October 21, 2014

The Government Is 3D-Printing Bomb-Sniffing Dog Noses

6a00d8341c630a53ef01287632b562970c-600wi.jpg The feds spent $228,977 to reproduce canine snouts for research purposes. BetaBeat reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe U.S. federal government has been 3D-printing mechanically engineered dog noses that replicate the sniffing patterns of bomb-sniffing dogs, Nextgov reports. The noses are modeled off of female labrador retrievers, a historically favored breed of police dog.

Public documents reveal that the budget for the 3D printer was a whopping $228,977 for a Stratasys Connex 350, which was later upgraded at no extra cost for a Connex 500. The Connexes are heavy duty printers that use dozens of different materials at once to create the many textures needed in replicating dog noses.

The goal isn’t necessarily to create robot dogs for airports and security checkpoints. Rather, the project is meant to generate a host of scientific research that the private sector can use to develop vapor-sensing devices.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image credit.

October 20, 2014

Iron Man-Inspired Prosthetic Hand Now Available

445423-iron-man-prosthetic-hand-credit-pat-starace-r-d.jpgProsthetic hands inspired by the armored gauntlet of Marvel's Iron Man and designed to be fashioned by 3D printers are now available to children, in lieu of more expensive alternatives which can cost tens of thousands of dollars—and don't look nearly as cool. PCMag reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA tinkerer named Pat Starace has released his designs for his "Iron Man Child Prosthetic Hand."

... "The hand is a container for all modern technology," the inventor told 3DPrint.com. "It can incorporate microcontrollers, wireless devices, smart watches, sensors, accelerometers, NFC, RFID, and almost any technology. 3DPrint.com reported this week.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:11 AM | 3D printed prosthetics | permalink

Japanese man jailed for 3D printing guns

0009a564-642.jpg A Japanese court this morning jailed a man for two years for making guns with a 3D printer in what is believed to be a first in a nation with strict gun controls. [via RTE News]

quotemarksright.jpgYoshitomo Imura, 28, was found guilty of making two guns at his home and publishing a video online detailing the process, said the Yokohama District Court.

"The criminal responsibility for this act is serious" as it could encourage others to replicate the act, said presiding judge Koji Inaba.

Imura, a former employee of the Shonan Institute of Technology, used internet-based information to build the two functional guns, according to the ruling.

He then posted a video online detailing how he built them.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:41 AM | 3D printed guns | permalink

October 16, 2014

This 3D-printed DIY gadget can crack a safe in minutes


The world's top safe-cracking machines cost $10,000 or more, and are typically only sold for military use. These guys built one that's just as good for a fraction of the price. C/net reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA security duo out of Melbourne, Australia, has developed a cheap gadget that they say can crack most safes in no time, sometimes within minutes.

Luke Jahnke and Jay Davis built the device using 3D-printed parts and the Arduino open-source computing platform popular among makers, along with salvaged electronics that let the device spin through all the lock's possible combinations.

You can watch the prototype in action in this video report by The Register. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

October 15, 2014

Australian scientists develop 3D printed synthetic bone substitute

A team of Australian scientists from the University of Sydney are taking 3D printing to a whole new level of medical usefulness. For the past few years this team, led by professor Hala Zreiqat, have been working on a 3D printed substitute for bones, whose exact characteristics have so far been impossible to reproduce synthetically.

quotemarksright.jpgProfessor Hala Zreiqat and a team of scientists have succeeded in developing a printable material that is a hundred times stronger than current synthetic materials used to copy bone structures. The Australian researchers, in a collaborative effort with Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, can now print a material that can recreate the exact skeletal structure of any patient.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via 3ders.org]

October 6, 2014

Making 3D printed ears for disfigured children

bionicear_9245_preferred-by-mcm_400.jpg Scientists at University College London are using 3D printing to create ears to be implanted onto children with severe disfigurements. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe scientific team has been testing the process by implanting a 3D ear on a rat. The operation filmed by BBC Inside Out is a major medical breakthrough and could radically change organ transplants.

The next stage is to trial the operation in India where there are already a dozen children ready to undergo the surgery in Mumbai. There is a desperate need for this type of facial reconstruction in India.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


-- 3D-Printed Ears Are Now a Reality in China

-- Printable 'bionic' ear melds electronics and biology

October 3, 2014

That $1,200 Machine for Making Untraceable Guns Just Sold Out in 36 Hours


On Wednesday, Cody Wilson’s libertarian non-profit Defense Distributed revealed the Ghost Gunner, a $1,200 computer-controlled (CNC) milling machine designed to let anyone make the aluminum body of an AR-15 rifle at home, with no expertise, no regulation, and no serial numbers.

Since then, he’s sold more than 200 of the foot-cubed CNC mills—175 in the first 24 hours.

That’s well beyond his expectations; Wilson had planned to sell only 110 of the machines total before cutting off orders.

[via Wired]

emily | 10:46 AM | 3D printed guns | permalink

October 1, 2014

The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home

When Cody Wilson revealed the world’s first fully 3-D printed gun last year, he showed that the “maker” movement has enabled anyone to create a working, lethal firearm with a click in the privacy of his or her garage. Now he’s moved on to a new form of digital DIY gunsmithing. And this time the results aren’t made of plastic. Wired reports.

quotemarksright.jpgWilson’s latest radically libertarian project is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner. Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum. But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.

That simple chunk of metal has become the epicenter of a gun control firestorm. A lower receiver is the body of the gun that connects its stock, barrel, magazine and other parts. As such, it’s also the rifle’s most regulated element. Mill your own lower receiver at home, however, and you can order the rest of the parts from online gun shops, creating a semi-automatic weapon with no serial number, obtained with no background check, no waiting period or other regulatory hurdles. Some gun control advocates call it a “ghost gun.” Selling that untraceable gun body is illegal, but no law prevents you from making one.

