May 19, 2015

L'Oreal to start 3D-printing skin

_83089659_l'oreal.jpgFrench cosmetics firm L'Oreal is teaming up with bio-engineering start-up Organovo to 3D-print human skin. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIt 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".quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

May 17, 2015

Wounded turtle can return to the ocean thanks to a 3D-printed beak

cyborg-turtle01.jpg3D 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. [ via engadget]

quotemarksright.jpgAfter 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

May 7, 2015

Cody Wilson, Who Posted Gun Instructions Online, Sues State Department

liberator5.jpgWhen 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.

quotemarksright.jpgA 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:36 PM | 3D printed guns | permalink

May 6, 2015

Airbus had 1,000 parts 3D printed to meet deadline

_82777334_a350landing.jpgMore 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.

Read more.

May 2, 2015

The Legal Fight to Put Whatever You Want In a 3D Printer

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.

quotemarksright.jpgIn 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

April 24, 2015

This Designer 3D Printed A Rolex Watch And The Results Could Impact How We Personalize Wearables

3d-printed-rolex-submariner-11.jpgWhat 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.

quotemarksright.jpgDesigned, 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 (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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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.

emily | 8:42 AM | | permalink

Foodies and Nutritionists Embrace 3D-Printed Cuisine

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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]

quotemarksright.jpgRoovers 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:30 AM | 3D printed food | permalink

Mini 3D printed organs mimic beating heart and liver

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.

quotemarksright.jpgDeveloped 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

April 22, 2015

The 3D printer drone aimed at making temporary refuges for disaster relief

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A drone which can deliver 3d printed concrete-like material to provide people with temporary refuge is being developed.

The 'Muppette' project, from Gensler architects in Los Angeles, is aimed at exploring how far the boundaries of current technology can be pushed.

The BBC's North America technology correspondent Richard Taylor spoke to Jared Shier, who is one of the founders of the project, and who has already begun assembling a prototype of the machine in action. BBC News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgJared Shier: Essentially we have separated a 3D printer extruder from a 3D printer and we have attached it to the bottom of a multi rotor craft. We see a lot of different applications for disaster relief purposes. Something like this could be sent out to an area that was just stricken by natural disaster where roads and bridges are knocked out and they're cut off from traditional means of rescue. Some of these could be sent out to construct rudimentary shelters so the people that are stranded have a shelter.

Richard Taylor: How long would it take to actually build a rudimentary shelter? 3D Printing is slow.

Jared Shier: 3D Printing in a conventional sense is very slow, you're printing a very very fine amount of material and layering that very slowly. With something like this, we're printing a much larger quantity of material in one fell swoop. Whereas a 3D Printer layer might be a tenth of a milimiter, for us, our material could be coming out at 1 inch thick. To build let's say an 8 foot by 8 foot shelter for disaster relief purposes, it doesn't need to last forever, it's just there to provide shelter for a short amount of time, I see something like that taking about one day to print.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Watch full BBC video interview.

April 21, 2015

Autodesk teams up with Mattel to launch a 3D initiative for kids to help design their own toys

mattel-780x310.jpgAutodesk, the graphic art and design software company, today announced that it has entered into a pact with toymaker Mattel to augment its toy line with 3D design and printing tech. The NextWeb reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe initiative seeks to offer immersive play “experiences” by mixing real-life toys with digital creation tools. A series of apps is now in the works that will let users create, design and customize their toys, and then use 3D printing technology to make them real.

Autodesk’s 3D design and 3D printing apps will work with Spark, the company’s open 3D printing platform, to help boost creative play experiences for kids — and parents — setting up an interactive learning environment with fun apps. The Spark platform works with APIs and cloud services to optimize 3D models.quotesmarksleft.jpg

here are no details as yet which toy lines Mattel is targeting for 3D treatment. However, the companies said that the first new apps will launch in the second half of 2015 in conjunction with an online hub for Mattel’s 3D new printing initiatives.

