Scientists use Martian dust to 3D print tools

Food and transportation aren’t the only aspects of a mission to Mars scientists must consider. Limited cargo space means to obtain tools or similar items, astronauts may need to make use of resources available on the red planet – like dirt. Four Northwestern University researchers were recently able to utilize a Martian dust simulant to 3D print building blocks and tools.

NASA started looking into space 3D printers back in 2013 to manufacture repair parts or tools. Now Northwestern scientists have used lunar and Martian dust simulants approved by NASA to 3D print tools in a process the university described as simple, scalable, and sustainable.

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The Jetsons’ world of 3D print

When I was a kid I always wondered about how cool it would be if we could live in the world of the popular American animated sitcom The Jetsons. The show aired from 1962 to 1963, but the cartoon was set 100 years in the future. As it sometimes turns out with sci-fi stories, the future becomes reality. The Jetsons featured 3D printing, tablets, holograms, smart watches, flying cars and other strange inventions. While the flying cars may not have become a reality quite yet – they are testing drones as a method of delivery – I used to love the Jetsons’ food replicator that could churn out anything from asparagus to stroganoff. This now is a reality with companies like Foodini and CojoJet making it possible to create delicious 3D-printed entrées and desserts with the press of a button.

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Japan’s 3D Printed Pod Skyscrapers set to Revolutionize Highrise Living

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Could the skyscraper of the future dispense homes like a vending machine?

Growing and adapting to Tokyo’s housing demand, this Pod Skyscraper is constantly under construction. Residents can order a ready-to-use modular dwelling manufactured by 3D printers on the top floor of the building, and then cranes lower it into place.

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3D printing is tackling what may be its biggest challenge yet: the humble book

Thirty-four years ago, Chuck Hull developed stereolithography, the grandfather of additive manufacturing systems that rests under the now broad umbrella of 3D printing. In the intervening years, thousands of people have poured their creativity and ingenuity into 3D-printed body parts, bridges, and even a car.

But Ron Arad, a London based Israeli Industrial designer, is taking on a seemingly more banal challenge. He’s 3D printing a book.

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US Army fires 3D-printed grenade launcher

The US Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) has successfully fired the first 3D-printed grenade from a 3D-printed grenade launcher. Part of a demonstration of how such technology can be used to greatly speed up prototyping and modification of weapons while lowering costs, the grenade launcher, called RAMBO (Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance), was based on an M203A1 grenade launcher and every component, with the exception of the springs and fasteners, was manufactured using additive manufacturing.

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Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics

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A new technique using liquid metals to create integrated circuits that are just atoms thick could lead to the next big advance for electronics.

The process opens the way for the production of large wafers around 1.5 nanometres in depth (a sheet of paper, by comparison, is 100,000nm thick).

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Medical Student Creates Patient-Specific 3D Printed Liver Model for Less Than $150

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While researchers continue working hard to make readily available 3D printed organs a reality, we know that it likely won’t happen, at least not on a massively available and low-cost scale, for quite some time. However, 3D printing technology is often used in surgery these days, from surgical guides to implants to patient-specific medical models. Recently, a team developed patient-specific, cost-effective 3D printed liver models, to help doctors with their preoperative plans before performing difficult laparoscopic resections.

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BitDrones give a glimpse into the future of virtual reality

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Is liquid-metal based 3D fabrication or is self assembling/shape retaining models the ancestor of Star Trek’s infinitely amusing holodeck?. According to Roel Vertegaal, from Queens University’s Human Media Lab, programmable matter is based on self-levitating displays, allowing physical interactions with mid-air virtual objects.

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3D printed thyroid gland implanted into mice

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With new advancements happening on a regular basis in the world of bioprinting, it’s hard to determine just which company is furthest ahead.  Is it Organovo, the publicly traded company already working to create 3D printed mini kidneys with Australian researchers? Or is it one of the many research institutions making advancements in 3D printing ear drums, blood vessels, or carbon composites for bone regeneration?  If one had to choose, they might lean towards 3D Bioprinting Solutions, who successfully 3D printed a thyroid gland, classified as an “organ construct”.  And, today, news leaked that the Russian company had taken their research one step further, implanting a 3D printed thyroid into mice.

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