August 28, 2015
These microfish, smaller than the width of a human hair, are groundbreaking for two reasons: they’re simple to create, but remarkably high-tech in what they can do, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.
... These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish will inspire a new generation of ‘smart’ microrobots with capabilities such as detoxification, sensing and directed drug delivery, according to the researchers.
“Another exciting possibility we could explore is to encapsulate medicines inside the microfish and use them for directed drug delivery,” Jinxing Li, the other co-first author of the study, said in a statement.
Read full article.
NASA is getting closer to 3-D printing a rocket engine. TIME reports.
The space agency announced Wednesday that it had built a turbopump using a 3-D printer. The device, which is designed to boost the power of an engine, is one of the most complex rocket parts ever designed with a 3-D printer.
According to NASA, the 3-D printed turbopump has 45 percent fewer parts than a turbopump made via traditional methods. The device is able to power a rocket engine capable of generating 35,000 pounds of thrust and is able to survive in an environment where fuel is burned at greater than 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
NASA is also 3-D printing injectors and other engine parts in order to make the production of future spacecraft more efficient.
August 25, 2015
The Bristol-raised creator of the Open Bionics project says he can 3D-scan an amputee and build them a custom-fitted socket and hand in less than two days.
It typically takes weeks or months to obtain existing products.
Joel Gibbard says he aims to start selling the prosthetics next year.
The 25-year-old inventor intends to charge customers £2,000 for the device, including the cost of a fitting.
Although prosthetic arms fitted with hooks typically can be bought for similar prices, ones with controllable fingers are usually sold for between £20,000 and £60,000.
That cost can sometimes be prohibitive for children, who usually need to change their prosthetic once or twice a year to take account of their growth.
Read full article.
A new Microsoft Research project lets people to create high-quality 3D images in real time, using a regular mobile phone, with about the same effort it takes to snap a picture or capture a video. [Inside Microsoft Research Blog via TheNextWeb]
What this system effectively allows us to do is to take something similar to a picture, but it's a full 3D object," said Peter Ondruska, a Ph.D. candidate at Oxford University who worked on the project while he was an intern at Microsoft Research.y/p>
The researchers say the system, called MobileFusion, is better than other methods for 3D scanning with a mobile device because it doesn't need any extra hardware, or even an Internet connection, to work. That means scientists in remote locations or hikers deep in the woods can capture their surroundings using a regular cell phone without a Wi-Fi connection.
August 20, 2015
At a lab in Philadelphia's Drexel University, a desktop 3-D printer is cranking out miniature samples of bones. In Toronto, another researcher is using the same printer to make living tumors for drug testing. It looks like an ordinary 3-D printer, but instead of plastic, it squirts out living cells. FastCompany reports.
BioBots, the startup behind the device, wants to change how researchers do biology. "We've been doing experiments on cells in a dish since 1905, and that's still what we're doing today to learn about how things work inside of our body," says Danny Cabrera, CEO of BioBots. "But the body is a three-dimensional structure. Cells in our body are used to interacting with the world in 3-D. The fact that we've been doing biology in 2-D for over 100 years now is sort of limiting."
In the past, the researcher with the 3-D printed tumors would have tested new tumor-fighting drugs in a dish or on an animal—neither of which really represents how the drug would actually work in the human body. The 3-D printed version gets much closer to the real thing. "It mimics the tumor micro-environment really well," says Cabrera. "So when you pass drugs to it, it really is a much better predictor of what the effects of those drugs is going to be."
The researcher studying bones is learning how bones form. "The vision is that once we understand these processes we can recreate them, and we can begin to engineer bones for people who need them," he says. Other researchers have printed out samples of heart tissue, lungs, the brain, skin, and cartilage.
BioBots is inviting early-stage developers to order and test out their product. Their credit card will be charged: $25000.
August 12, 2015
This is one of the craziest uses of 3D printing we’ve seen yet.
Japanese artist Aki Inomata began 3D printing tiny homes for hermit crabs in a project she’s called “Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ To a Hermit Crab?’ in 2009. Her original teeny hermit crab shelters were inspired by famous cityscapes; her latest inspiration is all about “white chapels”—which have a fascinating back story.
