22 posts tagged 3D printing
Human ear fabrication shows potential for growth.
Researchers in Boston are in the final stages of testing a new technique to fabricate a fully functional human ear with a patient’s own cells. Using scans, computer modelling and 3D printing, the scientists say their research heralds a new era of regenerative medicine. Ben Gruber reports.
Lantos Technologies, a small startup spun out of MIT, has created the first FDA-cleared digital ear-canal scanner. While that may seem wildly specific, and maybe a little gross, it could dramatically improve your grandfather’s hearing aid, Lady Gaga’s in-ear monitor, and mission-critical communication devices used by the military.
The Lantos 3-D Ear Canal Scanner should be rolling out to audiologists by the end of the year and brings much-needed innovation to the 36 million Americans who suffer from hearing problems and spend $6 billion dollars on hearing aids annually.
“The current technology used in hearing aids is great, but we’re using 1950s technology for the molds,” says Dr. Richard Kanor, a Brooklyn-based audiologist with over 30 years of experience. “
The holy grail has always been an more accurate, faster 3-D representation of the ear canal.” He hasn’t used the Lantos scanner, but has been following the company and says “I don’t think it will revolutionize the industry, but it will make a busy practice like mine more efficient.” The 1950s technology he references is a two-part silicone resin (medical parlance for “slimy goo”) that is injected into the patient’s ear canal using a disturbingly large syringe. The material sits in the patient’s ear canal for 15 minutes until it hardens and is removed. The process is time-consuming, uncomfortable, and not especially accurate since it doesn’t capture the way the ear canal changes shape while a person speaks or chews. Lantos’ new device could make that process obsolete. “What our scanner does is remove the silicone impression process from the workflow, as well as the shipping and receiving of the impression at the manufacturer and 3-D scanning of the impression at the manufacturer site in prep for 3-D printing,” explained Dr. Jennifer Rossi, Vice President of Marketing at Lantos, in an e-mail to Wired. (via This Ear-Canal Scanner Lets You 3-D Print the Inside of Your Head | Wired Design | Wired.com)
3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production
Picture an assembly line not that isn’t made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel, but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap and highly efficient automobiles.
If Jim Kor’s dream is realized, that’s exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be produced. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating a cottage industry of small-batch automakers intent on challenging the status quo.
Urbee’s approach to maximum miles per gallon starts with lightweight construction – something that 3-D printing is particularly well suited for. The designers were able to focus more on the optimal automobile physics, rather than working to install a hyper efficient motor in a heavy steel-body automobile. As the Urbee shows, making a car with this technology has a slew of beneficial side effects.
Jim Kor is the engineering brains behind the Urbee. He’s designed tractors, buses, even commercial swimming pools. Between teaching classes, he heads Kor Ecologic, the firm responsible for the 3-D printed creation.
“We thought long and hard about doing a second one,” he says of the Urbee. “It’s been the right move.”
Kor and his team built the three-wheel, two-passenger vehicle at RedEye, an on-demand 3-D printing facility. The printers he uses create ABS plastic via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The printer sprays molten polymer to build the chassis layer by microscopic layer until it arrives at the complete object. The machines are so automated that the building process they perform is known as “lights out” construction, meaning Kor uploads the design for a bumper, walk away, shut off the lights and leaves. A few hundred hours later, he’s got a bumper. The whole car – which is about 10 feet long – takes about 2,500 hours. (via 3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production | Autopia | Wired.com)
HBO Blocks 3-D Printed Game of Thrones iPhone Dock The tiny, detailed, 3-D printed Iron Throne iPhone dock is no more, thanks to a cease-and-desist letter from HBO, which owns the rights to the Game of Thrones series. Fernando Sosa, who modeled the throne in Autodesk Maya based on still images from the series, began selling it beside other 3-D printed sculptures on his site, nuPROTO.com. But while it was still in pre-order, HBO found out. “I guess it kind of snowballed in publicity,” says Sosa. “I didn’t think it would get this big. And all of a sudden, we got a letter from HBO.” That letter told him to knock it off, asserting rights not just to the series or the throne, but to replicas inspired by it. “While we appreciate the enthusiasm for the Series that appears to have inspired your creation of this device, we are also concerned that your iron throne dock will infringe on HBO’s copyright in the Iron Throne,” says the letter. (via HBO Blocks 3-D Printed Game of Thrones iPhone Dock | Wired Design | Wired.com)
Lee Cronin: Print your own medicine
Chemist Lee Cronin is working on a 3D printer that, instead of objects, is able to print molecules. An exciting potential long-term application: printing your own medicine using chemical inks.