Read more.

emily | 7:48 AM | 3D printed toys | permalink

April 18, 2015

Disney Reveals 3-D Printer Prototype That Can Print Out Huggable Plush Objects (VIDEO)

A new 3D printer from Disney's research lab could some day let you print out your own teddy bear. Headlines & Global News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe entertainment giant's research lab recently released footage of a 3D printer that has the ability to print fabric material. The printer, designed by researchers from Disney, Cornell Unviersity and Carnegie Mellon University, uses a mixture of laser cutting and layer printing to create a unique printing method. "The machine builds the object up layer by layer by cutting shapes out of a sheet of adhesive felt, cramming/heating each layer together as it goes.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

April 2, 2015

3D-Printed Kidney Tissue Is Here

Biomedical company Organovo showed off its technique for 3D printing human kidney tissue at the 2015 Experimental Biology conference in Boston. Motherboard reports.

quotemarksright.jpgOrganovo has been working on printing functional human tissue since being incorporated in 2007, and first printed a cellular blood vessel in 2010. Since January 2014, it has offeredbioprintedliver tissue (marketed as exVive3D™ liver tissue) for companies to use in drug trials and disease modeling, and it looks as though its bioprinted human kidney tissue will be used for the same tasks, starting sometime in the latter half of 2016.

"Kidney represents an ideal extension of capabilities to 3D bioprint organ tissues that can be tremendously useful in pharmaceutical research," Keith Murphy, Organovo's chairman and CEO, said via press release. “The product that we intend to build from these initial results can be an excellent expansion for our core customers in toxicology, who regularly express to us an interest in having better solutions for the assessment of human kidney toxicity.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

March 30, 2015

Injured tortoise given 3D printed shell

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 14.28.57.png A tortoise has been given a 3D printed prosthetic shell to protect her own, as she suffers from a painful disease which has caused it to wear away. The Telegraph reports.

quotemarksright.jpgRoger Henry, a Colorado Technical University student, designed the tortoise a prosthetic shell, and 3D printed it with assistance from The 3D Printing Store in Denver.

"I heard this tortoise was damaged, needed some help and it seemed like the right thing to do," Mr Henry told the Denver Post. "We basically told the software that this is a piece of cloth. Therefore, drape it onto the tortoise."

The lightweight prosthetic shell attaches using velcro, and will only need to be worn when Cleopatra is around other tortoises. Her shell is expected to regrow within a couple of years thanks to the optimum temperature and a diet including dandelions and cactus.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

March 28, 2015

Dentists will soon be able to 3D print you a new tooth in minutes

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With the announcement of a breakthrough technology that accelerates 3D printing speeds by a factor of up to 100, you may soon encounter a 3D printer in the most banal of everyday places: your dentist?s office. Quartz reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThis means that dentists can now print a tooth in 6.5 minutes,? explained Joseph DeSimone, the CEO of the 3D printing company Carbon3D and a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the TED Conference in Vancouver last week.

The 3D printing innovation is cutting edge, but the ability to reproduce a tooth while you wait in the dental chair is actually not new. ?It?s been around for about 30 years,? explains Dr. Sharde Harvey, a New York City-based dentist who been using the method called CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) since 2005.

Developed in the University of Zurich, CERAC is more akin to computer-assisted sculpture than printing. While 3D printing creates an object one micro layer at a time, CEREC carves out or ?mills? a new tooth from a piece of porcelain aided by scanners and 3D modeling software.

Both methods allow dental practitioners to replace teeth, crowns, veneers, and inlays in a single sitting. The advantage of 3D printing over milling is that the process is better able to custom manufacture an object with intricate details?think about a tooth?s irregular grooves, crannies, and valleys. The problem with 3D printing was that it used to take a very long time.

Now the race is on to come up with faster, feasible 3D printing techniques. Barely a week after Carbon3D?s unveiling, the Australian company Gizmo 3D announced that they?re working on a ?super fast SLA [stereolithography] style 3D printer? that challenges Carbon3D?s print speeds.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

Now 3D-Printed Guns Can Fire Even Bigger Bullets

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3-D printing hobbyists have managed to print up a functioning Colt CM901 assault rifle, what’s said to be the heaviest caliber rifle to ever roll off the presses of a 3-D printer. [via TIME]

quotemarksright.jpgHobbyists at posted an animated GIF of the 3-D printed rifle firing off several rounds at a shooting range.

The CM901 fires 7.62 mm rounds, a heavier caliber bullet than that of the AR-15. The gun also recoils with greater force, requiring gunsmiths to print up sturdier plastic parts that can withstand the stresses of multiple rounds. After a period of trial and error, the team claims the CM901 can fire off several rounds “with little to no issues.”