August 4, 2015
The FDA has just approved the world’s first 3D-printed medication, SPRITAM. The seizure drug is meant to be customized for high dosage treatments, and was developed with Aprecia’s ZipDose technology. The Next Web reports.
SPRITAM’s 3D-printed designed makes it water soluble with a minimal amount of liquid, which absorbs into the blood stream in less than 10 seconds.“By combining 3DP technology with a highly-prescribed epilepsy treatment, SPRITAM is designed to fill a need for patients who struggle with their current medication experience,” Don Wetherhold, Aprecia’s Chief Executive Officer of Aprecia, said in a press release.
The use of 3D-printing for medical purposes is not new, but this is the first time the FDA has approved a drug designed by 3D-printing.
July 21, 2015
Today, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has launched its first-ever Kickstarter campaign, titled Reboot the Suit, to preserve human history with 3D scanning and more. 3D Printing Industry reports.
Asking for $500,000, the museum has already raised more than a fifth of its goal to conserve the iconic spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he became the first person to set foot on the Earth’s moon.
As it stands, the 21-layer spacesuit is among the museum’s most fragile artifacts, stored in a climate controlled storage area where, despite every measure to protect it, the suit’s material has slowly begun to decay and its colors fade. On top of that, this storage unit is necessarily restricted to public access. But, with its $500k, the Smithsonian will conduct chemical analysis, CT scans, photogrammetry, 3D scanning, and other processes, along with consultations with the original designers of the suit, to ensure that it is preserved “down to the particles of lunar dust that cling to its surface.”
Once complete, the Smithsonian will display the suit on the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, July 20, 2019, before being transferred to their Destination Moon exhibit, which will open in 2021.
Read full article.
July 1, 2015
Fast-growing Dubai, where something new is always being added to the skyline, may have found a way to make construction move even faster. stuff reports.
The Gulf commercial hub has announced plans to add the world's first office building made using three-dimensional printer technology to its collection of eye-catching buildings.
Mohammed al-Gergawi, the United Arab Emirates' minister of Cabinet affairs, said the project is part of a broader effort by the seven-state federation to embrace cutting-edge technology and make it a global hub for innovation.
"This building will be a testimony to the efficiency and creativity of 3D printing technology, which we believe will play a major role in reshaping construction and design sectors," he said in a statement.
The roughly 2000 square-foot office building and furniture used inside will be printed out layer by layer from a mixture of reinforced concrete, gypsum and plastic using a 20-foot tall 3D printer.
The project is a partnership with WinSun Global, a Chinese company which has begun assembling houses and other buildings made using 3D printers, and architectural and engineering firms Gensler, Thornton Thomasetti, and Syska Hennessy.
The Emirati statement said 3D printing technology has the potential to cut building construction time and labour costs by at least half, and reduce construction waste by 30 to 60 per cent. It described the proposed Dubai office as "the most advanced 3D printed structure ever built at this scale" and the first to be put into actual use.
Read full article.
June 14, 2015
Heijmans, the innovative Dutch construction company behind the smart highway and glowing Van Gogh-inspired bicycle paths, has unveiled their latest avant-garde project: a 3D-printed steel bridge in the heart of Amsterdam. [via Inhabitat]
Created in collaboration with Dutch startup MX3D and designed by Dutch designer Joris Laarman, the 3D-printed pedestrian bridge is part of Heijmans’ aspirations of building the “spatial contours of tomorrow.” Multi-axis industrial robots will construct the pedestrian bridge using cost-effective and scalable technologies.
Read full article.
June 7, 2015
For all of the potential uses of food in 3D printers at the consumer level, there are many developments being made under the radar by large food corporations who are researching the future of food. 3Ders.org reports.
Whether the purpose is to create food that can be printed on-demand for military or space exploration or simply just fun new ways of thinking about existing food, 3D printing has been playing a significant part in the development of various new food items.
Among others, PepsiCo - makers of Pepsi cola have recently been able to use 3D printing to create one of the most sought-after snack foods of all time, the potato chip.
The new chips, which the company is calling Deep Ridged, were first developed using a 3D model and a 3D printer to create a thick and super-crunchy potato chip experience.
While it’s highly unlikely that the company will use 3D printing to mass manufacture the chips for consumers, it’s nonetheless cool to know that perhaps someday soon, we’ll be eating healthier snack foods that were developed thanks to additive manufacturing technologies.
