September 13, 2014
A company in Mexico says it's working on the world's first modular 3D printer, which will be able to print just about anything out of, well, anything. [via motherboard]
The printer, called the Modular MM1, is still just a prototype, but its creators, MakerMex, say that it can print ceramic, chocolate, batter, rubber, plastics, clay, and even wood fiber and Play Doh (OK, maybe that one isn't so impressive).
Unlike other 3D printers, the MM1 has interchangeable heads, and most of its other parts are modular as well, meaning it can be changed as the technology does. It's sort of the same idea behind the Google modular phone—you use the parts and features you need, and can upgrade them as necessary, rather than having to buy a new one whenever the tech becomes obsolete.
Of course, there's still a ways to go before the product hits the market—the company is planning to do a Kickstarter sometime later this year. But this isn't a pie-in-the-sky idea: The company has a good track record in Mexico and already has several commercial 3D printers available for sale.
Read full article.
September 10, 2014
Sofoklis Giannakoupoulous, a researcher at Barcelona’s IaaC (the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) is working on a soybean based material that could be extruded — or 3D printed — to make structures that are more solid than concrete. 3DPrinting Industry reports.
The research is ongoing but at last week’s 3D Printshow in London, Giannakoupoulous was exhibiting the material, a soybean based brownish looking powder, and the Kuka robotic arm that could be used to extrude it and build with it, through Kuka’s advanced computerized control system.
Sofoklis, who is also in direct contact with D-shape’s Enrico Dini, intends to use this new material to build large, solid housing structures.
September 4, 2014
Five-month-old Gabriel suffered from terrible seizures known as "mind erasers." But doctors used a 3D printed brain to pioneer a medical breakthrough and give him a normal life. [via The Verge]
Doctors eventually suggested a hemispherectomy, a complicated operation that disconnects the healthy half of the brain from the one causing seizures. A hemispherectomy is "one of the most challenging operations in pediatric epilepsy surgery," says Dr. Joseph Madsen, director of the epilepsy program at Boston Children’s. A dress rehearsal is beneficial even for the most highly experienced surgeons. "This is a printed version that the surgeon can hold, cut, manipulate, and look for things," he says, holding Gabriel’s printed brain in his hand. For surgeons-in-training, the simulation is a blessing. "No one wants to be the first person to get a hemispherectomy from a surgeon, ever," he adds.
The 3D print of Gabriel’s brain was developed by the Simulator Program at the hospital. The model is printed in soft plastic with a precision of 16 microns per layer; blood vessels are set in contrast color for easier navigation. Gabriel’s parents were privy to the process and anticipated complications. Gabriel’s subsequent surgery earlier this year took close to 10 hours, and went according to plan.
September 2, 2014
A hospital in Xi'an has used 3D printing technology to reconstruct a man's skull, the local Xi'an Evening Paper on Aug. 28.
The man, surnamed Hu, is a farmer who fell last year from the three-story house he was building onto a pile of logs. He was sent to hospital in a coma and doctors removed a crushed part of the left side of his skull.
Image above - Mr Hu prior to surgery with the indentation in the skull from his injury.
September 1, 2014
The prosthetic hearts feature lifelike internal detail and have the varying tactile qualities of real human hearts, according to Richard Arm, an MSc Smart Design postgraduate researcher at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.
Using silicone gels, the different areas of hardness of the human heart – such as around the heart’s arteries and valves – are recreated using specific blends of the material.
The study has been undertaken with the support of the Ministry of Defence’s Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. As well as enhancing the education of trainee surgeons, it is thought the models could help teach medical students advanced anatomy and improve surgeons’ clinical skills.
Read full article.
August 28, 2014
August 27, 2014
One of the hairier unintended consequences of cheap 3-D printing is that any troublemaker can duplicate a key without setting foot in a hardware store. But clever lockpickers like Jos Weyers and Christian Holler already are taking that DIY key-making trick a step further: They can 3-D print a slice of plastic or metal that opens even high-security locks in seconds, without even seeing the original key.
