Tagged With 3d printing

The most common types of 3D printing involve either extruding melted plastic or using a laser to solidify tiny particles, layer by layer, to slowly build up a solid object. But researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found a way to radically change that process by 3D printing liquids inside other liquids — and it could mean major advancements in gadget construction.

The plan to 3D-print a bridge in mid-air was always bonkers. How could a technology best known for creating flimsy prototypes and personalised action figures be used for permanent construction projects? Well, the team at MX3D in Amsterdam just answered all of the hard questions and revealed it: the world's first 3D-printed bridge. It's made of a completely new type of steel, spans 12.19m, and will be installed early next year in De Wallen, the largest and best-known red-light district in Amsterdam. It also looks utterly otherworldly.

Video: 3D printers haven't quite ushered in a new industrial revolution, but every day it seems there's another irrational reason why you might consider buying one. As this soothing timelapse reveals, if you have the patience to wait almost 10 days, you could 3D print yourself an impressive replica of the Millennium Falcon in a single pass.

How often do you actually get flowers and need a vase to put them in? On your birthday, maybe? When a family member passes? So why bother storing a rarely-used fancy vase when this clever 3D-printable plastic widget turns a party balloon into a decent place to keep a few flowers alive?

Imagine that every time you needed a prescription, you wandered on over to the pharmacy and a pharmacist printed you up your drugs on the spot. On-demand micro manufacturing would allow pharmacists to customise for dosage, for your own personal biology, or even to combine many pills into one dose. It's a vision for the future of pharmaceuticals that a growing number of scientists hope will make drugs cheaper, personalised and more accessible to far-flung places.

OK, let's not get ahead of ourselves. McLaren won't be deploying an interplanetary squad of space marines to slay brain-guzzling bugs anytime soon. It does, however, have an interest in protecting its valued clients and when one of them asked the company to make some custom armour to protect their body post-surgery, it turns out McLaren was not only happy to entertain the idea, but actually do it.

Researchers in Europe have created a soft artificial heart that mimics the real thing. It still isn't ready for prime time, but the approach, in which the developers used silicone and 3D-printing, could revolutionise the way patients with heart disease are treated.

Scientists have successfully 3D printed ovaries that not only boost hormone production and actually ovulate, but also produce healthy offspring.

The discovery is a breakthrough for those with ovarian damage due to childhood cancer treatment, or others suffering from fertility issues.

Scientists with the European Space Agency have shown that it's possible to make durable bricks using simulated Moon dust and concentrated sunlight. A similar approach may eventually allow lunar colonists to 3D-print their own habitats and structures using materials found on the Moon.

Reduce, re-use and recycle are words to live by as we try to minimise humanity's demand for our planet's natural resources. But instead of sending your empty soft drink bottles off to be recycled, scientists from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany want you to build everything from chairs, to boats, to outdoor shelters with them.