Not all 3D printers are created equal, and Prusa Research’s Mini is one designed for all ages. Featuring a build plate area of 180mm x 180mm x 180mm (7-inch x 7-inch x 7 inches), it’s significantly smaller than its predecessor, the Prusa Mk3s, and features auto bed leveling, a removable powder coated PEI sheet, which hold the print firm, and a small, full-color LCD to control your printing, all controlled with the company’s brand new custom 32-bit Buddy mainboard with silent 2209 Trinamic drivers. Read more for two videos, including one showing how to print your very own mini drone.
How about a prosthetic arm that grows with you? Meet the Hero Arm by Open Bionics. Each one of these bionic arms is custom-built using 3D scanning / printing technologies, and it’s also the first to be medically certified. It utilizes multiple sensors to enable its wearer to control the hand, complete with haptic vibrations, sounds, buttons, and lights for intuitive operation. Read more for a video and additional information.
Colorado laser physicist Sterling Backus’s son was fascinated by the Lamborghini Aventador he drove in the Forza video game, and wondered if it was possible to build one, and thus project “Interceptor” was born. This isn’t going to be a 1:1 replica, as they budgeted $20,000 to the project. Som, to start, Backus hand-built the steel chassis and sourced an LS1 V8 from a Corvette for the engine. The panel layouts were found on the online design community called GrabCAD, and then those were modified for 3D printing. Read more to finally see the car in-action.
Eugeni Quitllet has revealed GalaXsea, a proposed solar-powered sailboat that can be 3D-printed directly in space. He envisions it as a place where space visitors, artists, and scientists alike can embrace the future, all the while surrounded by the great expanse of the unknown and immersed in a unique spatial experience to awaken the senses. Read more for a video and additional information.
Construction technology company ICON is currently 3D-printing homes for the homeless in Austin, Texas using its Vulcan II 3D printer. This machine is used to print the frames of these homes and then humans install the windows, doors as well as roofing. Each one takes around 48 hours to fabriate at a cost of just $10,000 USD. They’re also exploring low-cost homes in Latin America for families that live on less than $200 a month. Read more for a video and additional information.
Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed a solution that allows them to 3D-print blood vessels on living tissues, and it’s called the SWIFT (Sacrificial Writing Into Functional Tissue) method, which will eventually lead to the creation of larger, more effective organs. In their test, they successfully printed cardiac tissue that could beat synchronously over a seven-day period using stem cells. Read more for a video and additional information.
Many 3D printers cost less than a new smartphone these days, but what can the high-end machines do? Well, Trideo3D recently spent 260-hours printing a Hogwarts-inspired medieval castle that wouldn’t look out of place in a movie if it were properly painted. The layered structure of all Additive Manufacturing processes unfortunately leads to a strain-stepping effect on part surfaces which are curved or tilted in respect to the building platform, but some printable polymers such as ABS, allow the surface finish to be smoothed and improved using chemical vapor processes based on acetone or similar solvents. Read more for a video and additional information.
Drone racing is already a professional sport, and that means they’ll only get faster as time goes on. The “Helyx” is a next-generation FPV (First Person View) drone that’s faster than most hypercars, and it weighs just 87.5 grams. It’s capable of accelerating from a standstill to 62 mph in a mere 1.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 129 mph. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Alain Herzog | 2019 EPFL
These days, 3D printers are dime a dozen, but for truly world-changing applications, researchers at the Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices (LAPD) in EPFL’s School of Engineering, working with colleagues from Utrecht University, have developed an ultra-rapid 3D bioprinter that can print living tissue in mere seconds. The technique is officially called volumetric bioprinting, and to create the tissue, researchers project a laser down a spinning tube filled with a stem-cell-laden hydrogel. It’s then shaped by focusing the energy from the light at specific locations, which then solidifies. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA awarded a $73.3-million contract to Made In Space for them to demonstrate the ability to 3D-print and assmeble spacecraft parts in orbit using Archinaut One. This robotic manufacturing ship is set to launch in 2022 aboard the Rocket Lab Electron rocket and 3D-print two 32-foot beams on each side. These beams will unfurl into two solar arrays that could produce up to five times more power than traditional panels found on spacecraft this size. Read more for a video and additional information.