August 22, 2014
A new café has opened in Shoreditch, east London, that allows users the opportunity to have a coffee while printing their creations using 3DSystems' CubeX 3D printers and laser cutting printers. [via IBTimes]
... The MakersCafe charges by the minute for both laser cutting and 3D-printing, so users don't have to pay for the materials, just for the time taken to produce designs, with charges starting from £1 per minute ($1.66).
Customers will have to bring their own laptops to the café. They are encouraged to brainstorm for ideas there, then either make their creations with open-source 3D design software, such as Rhino or Google SketchUp, or pay the café to create the file in the software for them.
Read full article
August 21, 2014
Researchers at Louisiana Tech University are using affordable desktop 3D printers like the MakerBot Replicator to possibly change the way we treat cancer patients as well as those fighting infection. 3DPrint.com.
The researchers, which included both faculty and doctoral students within the school’s biomedical engineering and nanosystems engineering programs, worked together to create their own custom 3D printer filament. The team created a filament extruder which has allowed them to make a biocompatible material which can easily be used within a MakerBot Replicator machine, or other affordable 3D printer, that also includes medical compounds such as antibiotics or chemotherapeutic drugs.
Read full article.
Pas manufacturer Barilla launched a competition, called ‘Print eat‘, seeking designs for a 3D printable new pasta shape. 3DPrint.com reports.
To do this, they are asking designers around the globe to create a 3D model of a new pasta shape which can be 3D printed out as a prototype. The company will then use this prototype to mass produce the winning design as their new pasta shape. There is one catch however, and that is the design must be something that traditional manufacturing techniques would not have been able to achieve prior to the advent of 3D printing/additive manufacturing.
... The contest will run for 60 days, from August 20th to October 20th, and upon its completion, judges will choose the winning designs based on innovation, presentation, technical skills, briefness, and creativity.
Read full article for entry details.
First Entirely 3D Printed Estate is Coming to NY, Including a 3D Printed 2400 Sqft House, Pool & More
Architect/contractor Adam Kushner begins construction of the first ever 3D printed estate, which features a 3D printed swimming pool, 4-bedroom, 2400 square foot home, and more. The 3D printer which will be a modified version of Enrico Dini’s D-shape printer, will, if all goes as planned, eventually be able to automatically place rebar within the 3D printed house, as it prints.
3D printers and printing have started to catch on, but their use over the short term will focus more on business and medical applications, market researcher Gartner said in a report Tuesday. As such, the widespread use of 3D printing among consumers is at least five and possibly 10 years away, according to the research firm.
"Consumer 3D printing is around five to 10 years away from mainstream adoption," Gartner research vice president Pete Basiliere said in a statement. "Today, approximately 40 manufacturers sell the 3D printers most commonly used in businesses, and over 200 startups worldwide are developing and selling consumer-oriented 3D printers, priced from just a few hundred dollars. However, even this price is too high for mainstream consumers at this time, despite broad awareness of the technology and considerable media interest."
Instead, the benefits of 3D printing will gravitate more toward the enterprise market with use of 3D print creation software, 3D scanners, and 3D printing service bureaus, Gartner said. That development is expected to occur over the next two to five years, around the same time that the medical industry takes greater advantage of the technology.
"At around this time, 3D printing of medical devices will offer exciting, life-altering benefits that will result in global use of 3D printing technology for prosthetics and implants," Basiliere said.
August 20, 2014
In February, Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) became the first company to receive FDA clearance for the manufacturing of patient-specific 3D printed polymeric implants for a line of cranial prosthesis. [via 3DPrint.com]
OPM announced yesterday they have received the FDA’s 510(k) clearance for its latest implant, the 3D printed OsteoFab® Patient-Specific Facial Device (OPSFD). This makes it the holder of the only FDA cleared 3D printed polymeric implant for facial indications.
August 18, 2014
Surgeons in China performed the first spinal disc replacement implanting a three-dimensional printed vertebra, according to a CNTV report via Becker's Spine Review.
