 3D printing be used to help strengthen and support the body at work, whether it be custom exoskeletons as this experiment by BMW starts to explore, or other custom support tools, armatures or jigs.
What could YOU use in your field of work that could be custom 3D printed to EXACTLY meet your needs?