Read full article.
May 29, 2015
Design firm Industry has developed a bike that demonstrates how the lines are blurring in design, engineering and manufacturing. This shift will ultimately allow companies to tailor products to individuals. c/net reports.
The Solid is an unusual bicycle: it's 3D-printed out of titanium, it's unusually streamlined, it will take you on routes designed to help you discover a city and it tells you where to turn by buzzing signals in the handlebars. It's also a harbinger of how products will be built in the future.
But the Solid, designed by a Portland, Ore.-based firm called Industry and unveiled Thursday here for the Connected Conference, is unusual in another way, too. It's not a product to be sold, but instead a project to help Industry figure out the future of design and manufacturing.
3D printers, which fuse raw materials layer by layer into metal or plastic components, will open the door to new levels of customization.
The end result may not mean you can buy the Solid in a bike shop next year. But according to Industry co-founder Oved Valadez, it will completely transform the products you do buy.
"The future is about bringing 'personal' back to service," Valadez said. Instead of buying something in size small, medium or large, you'll buy it in "size me," he said.
May 19, 2015
French cosmetics firm L'Oreal is teaming up with bio-engineering start-up Organovo to 3D-print human skin. The BBC reports.
It said the printed skin would be used in product tests.
Organovo has already made headlines with claims that it can 3D-print a human liver but this is its first tie-up with the cosmetics industry.
Experts said the science might be legitimate but questioned why a beauty firm would want to print skin.
L'Oreal currently grows skin samples from tissues donated by plastic surgery patients. It produces more than 100,000, 0.5 sq cm skin samples per year and grows nine varieties across all ages and ethnicities.
Its statement explaining the advantage of printing skin, offered little detail: "Our partnership will not only bring about new advanced in vitro methods for evaluating product safety and performance, but the potential for where this new field of technology and research can take us is boundless."
It also gave no timeframe for when printed samples would be available, saying it was in "early stage research".
Read full article.
May 17, 2015
3D printing has had its fair share of heart-warming stories, but among the most touching applications of the technology has to be in the field of animal rescue. The latest such story comes from Turkey where 3D printing service provider BTech Innovation helped in the repair of a sea turtle’s upper and lower jaws. [3DPrintingIndustry.com via engadget]
After the sea turtle was wounded by a boat propeller, a team found it floating in the sea, nearly lifeless, before bringing it to the Dalyan Iztuzu Pamukkale University (PAU), Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. There, the team attended to its wounds and subsequently nursed it back to health, feeding it by hand.
It was then that the PAU volunteers reached out to BTech to explore the possibility of 3D printing a custom beak for the poor creature.
May 7, 2015
When is a gun not just a gun? When it’s also constitutionally protected free speech.
That is the legal argument being made by Cody Wilson, a Texas man who gained attention two years ago by posting what are believed to be the world’s first online instructions for how to build a 3-D printable gun. Mr. Wilson’s files for what he called the Liberator, a single-shot pistol mostly made of plastic, were partly a statement about freedom in the digital age and partly a provocation — and provoke they did. The New York Times reports.
A few days after the plans for the Liberator were put online, the State Department ordered Mr. Wilson to remove them, threatening him with jail time and million-dollar fines for having possibly broken rules that govern the export of military data.
Now, with a high-powered legal team behind it, Mr. Wilson’s company, Defense Distributed, has filed suit against the State Department, claiming that its efforts to stop him from publishing his plans, which are no more than computer code, amount to a prior restraint on free speech. The 25-page suit, filed on Wednesday in Federal District Court in Austin, Tex., is an innovative and apparently unprecedented effort to use the First Amendment in support of the Second.
“Defense Distributed believed, and continues to believe, that the United States Constitution guarantees a right to share truthful speech,” the lawsuit states. “Especially speech concerning fundamental constitutional rights in open forums.”
While this argument will be decided in court, some First Amendment experts said the lawsuit was a trailblazing foray into free speech law and, at the least, raised legitimate concerns.
“I can’t think of anything quite analogous,” said Floyd Abrams, a noted First Amendment lawyer. “But on the face of it, it seems to me like a serious claim.
Read full article.
May 6, 2015
More than 1,000 parts on the Airbus A350 XWB jet were 3D printed with materials that only recently became available to use with the technique. The BBC reports.
