All 3D printed innovations have something in common: they are only producing inorganic, plastic-based material. What about organic materials, such as human organs? Wouldn’t it be great if new organs could be printed out and used in surgical operations to save people’s lives? (Video)
Dutch designer Joris Laarman will build a bridge in 2017 by wheeling a robot to the brink of a canal in Amsterdam. He will push an “on” button and then walk away. When he returns in two months, the Netherlands will have a new, one-of-a-kind bridge, 3-D printed in a steel arc over the waters. This isn’t some proof-of-concept, either: when it’s done, it will be as strong and as any other bridge. People will be able to walk back and forth over it for decades.
Most pocket-sized printers are really just smaller versions of what you’d see on your desk. But, Zuta Labs’ upcoming Pocket Printer robot may liven things up a little. Instead of using an old-fashioned paper feed, it runs over the page laying grayscale ink. This Roomba-like approach isn’t just a party trick, though. Besides leading to a very portable design, it lets you print on any size page you like — if you need to get a legal form while you’re at the coffee shop, you can. (Video)
3D printers can make everything from toys to jewelry to food, but now makers are starting to think bigger. So big, in fact, that there is now a 3D printer that can print entire pieces of furniture. (Pics and video)
A Nanoscribe 3D printer can print models of the Empire State building in a space the width of a human hair using precision lasers. Watching the machine build through the “lens” of an electron microscope is otherworldly—but the printer’s potential runs beyond microscale model making. (Video)
MarkForged 3D printer
Aeromotions builds computer-controlled racecar wings. The use carbon fiber to make those wings both strong and lightweight. Carbon fiber is the material of choice for many advanced motorsports parts. The problem is that making custom racecar parts out of carbon fiber is daunting. The only real method available is the expensive and difficult process of laying up carbon fiber pieces by hand.
ChefJet edible designs
3D Systems has just unveiled its new line of ChefJet 3D sugar printers. 3D Systems insists ChefJet will allow any professional kitchen to incorporate “stunning edible prints” with minimal effort—that is, for foodies willing to fork out some serious dough.
3D Systems and Hershey’s to make a machine that prints chocolate.
3D Systems announced a deal with Hershey’s Thursday to collaborate on developing a 3-D printer that makes chocolate and other edible products.
3D printed chocolate sculpture.
A British company, Choc Edge, claims to be able to create a chocolate sculpture of your face using a 3D printer. The 3D image can be created by building up layers of dark, milk or white chocolate. (Video)
Marcus Kayser’s Solar Sinter project
When Markus Kayser, a design student, wanted to test his solar-powered, sand-fed 3-D printer, he knew the gray skies outside his London apartment wouldn’t do. So he shipped the 200-plus-pound contraption to Cairo, Egypt, flew there himself, and haggled with officials for two days to get it out of customs. A few small “tips” and 11 hours of driving later, he finally made it to the Sahara. But soon the mercury hit 104 degrees, his components nearly overheated, and he was forced to improvise.
A pizza made with the Foodini 3D printer.
3D printersthat print food-based products have been around for a few years now. The first commercial chocolate 3D printer arrived back in 2011. But the Barcelona-based 3D printingstartup Natural Machines wasn’t satisfied with mere chocolate. They wanted to 3D print a more balanced meal — say, a pizza. (Video)
The Mini Metal Maker prints 3D objects from digital files directly in precious metal clay, rather than in plastic. Once these clay objects air-dry, they are fired in a kiln to produce beautiful solid metal objects of high purity and precision. Using metal clay essentially replaces the entire wax-casting or lost-wax process ordinarily needed to do this. The Mini Metal Maker will add new capability for the DIY inventor or artist by making fabrication in metal easy and direct. It will be a boon for anyone interested in creating their own gears, miniature mechanisms, or printing detailed jewelry or metal ornaments. The Mini Metal Maker is built around the concept of using the minimum number of parts, reducing the cost to produce and also eliminating many chances for error during assembly.