Archive for the ‘3D printing’ category: Page 117

Sep 21, 2015

Open Source ‘Solar Pocket Factory’ Can 3D Print a Solar Panel Every 15 Seconds

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing, electronics, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein, two young inventors based in the Philippines, are taking their passion for clean free energy and developing a way to make it accessible and cheap for everyone. These guys are working restlessly to provide a product that could be used by practically anyone to make homemade solar panels.

The factory is small enough to fit on a desktop and efficient enough to produce 300k to one million panels per year, up to one every 15 seconds. By cutting out much of the labor intensive process, which represents 50% of the total cost, this machine can dramatically reduce the price of solar. Their pocket solar panel producer can change the way the world views electricity. Image credit: YouTube/SciFri

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Sep 21, 2015

New ‘shape-shifting’ material can reconstruct faces

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

Called a shape-memory polymer (SMP) and developed by a team at Texas A&M University in the US, this biodegradable material can be used to fill in gaps in a damaged face and act as a scaffold to guide the growth of existing bones.

The researchers made their shape-memory polymer by linking molecules of another material — polycaprolactone, or PCL — and whipping it into a foam. According to Jackie Hong at Motherboard, the material is soft and easy to mould when heated to 60°C (140°F), and sets when it’s cooled to body temperature without becoming brittle. It can be used in 3D printing and moulding, which means it can be shaped into extremely precise models and bone scaffolds, and it’s full of tiny holes like a sponge, which allows bone-producing cells called osteoblasts to collect inside and grow.

According to Hong, the researchers enhanced this osteoblast-growing effect by coating their SMP material in polydopamine — a different kind of polymer substance that helps bind existing bones to the SMP scaffold, and has been shown in previous studies to encourage the growth of osteoblasts. Over a three-day trial, their coated SMP scaffold grew five times more osteoblasts than their uncoated scaffold.

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Sep 19, 2015

World’s largest delta-style 3D printer can print nearly zero-cost housing out of mud

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, sustainability

The future of affordable (and sustainable) housing may lie with 3D printing. The World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP) will soon unveil the world’s largest delta-style 3D printer that can build full-size buildings out of mud and clay for nearly zero cost. The massive 12-meter-tall (40 feet) BigDelta printer will make its official debut and show off its eco-friendly printing prowess tomorrow at “Reality of dream,” a three-day event in Massa Lombarda, Italy.

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Sep 17, 2015

System can convert MRI heart scans into 3D-printed, physical models in a few hours

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

Researchers at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a system that can take MRI scans of a patient’s heart and, in a matter of hours, convert them into a tangible, physical model that surgeons can use to plan surgery.

The models could provide a more intuitive way for surgeons to assess and prepare for the anatomical idiosyncrasies of individual patients. “Our collaborators are convinced that this will make a difference,” says Polina Golland, a professor of and computer science at MIT, who led the project. “The phrase I heard is that ‘surgeons see with their hands,’ that the perception is in the touch.”

This fall, seven cardiac surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital will participate in a study intended to evaluate the models’ usefulness.

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Sep 13, 2015

3D Printed Solar Cells Could Provide 1.3 Billion People with Electricity

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, energy, solar power, sustainability

Solar power has been gaining more and more popularity worldwide since the efficiency of solar panels has significantly increased during the recent years, along with the dramatic decrease in the costs. However, its popularity is not only due its affordability to a wider audience but also to the growing awareness about the benefits of clean sources of energy. Yet, the costs of transportation and production often make it extremely difficult to implement solar technology in developing countries. Printed solar cells could offer a solution to this problem.

Thanks to the advances in printed solar cell technology during the past few years, its energy efficiency has increased from 3% to 20%.

Its success is due to its cost-effectiveness and simplicity. A 10×10 cm solar cell film is enough to generate as much as 10–50 watts per square meter,” said Scott Watkins from the Korean company Kyung-In Synthetic.

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Sep 11, 2015

Spanish cancer patient gets a 3D-printed titanium rib cage

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

Is there anything 3D printers can’t do? A 54-year-old Spanish man, who had a cancerous tumor in his chest wall, was recently fitted with a 3D printed sternum and rib cage. While the first-of-its-kind implant seems like a Marvel Comics experiment with Adamantium, in reality, it was an ingenious, life saving medical solution that used lightweight yet sturdy, Titanium. The metal printing technique gave the surgeons at the Salamanca University Hospital in Spain the flexibility they needed to customize the complex and unique anatomy of their patient’s chest wall.

They brought in Anatomics, a Melbourne-based company that manufactures surgical products, to help create and print the implant. Based on the patient’s high-resolution CT scan data, the Australian team first created a 3D reconstruction of the patient’s chest wall and tumor so that the surgeons could plan with precision. Next, they used the 3D digital CAD file detailing the patient’s anatomy to build the customized implant, layer by layer, on Arcam’s $1.3 million electron beam metal printer.

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Sep 9, 2015

Watch this little girl unwrap her 3D printed prosthetic arm!

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

This is awesome!

Watch this little girl unwrap her 3D printed prosthetic arm!

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Sep 5, 2015

Thanks to 3D printing, prosthetics can now be built faster and way cheaper than ever before

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

Sep 3, 2015

Mars One Mission Called ‘Unsustainable,’ And Here’s Why

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, space

Ever heard of 3-D printing? Besides, if humanity had followed this guys advice, MIT or not, we would have never left Africa. Never built a new village, town, or city. Never gone to the moon — and we DEFINITELY would never have created a place like MIT AT ALL.

Life is messy, painful, rough and often unforgiving, but taking risks is part of our collective species identity. To succeed sometimes we have to fail, and if that’s what happens with this endevor then, at the very least we’ll know what NOT to try next time.

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Sep 3, 2015

Delivering Drugs And Removing Toxins With 3-D Printed Micro-Robots

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Nanotechnology and 3-D printing are two fields that have huge potential in general, but manipulating this technology and using it in biology also has tremendous and exciting prospects. In a promising prototype, scientists have created micro-robots shaped like fish which are thinner than a human hair, and can be used to remove toxins, sense environments or deliver drugs to specific tissue.

These tiny fish were formed using a high resolution 3-D printing technology directed with UV light, and are essentially aquatic themed sensing, delivery packages. Platinum particles that react with hydrogen peroxide push the fish forward, and iron oxide at the head of the fish can be steered by magnets; both enabling control of where they ‘swim’ off to. And there you have it — a simple, tiny machine that can be customised for various medical tasks.

In a test of concept, researchers attached polydiacetylene (PDA) nanoparticles to the body, which binds with certain toxins and fluoresces in the red spectrum. When these fish entered an environment containing these toxins, they did indeed fluoresce and neutralised the compounds.

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