Imagine if you could take living cells, load them into a printer, and squirt out a 3D tissue that could develop into a kidney or a heart. Scientists are one step closer to that reality, now that they have developed the first printer for embryonic human stem cells. In a new study, researchers from the University of Edinburgh have created a cell printer that spits out living embryonic stem cells.
The printer was capable of printing uniform-size droplets of cells gently enough to keep the cells alive and maintain their ability to develop into different cell types. The new printing method could be used to make 3D human tissues for testing new drugs, grow organs, or ultimately print cells directly inside the body.
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are obtained from human embryos and can develop into any cell type in an adult person, from brain tissue to muscle to bone. This attribute makes them ideal for use in regenerative medicine — repairing, replacing and regenerating damaged cells, tissues or organs. [Stem Cells: 5 Fascinating Findings] (via 3-D Printed Human Embryonic Stem Cells Created for First Time: Scientific American)
3D Printed Robot InMoov Open Source
Vid:13 This is a test using capture gestures + voice commands in Myrobotlab.
You can follow the progress of this project and download the printable parts on:
If you download from the site, please rate or post a picture from your print in “I made one”. It will be the only and best reward I will get for this work. And it makes me happy!!
InMoov’s looking for a brain at:
Thanks for watching.
(by gael langevin)
3D Systems, the industrial 3-D printing giant, is expanding its desktop line of printers with the oversized, multicolor-printing CubeX printers. The printers, announced today at CES, promise an oversized print platform that can output objects up to 10.8″ x 10.45″ x 9.5″, more than twice the build volume of printers from other manufacturers such as the Makerbot Replicator 2. The line offers from one to three print heads to allow for colorful printouts, although information about the ability to blend the filaments into additional colors was not released. CubeX appears to be based on 3D Systems’ 3DTouch series of printers, but with various upgrades. In addition to a modified chassis and larger print area, previously only available on the single- and double-head 3DTouch printer, the new machines also use the proprietary smart cartridges 3D Systems uses with entry-level Cube printers, rather than the more common standard spools of filament. These spools trade accessibility for a moisture-inhibiting system that is said to increase shelf life. (via 3D Systems’ Outsized Machine Does Multicolor Prints as Big as Your Head | Wired Design | Wired.com)
2012 has been a big year for 3-D printing, but the industry has quietly been growing for decades. And the innovations are impressive — for every new plywood-clad 3-D printer kit that makes the rounds on the internet, engineers are developing ways to print titanium parts for jet engines that will change the aerospace industry. This week at Euromold, a manufacturing trade show, the companies behind these devices are demonstrating new products and highlighting the novel technologies that will change the way we build things. The 3-D printing industry is on track to be a $3.1 billion business by 2016 and the innovations on display this week show its foundation is growing — both in revenue and in physical print size. Above: Objet 1000 The big news out of Euromold is really big — a 3-D printer so large that it requires a palette jack to unload. The newest 3-D printer from Objet combines their world-class accuracy (16 micron/0.0006 inch layer thickness) and the ability to create models with 14 materials in one print job with extraordinary size. The new Objet 1000 is named for its 1000 x 800 x 500 mm (39.3 x 31.4 x 19.6 inches) print area which is over three times the size of competitive printers. To put this in perspective, the Objet 1000 holds over 238 pounds of resin to print with, more than some 3-D printers weigh. (via Next Year’s 3-D Printers Promise Big Things — Really Big Things | Wired Design | Wired.com)