Who needs ink cartridges? Harvard’s acoustic printer can spit out honey or cells

We’re all about innovative printing methods here at Digital Trends and, boy, have the folks at Harvard not disappointed with their latest piece of research. It involves using sound waves to make it possible to print with virtually any liquid imaginable. That includes everything from human cells and liquid metal to optical resins and even honey. Needless to say, these aren’t the usual water-like printing materials found in ordinary inkjet printers. The results could prove useful in fields including pharmaceutical development, cosmetics, or even the food industry.

“We have developed a new drop-on-demand printing method that is conducive to printing liquids with low to very high viscosity,” Jennifer Lewis, the Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, told Digital Trends. “It’s exciting, because it can be applied to a very broad range of liquids.”

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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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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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Body Labs 3D body scanning could find applications in everything from fashion to fitness

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Body Labs 3D body scan.

Manhattan-based startup Body Labs wants to 3D scan human bodies. But unlike scanning a piece of furniture, your body changes, and a scan today won’t be exactly the same as a scan made three weeks ago. That is exactly what Body Labs is counting on. Body Labs is exploring just one of its technology’s applications to build a happier, healthier you by tracking your body’s subtle changes.

 

 

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The sky’s the limit for 3D printing solar panels

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Solar cell printers.

We’ve come a long way from the solar-powered calculator to waiting to see when innovators are going to give us solar-powered smartphones, where most of our calculators are these days.  While the average energy consumer is busy worrying about such everyday concerns, scientists at the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) are wondering how to power entire buildings, and pretty much the whole planet, as the technology they are creating will be easily transferred inexpensively to developing and third-world areas, thanks to 3D printing and design. (Video)

 

 

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Robots that self-assemble when heated up

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Printable robotic components that, when baked, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations.

MIT researchers have developed some printable robotic components that fold into a specific 3D shape when they are ‘baked’ under heat. The team, led by Professor Daniela Rus, has introduced the “bakeable robots” in the hope that they lead to a variety of self-assembling designs that function on their own and fold together like origami.

 

 

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How Long Before I Can 3D Print a Replacement Body for Myself?

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Futurist Thomas Frey: A couple weeks ago I turned 60. I remember how old 60 was when I was a kid, and now I’m here.

As a person who spends a lot of time asking “what if” questions, constantly thinking about extreme possibilities, the notion of 3D printing a replacement body for myself became very intriguing.

I remember seeing science fiction movies where cloned bodies were grown over long periods of time, and more recent ones with accelerated cloning technology, but the 3D printing of replacement bodies is a faster option, just now coming into view.

Bioprinting is the process of using 3D printers to form human tissue. This process that has already been used to print replacement kidneys, bladders, livers, skin, bones, teeth, noses, and ears, as well as prosthetic arms and legs. This is a list that didn’t even exist 5 years ago, but is now growing on a regular basis.

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What’s next for 3D printing?

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Peter Diamonds at +Local Motors 

Jay Rogers and his team at +Local Motors in Phoenix, Arizona have plans to 3D print an entire car in just one day at the Int’l Manufacturing & Technology Show in Chicago this September. The electric drive car will be built out of carbon fiber reinforced thermo plastic (CFRP), which has a strength-to-weight ratio twice that of aluminum.

 

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Disney ‘s new 3-D printing technique turns any object into a speaker

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3D printed interactive speaker

What if every object in your life could talk? A door handle warns you when someone has attempted to enter without a key. A desk ticks off your appointments when you sit down. A rubber duck quacks at a child in the tub, then his pillow sings him a lullaby to sleep. (Video)

 

 

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Spectrom: A device that allows desktop 3D printers to print in color for less than $100

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An item printed with the Spectrom device.

Full color printing is generally a privilege limited to professional and high-end consumer 3D printers, so the more casual user is likely stuck printing in one or two colors. But Cédric Kovacs-Johnson and Charles Haider, both chemical engineering undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, say they have come up with a solution: a sub-$100 device that upgrades desktop 3D printers to print in a full rainbow of colors. They call it Spectrom.

 

 

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