Tampa, Florida -- Some of the amazing technology breakthroughs that we show here on wtsp.com, you can see in person starting this weekend.
A new exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa shows how 3-D printing is changing the world and could save your life.
This technology's really just a few years old, but it's already doing some amazing things.
Inside MOSI's new "3-D Printing the Future" exhibit, visitors can see a mannequin sporting a stylish black bikini. Like it? It was made with a 3-D printer.
But this same technology can do more than make people look good -- it can change their lives. In the exhibit, visitors will find a real... fake knee. The knee is a prosthetic, printed by a computer to exactly match a real person.
It's one of the medical advances people can see themselves at MOSI, including hearing aids, made with a 3-D printer for a perfect fit.
Visitors also can see an ultra-detailed model of not just any heart -- but what could be their heart. Surgeons can create a replica of their tickers to plan their moves before they operate.
And then there are a pair of plastic, mechanical hands. They're clearly homemade; they look like they're assembled from Lego blocks, kite string, and duct tape. And they sort of are.
They are prosthetic hands made by Paul McCarthy for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one hand.
His dad found and downloaded the design for the prosthetic hand from the Internet. He used a 3-D printer, with the main parts formed from hot ABS plastic -- the same material used to create Lego blocks -- that cooled into fingers and other shapes.
Paul tied them together with tape and string, and changed his son's life.
A medical prosthetic could cost $50,000. These cost only $5.
"This is changing the world because, obviously, there are a lot of children in the world who need prosthetics. So now, this design gets shared. And we have 3-D printers popping up all over the world," said Anthony Pelaez, MOSI's director of innovation.
"Maybe in Africa, a child needs a prosthetic hand. They can print it out and they can benefit from this."
That's just the medical section of the exhibit.
There is a lot more to see, plus live demonstrations, and even hands-on 3-D printing visitors can do themselves.
MOSI Tampa's "3-D Printing the Future" opens Saturday, June 14th, and experiencing the exhibit is included with admission to the museum.