Exploiting the legal loophole around lower receivers isn’t a new idea for gun enthusiasts—some hobbyist gunsmiths have been making their own AR-15 bodies for years. But Wilson, for whom the Ghost Gunner is only the latest in a series of anti-regulatory provocations, is determined to make the process easier and more accessible than ever before.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:39 PM | 3D printed guns | permalink

September 30, 2014

Biodegradable 3D Printer Filaments

As the 3D printing market continues its expansion, and environmentalists begin turning their attention to the possible global consequences of an increase in ABS and even PLA use, there will be a continued drive to make 3D printing greener. [via 3DPrint.com]

quotemarksright.jpgThere is no doubt that, although additive manufacturing produces far less waste than subtractive manufacturing, a large portion of the hobbyist space using desktop 3D printers, is throwing away a ton of plastics.

One of the UK’s leading developers of intelligent, natural plastics, Biome Bioplastics, is trying to change all this. Today at the TCT Show +personalize they’ve unveiled their new 3D printer filament called Biome3D. Biome3D, a biodegradable plastic, was developed in partnership with a company called 3Dom Filaments. The filament has superior qualities and characteristics to even some of the more popular, harsher thermoplastics on the market today.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:44 PM | 3D printing materials | permalink

September 27, 2014

HP Labs is working on a glass 3D printer

img_1531.jpg HP isn’t content to just 3D print in plastic. A job ad for a “robotics scientist for 3D printing” sounds normal enough until you dive into the text and read this: [via GigaOM]

quotemarksright.jpgHP Labs’ research into printing of inorganic materials is working towards hybrid printing of glass (and other inorganic materials) onto items that are already mass produced,” the ad reads.

3D printing is generally reserved for working with plastic and metal. Glass is unusual. Read a 2012 HP Labs paper.

HP is due to release its in October. We don’t know much about it except that it will be aimed at businesses and a potential boost for the ailing company. It’s unlikely it’s a glass printer though. This is a project that still lives within HP Labs.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

September 26, 2014

PrintAlive: 3D Bioprinter Creates 'Living Bandage' Skin Grafts to Treat Burn Victims


Engineering students from the University of Toronto have developed a 3D bioprinter that can rapidly create artificial skin grafts from a patient's cells to help treat burn victims. [via IBT]

quotemarksright.jpgIn severe burn injuries, both the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and the dermis (inner layer) are severely damaged, and it usually takes at least two weeks for skin cells to be grown in a laboratory to be grafted on to a patient.

As both layers of skin are made from completely different cells that have different structures, it is very difficult for the body to regenerate itself and burn victims can die if their wounds cannot be closed quickly enough.

Add to that, until now, scientists have had a hard time trying to create artificial skin grafts using 3D printers, due to the complexity involved in printing several successive complex layers, each consisting of a different type of cells.

So instead of trying to replicate a real human skin graft, the PrintAlive Bioprinter creates a type of "living bandage" from hydrogel.

Students Arianna McAllister, Lian Leng and Boyang Zhang worked with Axel Guenther, an associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Toronto, and Sunnybrook Research Institute burn surgeon Dr Marc Jeschke to develop a special printer cartridge.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

September 25, 2014

UPS now lets you use 3D printers in nearly 100 US stores


UPS' experiment with in-store 3D printers apparently went off without a hitch -- the shipping service has expanded the availability of 3D printing services from six test markets to nearly 100 locations across the US - concentrated mostly in big cities, such as New York and Chicago.

[via engadget]

September 23, 2014

Researchers recreate historic golf clubs in 3D printer

_77748893_photo.jpg Members of Dundee University's mechanical and electrical engineering division teamed up with the St Andrews Golf Company to make metal copies of historic clubs. [via the BBC]

quotemarksright.jpgThe team replicated two historic irons loaned to them by the British Golf Museum in St Andrews. It is hoped the project will help protect rare and ancient golf clubs.

In a cross-European effort, the head of a 125-year-old rake iron was scanned in Dundee, printed in Germany and drilled in Glasgow before being finished in St Andrews.

This is the first time a metal club-head has been created using a 3D printer.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

September 16, 2014

(3D) Print the Legend - a Netflix documentary

Print the Legend, the newest Netflix Original Documentary, on 3D Printing. A story of innovation and technology, of controversy and change. Watch the trailer above.

September 13, 2014

A New Multi-Material 3D Printer Can Print (Almost) Anything

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 08.35.35.png

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]

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:32 AM | 3D printers | permalink

September 10, 2014

Can 3D Printing With Soybean Create Truly Affordable Housing

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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.

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

September 4, 2014

Doctor turns to 3D printers in a race to save a toddler's mind

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]

quotemarksright.jpgDoctors 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

September 2, 2014

Xi'an hospital rebuilds man's skull with 3D printing technology

20140831160838aeed4-115647_copy1.jpg 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.

[via WantChinaTimes]

September 1, 2014

3D-printed human hearts to help trainee surgeons

A researcher at Nottingham Trent University is using 3D-printing to create prosthetic human hearts with lifelike detail, to help train surgeons before they go into live theatre. [via The Telegraph]

quotemarksright.jpgThe 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

August 28, 2014

Meet the Fashion Designer Who's 3D Printing Impossible Clothes

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26-year-old Noa Raviv based in Tel Aviv, makes a 3D printed fashion statement. [via motherboard]