In other words, hobbyists in the 3-D printed arms race, for better or worse, are getting more bang for their buck.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:05 AM | 3D printed guns | permalink

March 26, 2015

3D-printed sedan car unveiled in China - video

China's first 3D-printed sedan car is unveiled in south China's Hainan Province. The 3.6-metre-long, 1.63-metre-wide vehicle was printed with low-cost composite materials in five days and then assembled for a test drive. The vehicle is powered by rechargeable batteries and can travel at a maximum speed of 25mph. [via The Guardian]

March 19, 2015

Liquid Carbon3D Printer works like magic

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 09.39.16.png A 3D printing process that harnesses light and oxygen has been demonstrated at the Ted conference in Vancouver. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgCarbon3D said its "game-changing" process could make objects such as car parts, medical devices or shoes.

The technique was inspired by the film Terminator 2, in which the T-1000 robot rises from a pool of metallic liquid.

On the Ted stage, the Carbon3D machine produced a plastic ball from a pool of resin in 10 minutes.

"It would traditionally take up to 10 hours to print this," Carbon3D chief executive Prof Joseph DeSimone told the audience.

He said that current 3D printing methods had some fundamental flaws.

"First up, the name is a misnomer. It is really 2D printing over and over again," he said.

The process is also often very slow.

"There are mushrooms that grow faster than some 3D-printed parts," he joked.

And finally the objects created by traditional 3D printing are often mechanically weak because they are made up of multiple layers.

His method is 25 to 100 times faster and can print solid final parts. It can, he said, potentially be up to 1,000 times faster.

It works by applying different levels of light and oxygen to a pool of resin. Light hardens the resin, while oxygen stops hardening.

By intricately controlling levels of each, the resin can be forced into complex shapes.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more. Watch video demo.

emily | 10:43 AM | 3D printers | permalink

March 16, 2015

3D printed gun featured in latest episode of The Good Wife

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The firm takes the case of a man who was paralyzed by a malfunctioning gun created by a 3D printer, in last night's episode of The Good Wife.

emily | 8:47 AM | 3D printed guns | permalink

March 5, 2015

3D Printing Offers Insights Into Cancer Development

Understanding of the complexities of tumors and even radiotherapy delivery could soon be revolutionized through the use of 3D printing, claim researchers who are pioneering a number of groundbreaking technologies. Medscape reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA number of research teams around the world exploring the use of 3D printing in a number of different areas pertaining to cancer and its treatment.

One use for 3D printing developed at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust, in London, is to produce models of tumors to help calculate the dosage of radiation delivered to a tumor.

The models accurately replicate the shape of a patient's tumor and the surrounding organs to help clinicians achieve the right balance between killing the cancer cells and preserving the healthy tissue.

The aim is to improve molecular radiotherapy by filling the tumor replicas with the same radioactive liquids administered to patients and estimating the likely effects of the treatment.

Originally, the models were handmade, but 3D printing technology offers the potential to substantially improve dosing accuracy in, for example, thyroid cancer, adult neuroendocrine tumors, childhood neuroblastoma, and prostate cancer bone metastases.

"We've seen reports on how 3D printing is being used for prosthetics and to inform surgery, and this research shows it has the potential to improve cancer treatment too ― by helping us to perform complex radiotherapy calculations more accurately," commented Glenn Flux, PhD, head of radioisotope physics at the Joint Department of Physics, the Institute of Cancer Research, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London in a release.

"We're really excited about this technology and the potential it has for personalizing cancer treatment with highly targeted radiation," he said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Registration required.

February 26, 2015

Amazon Files Patent for Mobile 3D Printing Delivery Trucks

p24.pngLate last week United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent filing by Amazon Technologies, Inc. which outlines a method of 3D printing on-demand within mobile manufacturing hubs. According to Amazon, such a setup could save the company time and money on several fronts. reports.

quotemarksright.jpgBy utilizing ‘mobile manufacturing apparatuses Amazon would be able to send an STL file to a mobile unit that’s closest to a customer, providing it with instructions to print out an item which was ordered. When the item has been completed, it could then be within miles of the customer who ordered it and quickly delivered or picked up.

The mobile hubs, according to the patent filing, would include a means to both additively and subtractively manufacture an item. This could include a number of different 3D printing technologies as well as CNC machining tools, which would ultimately reduce Amazon’s reliance on warehouse space as well as the robots and employees needed to sort through these stored items.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:54 PM | News | permalink