It means the aircraft has more 3D printed parts than any other before it.
One expert said it was a significant step because new lightweight materials could be used and produced to airline safety standards.
Stratasys, which manufactured the parts, said it had reduced production time and costs.
May 2, 2015
If Stratasys has their way, a hobbyist trying out some new kind of gunk in their 3D printer, just to see if it works, could be at risk of prosecution under US law. Motherboard reports.
In late March, the 3D printer manufacturer filed a request that asked the US Copyright Office to deny a petition that would legally protect 3D printer owners who want to “jailbreak” their machines. The petition, filed in November of 2014 by digital rights group Public Knowledge, asked for an exemption to legislation meant to prevent product tampering. Tinkerers need to be able to circumvent the chip-based verification systems on printer feed cartridges, the petition argued, in order to experiment with printing materials not approved by the manufacturer.
The legislation in question is US Code 1201, which makes circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) built-in to consumer products a crime. Exemptions from 1201 are considered every three years as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act rulemaking process, and they’re granted on the grounds that the restriction on a certain class of technologies—in this case, 3D printers—would stymie the creation of works that don’t infringe copyright.
“Right now, there’s ambiguity, and users are anxious about the liability of using outside material,” said Michael Weinberg, the author of the petition. “I actually don’t think that’s a fact, but I realize that it’s enough for Stratasys to come after you, and you’d have to litigate that question. That costs money, and it’s enough to chill most average users.”
The ambiguity arises because US Code 1201 does not govern copyright. Its purpose is to make tampering with products that have digital protections in place against the law, whatever the eventual goal.
Read full article.
April 24, 2015
What you see in the pictures here is a Rolex Submariner watch made at 300% scale using a 3D printer. Everything but the Perspex face and the battery-powered clock mechanism of it were achieved with 3D filament, a tube of super glue and a lot of patience. Forbes.
Designed, produced and assembled by Franc Falco, design specialist at creative consultancy Wolff Olins, the ‘watch’ was an exercise in his own 3D modeling capabilities, as well as that of his Ultimaker 2 desktop 3D printer. In true open source fashion, the plans were made available for anyone to download from Thingverse.com (a library of 3D printed designs run by MakerBot), including schematics for all the necessary parts and a detailed PDF from Falco on how to assemble them.
It may be a technical feat, to 3D print a watch that somewhat resembles a Rolex, but in the eyes of a trademark holder, it's a copy and a fake. My guess is they can expect legal action over this.
Read full article.
Marijn Roovers’ epicurean delights have graced the tables of some of the Netherlands’ finest restaurants. But the food designer's Chocolate Globe is his most intricate—and technologically advanced—creation. A chocolate shell just 0.8 millimetres thick is embossed in gold with the chocolate's continent of origin, and it holds delicacies that symbolize the region. [Scientific American]
Roovers and chef Wouter van Laarhoven printed it—layer-by-layer of chocolate—on a 3D printer. Roovers is at the forefront of a small group of gourmets and technophiles who want to revolutionize how food is prepared. On 21 April, they will gather in the Netherlands for the first conference dedicated to the 3D printing of food.
... Others are developing the technology with an eye to health care. At TNO, the Netherlands organization for applied scientific research in Eindhoven, researchers are developing printing techniques that would allow consumers and hospitals to tailor nutritional content to individual needs, says project coordinator Pieter Debrauwer.
That would dovetail with the popularity of consumer electronics for collecting detailed health metrics, notes Lipson. He foresees a time when a person would be able to print a breakfast bar that provides nutrition customized to that person's allergies, activity level, age and health on that particular day.
Read full article.
With the help of a 3D printer, mini human organs can come in all shapes and sizes. In this video, a cluster of tiny hearts – shown on the right – beat in sync, and another pulsing heart is fused with a spherical, darker-coloured liver. New Scientist reports.
Developed by Anthony Atala and his team at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the mini-organs represent the first step in developing an entire human body on a chip.
The hearts were created by reprogramming human skin cells into heart cells, which were then clumped together in a cell culture. A 3D printer was then used to give them the desired shape and size – in this case, a diameter of 0.25 millimetres.
... The approach is being developed as an alternative to animal testing, which is costly and doesn't always produce results that are applicable to humans.
Read full article.