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.
Photo credit: Sterling Backus
In the near future, we may see 3D-printing being used to manufacture everything from smartphones to even cars, but physicist Sterling Backus and his son couldn’t wait for the latter. So, they started work on a 3D-printed Lamborghini Aventador. They’ve spent around $20K on parts, with most of the body parts, including the panels, taillights, headlights and air vents, being 3D-printed, while others had to be ordered so the end project can actually be driven – frame, suspension, engine, etc. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Northwell Health’s ‘The FIN’ is the world’s first amphibious 3D printed prosthetic leg. It’s made from carbon fiber enhanced nylon and was 3D printed using 3HTI/Markforged’s printing technology. It’s compatible with land or water, which means you can freely move in and out of the water without having to remove their prosthetic leg. “My hope is that this device creates unforeseen opportunities for amputees everywhere. This study is the first step in making this innovative prosthetic available to the millions of amputees looking to return to the water,” said Todd Goldstein, Prosthetic Designer at Northwell Health stated. Read more for a video and additional information.
The Divergent Blade is touted as the world’s first 3D-printed supercar, designed by Kevin Czinger. It’s the first automobile to use 3D printing to form the body and chassis, powered by a modified 2.4-liter 4B11T turbocharged inline-four sourced from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X that generates 720 hp. This unique vehicle uses a 3D printed aluminum alloy material for the chassis and body. The chassis uses 3D printed structural joints (in which Divergent calls NODES) to construct the basis of the interior, which is then completed by metal parts made by computer algorithm. Read more for a first drive video, additional pictures and information.
New York-based AI SpaceFactory has taken home the top prize in NASA’s “Centennial Challenge,” defeating 60 other teams during the course of the competition. Called “MARSHA,” this 15-foot-tall habitat was 3D-printed using an advanced robotic process that uses biodegradable basalt composite derived from Mars’ naturally-occurring sediment. Its vertical design focuses on letting in natural light, while sticking with renewable, plant-based bioplastics, and an ecosystem that thrives under the Red Planet’s sometimes unhospitable conditions. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.
Bioengineers, led by Jordan Miller, from Rice University and the University of Washington (UW) used living cells, hydrogels, and a DLP printer to create an air sac surrounded by multivascular tubes that mimics the behavior of a real human lung. “Tissue engineering has struggled with this for a generation. With this work we can now better ask, ‘If we can print tissues that look and now even breathe more like the healthy tissues in our bodies, will they also then functionally behave more like those tissues?’,” said Kelly Stevens, a bioengineer from the University of Washington who also led the project. Read more for a video and additional information.