Archive for the ‘3D printing’ category

Sep 22, 2021

Lasers could bring the precision of 3D printing to the cooking of food

Posted by in category: 3D printing

Even though it’s now possible to 3D-print foods into millimeter-precise shapes and forms, cooking those printed foods is still a fairly inexact process. Scientists are trying to change that, by using lasers to cook foods to specific optimized standards.

Led by PhD student Jonathan Blutinger, a team at Columbia University started by pureeing raw chicken then extruding it through the nozzle of a 3D food printer, creating samples measuring 3 mm thick by about one square inch (645 sq mm) in area. They then precisely heated that chicken via pulses of either blue or near-infrared laser light, at wavelengths of 445 nanometers for the former and either 980 nanometers or 10.6 micrometers for the latter.

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Sep 19, 2021

Why SpaceX’s first private space mission is so important & Jeff Bezos’ reaction

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, media & arts, space travel

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Sep 11, 2021

Texas researchers develop new bioink specifically for 3D bioprinting blood vessels

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical, engineering

A team of researchers from Texas A&M University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering has designed and 3D bioprinted a highly realistic model of a blood vessel.

The model is made of a newly nanoengineered, purpose-built hydrogel bioink and closely mimics the natural vascular function of a real blood vessel, as well as its disease response. The team hopes its work can pave the way for advanced cardiovascular drug development, expediting treatment approval while eliminating the need for animal and human testing altogether.

“A remarkably unique characteristic of this nanoengineered bioink is that regardless of cell density, it demonstrates a high printability and ability to protect encapsulated cells against high shear forces in the bioprinting process,” said Akhilesh Gaharwar, associate professor at the university and co-author of the study. “Remarkably, 3D bioprinted cells maintain a healthy phenotype and remain viable for nearly one month post-fabrication.”

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Sep 7, 2021

Can 3D Printing Help Solve Our Chip Shortage?

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing

Whole new chip fabs will be required to keep up with growing industry demand. But to attack the current shortage, debottlenecking existing processes is critical. Additive manufacturing offers one set of solutions.

Sep 4, 2021

Japanese Scientists 3D Print Lab-Grown Wagyu Steak

Posted by in category: 3D printing

Wagyu, but better for the environment.

Sep 4, 2021

New bioink brings 3D-printing of human organs closer to reality

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, biotech/medical

Researchers at Lund University have designed a new bioink which allows small human-sized airways to be 3D-bioprinted with the help of patient cells for the first time. The 3D-printed constructs are biocompatible and support new blood vessel growth into the transplanted material. This is an important first step towards 3D-printing organs.

Therefore, researchers are looking at ways to increase the amount of lungs available for transplantation. One approach is fabricating lungs in the lab by combining cells with a bioengineered scaffold.

Aug 22, 2021

3D Printing Liquid Crystal

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, chemistry

If you think at all about liquid crystals, you probably think of display technology. However, researchers have worked out a way to use an ink-jet-like process to 3D print iridescent colors using a liquid crystal elastomer. The process can mimic iridescent coloring found in nature and may have applications in things as diverse as antitheft tags, art objects, or materials with very special optical properties.

For example, one item created by the team is an arrow that only appears totally green when viewed from a certain angle. The optical properties depend on the thickness of the material which, being crystalline, self-organizes. Controlling the speed of deposition changes the thickness of the material which allows the printer to tune its optical properties.

The ink doesn’t sound too exotic to create, although the chemicals in it are an alphabet soup of unpronounceable organic compounds. At least they appeared available if you know where to shop for exotic chemicals.

Aug 19, 2021

Scientists 3D Print Living, Viable Brain Tumor, to Practice Killing It

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, neuroscience

A team of mad scientists successfully 3D-printed out a living, “viable” glioblastoma tumor — the deadliest kind of brain cancer — for the express purpose of learning how to kill it.

Practice makes perfect!

Aug 15, 2021

NASA’s latest space station cargo includes a 3D printing system for lunar soil

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, habitats, space

NASA has edged one step closer to building Moon and Mars colonies using the celestial bodies’ soil. Universe Today notes that NASA’s latest International Space Station resupply mission included a machine meant to demonstrate 3D printing regolith (that is, loose soil or rock) on the Moon and similar extraterrestrial surfaces.

The Redwire Regolith Print (RRP) project will work in tandem with an existing printer system (ManD) to try 3D printing simulated regolith. If that succeeds, the ISS crew will gauge the strength of the resulting material to see if it can handle the harsh conditions beyond Earth.

If all goes well, RRP could lead to colonists printing at least some of their habitats on-demand. That, in turn, could reduce the volume of construction supplies NASA brings to the Moon and Mars. Scientists have envisioned soil-based habitats for years, but this test is relatively realistic — it’s an attempt at 3D printing soil in lower gravity. While there will still be much work to do, the long-term goals for Artemis and future Mars missions may be that much more achievable.

Aug 11, 2021

Could We Explore the Entire Galaxy With Self-Replicating Robots?

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, environmental, nuclear energy, physics, robotics/AI, solar power, space, sustainability

Circa 2016

Scientists and engineers since the 1940s have been toying with the idea of building self-replicating machines, or von Neumann machines, named for John von Neumann. With recent advances in 3D printing (including in zero gravity) and machine learning AI, it seems like self-replicating machines are much more feasible today. In the 21st century, a tantalizing possibility for this technology has emerged: sending a space probe out to a different star system, having it mine resources to make a copy of itself, and then launching that one to yet another star system, and on and on and on.

As a wild new episode of PBS’s YouTube series Space Time suggests, if we could send a von Neumann probe to another star system—likely Alpha Centauri, the closest to us at about 4.4 light years away—then that autonomous spaceship could land on a rocky planet, asteroid, or moon and start building a factory. (Of course, it’d probably need a nuclear fusion drive, something we still need to develop.)

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