... This first spinal procedure using a 3D-printed vertebra replaced the second vertebra in a 12-year-old boy's neck. The boy had cancer, which was discovered after a traumatic soccer injury. After the procedure, the patient's head was framed with pins and will remain that way for three months. The surgeon who performed the procedure — Dr. Liu Zhongjun — said the customized 3D printing technology made the disc replacement stronger and more convenient than other procedures.
The surgeons are currently calling the spine surgery a success.
Last year, Reason.com wrote an article on the future of 3D printed drugs. The article discussed taking different chemical compounds, and through the use of 3D printers, in the future, printing specific drugs on demand. J Group Robotics, has seen this idea, and now plans on taking it one step further.
“We propose the use of 3D printers to produce capsule covers which shall carry “chemical ink” (or chemical catalysts), after printed,” said Jariwala. “In the future, companies could develop the chemical formula for a particular drugs and could outsource the 3D printing of the drug to local medical stores.
TeVideo BioDevices is a privately held biotechnology company using 3D bio-printing of a woman’s own living cells – to build custom grafts for breast cancer reconstruction. Their first product is targeted to improve nipple reconstruction and later fill lumpectomies and other fat grating needs.
The company is developing propriety, patent-pending, bioprinting technology, CellatierTM, and when combined with a woman’s own living cells will build a custom NAC graft made just for her.
... TeVido completed a first round of lab tests on just a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and is hoping to receive another from the National Institutes of Health. In order to move into the second phase of testing, TeVido is seeking more funding.
August 4, 2014
July 18, 2014
If your ice cream could look like anything in the world, what would you choose? A new machine could 3D print your ice cream in 15 minutes. The Guardian reports.
Three students from MIT have hacked together a 3D printer that can produce edible Mr Whippy-style ice cream in any shape.
Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker and David Donghyun Kim developed the contraption – a modified version of an existing 3D printer connected to a “soft serve” ice-cream machine – as part of a graduate project in MIT’s additive manufacturing department.
The students built a cooling system using liquid nitrogen to fix the ice cream in place as it was squirted out of the 3D printer’s nozzle into the desired shape. The instant cooling allowed the printer to build up the ice cream layers just as a traditional extrusion-based 3D printer squirts down layers of plastic.
“The main reason we feel an ice cream 3D printer is an important addition to current additive manufacturing technology is that it interests children,” the MIT students explained.
The students had to balance the accuracy and printing resolution of the printer to enable interesting shapes and creations with the speed of printing, as no one wants to wait 30 minutes for their ice cream to appear.
Read full article.
July 16, 2014
In Japan this week, police arrested an artist for distributing data that enables recipients to make 3D prints of her vagina. [via The Guardian]
The artist, who works under the pseudonym Rokudenashiko – which roughly translates as “good-for-nothing girl” – was arrested after emailing the data to 30 people who had answered a crowd-funding request for her recent artistic venture: a kayak inspired on her own genitalia she calls “pussy boat”, according to Brian Ashcraft at the gaming website Kotaku.
The artist, whose real name is Megumi Igarashi, was held in custody in Tokyo on suspicion of breaking Japanese obscenity laws. Media reports said Igarashi, 42, denied the allegations. She pointed out that had not sent images of her vagina in return for money and did not recognise the scanned 3D data as obscene.
Read full article.
The British defense business BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defense released information that future drones will have the ability to create mini-drones throughout a mission and be armed with laser cannons. SMNow reports.
The on board 3d printer will produce mini-drones that will repair damage to the mother drone. Undoubtedly, the drone will have the ability to print mini-weaponized drones as well.
Engineers from BAE suggest that installing a printer aboard an aircraft which would allow printing full-scale drones mid-flight as well.
BAE believes this could create “the ultimate adaptable task force, with a lead aircraft able to enter any unknown scenario and quickly manufacture an effective tool set for any task” the UK Guardian reports.