Scientists have been 3D printing an entire cancer tumor to find out how to fight the disease. Until now, scientists used to grow cancer cells in petri dishes, with the inability to let them become real cancer cells, which means they would stay 2D cells. They were used to test drugs against cancer, but when the drug was ready to be used on an actual cancer cell, there was a high chance that the 3D structure of the actual tumor would make the drug ineffective. A new study called Biofabrication claims it now cán produce such 3D versions of tumor cells.
Wei Sun of Drexel University has succeeded to print such cells, which can be used for the same purposes as 2D homegrown cancer cells, but probably with better outcomes. Using such models, scientist could get a better understanding of the structures of tumors, which could lead to better treatment. Above you can see six images. The upper three are 2D models of a cancer tumor and the three below are 3D versions. As you can see, the 3D printed versions are way more detailed.
Dita von Teese turned the world of fashion upside down last year when she wore a 3D printed gown. Michael Schmidt was the designer of the gown, but the technique of 3D printed clothes even raised the question what the world needs designers for in a world where anyone could print out its own set of clothes. Probably that thought goes a little too far, but no-one can deny it surely is happening: the trend of 3D printed clothes. Now all eyes are on Electroloom, a company working on the first 3D printer to print out comfortable sets of clothes.
Yesterday the company posted two remarkable photos of 3D printed clothes on its Facebook page. On these images a male model is wearing 3D printed shirts. On the first one, he goes for a printed V-neck and on the second one he pulls of a additively manufactured tank top. However, these shirts are still prototypes and the company is still testing its printer.
The possibility to 3D print organs: that’s by far the most interesting part of 3D printing. Of course there is an ethical question to be asked, namely: how far can we go? Should we aim at 3D printing ourselves? Important questions, but the reality is that we’re not even close to 3D printing ourselves, as that’s still something odd and futuristic.
Nevertheless, we’re getting closer, as doctors and researchers at the University of Louisville are now working on a system to 3D print a heart. The team expects to be able to print and assemble parts of the heart in three to five years, in order to test them in a human in less than 10 years.
Ok, that’s also a possibility: creating a 3D printed kayak. Jim Smith of Grass Roots Engineering did it and the results are, say, very colorful. He created a 3D printed 16ft 8in [5.08m] long kayak made of ABS plastic and now the man can proudly say he’s produced the world’s first 3D printed kayak. It’s definitely good to see how different people from all over the world are implementing 3D printing techniques to create something truly new.
However, Smith is not new in the world of 3D printing, as he’s already working on this technique since 2008. He latest achievement was creating a home-built, large scale low-cost 3D printer with a build volume of 403x403x322mm (16x16x13″). He has been modifying this printer for a lot of times and now he’s able to print out plastic ABS parts inside a heated chamber so they will not warp or crack.
About two weeks ago, Hema announced a service where customers will be able to create their own personalized necklaces and bracelets online, making it the first giant retailer to offer such a service. As a customer, you can now basically choose your own design, get it printed and send to your home. For this project, the giant Dutch department store works together with Amsterdam-based company Zazzy. We were curious about the story behind this startling 3D printing company and we therefore decided to have a little chat with co-founder Gert Jan Spriensma to find out what the buzz is about.
Unfortunately, the company didn’t want to speak about the collaboration with Hema. Nevertheless, they have a lot to say about 3D printing. For instance, Zazzy started because the founders had a passion for 3D printing and the company now shares an office with innovating 3D printing company 3D Hubs. Sprienstra has a clear vision on the future of 3D printing: talent will be more important than our visual location.
This year’s January, chemistry professor Lee Cronin from the University of Glasgow was picked by Science Council as one of the 100 leading practicing scientists in the UK. He was praised for being a “young rising star seeking to understand and control self-assembly and self-organisation in chemistry.” However, this top 100 ranking is not what the world knows him for, since his 3D printed drugs project has made him a one-to-watch. Time to tell you all about this highly innovating, but controversial project.
In 2012, 39-year-old professor Cronin was suddenly in the spotlight because of his ambitious 3D Chemputer project. As ‘Chemputer’ is an amalgamation of ‘chemistry’ and ‘computer’, you can probably imagine the direction of this project. Cronin aims to create a system where people can use an app or website to easily download a file and ‘ink’ for a medicine, after which they will be able to print out the drug at home, using a 3D printer. He’s quite ambitious about it, as the ‘young rising star’ has told The Guardian: “What Apple did for music, I’d like to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs.”
What is it with all of these new coins nowadays? Since the introduction of the Bitcoin a lot of new currencies have entered the game, with Kanye West coin Coinye even ending up into a legal battle. Another rapper, another idea, is what Brandon Hixton from WE MAKE MUSIC must have thought. He used the face of American rapper Rick Ross as a new coin bank, making it the most expensive 3D printed piggy bank ever.
This glittering piggy bank is called The Ricky Bank and the website claims it’s “Hip-Hop’s most expensive coin bank.” One could also say it’s the world’s most inadequate coin bank, because you have to save up as many as 4,999.99 dollars to get your own copy of The Ricky Bank. In order words: saving up in order to save up. Saving up in style, as the luxury material costs elucidate this extremely high price. The Ricky Bank consists of 420 Stainless Steel, infused with bronze, and uses a final composition of 70 percent steel and 30 percent bronze.
This month, an official 3D movie about LEGO has seen the light: The Lego Movie. Unfortunately, the editors at 3dprinting.com are a little bit too old to tell you something about it, but according to IMDB it must be pretty good. As it usually goes, one hype is followed by another and the latest hype for LEGO has something to do with 3D printing. The giant toys retailer is exploring the possibilities of letting customers 3D print their own toys.
According to the Financial Times, John Goodwin - LEGO’s CFO, says the brand is “looking very intently at it and monitoring it, looking at what potential opportunities there are for consumers.” Goodwin thinks “3D printing is a fascinating development and certainly opens up a lot of new avenues.” LEGO chief marketing officer Mad Nipper adds: “It could well be that it might be an exciting opportunity to print your own bricks.”
The prices of 3D printers have decreased massively, but 3D printing is still being held back from the masses. One of the factors why 3D printing is not yet as popular as, say, 2D printing is the high price of filament. Such prices range from 25 to 45 dollars for a kilogram of the material, depending on the quality of the product. However, young UK start-up Noztek claims to have found a way for customers to pay up to 70 percent less for the material.
The company has invented the so-called Noztek Pro Filament Extruder. This is a red box which converts wholesale bulk pellets into “premium quality” plastic. As it appears, the only thing you need to do is to which on the heater, add pellets into the hopper and then switch on the motor. The mysterious red box will then need three to four hours to produce the filament. Wondering what you exactly need filament for? Noztek’s Steven Forster explains the process: “The simplest way to explain 3D filament is to look at traditional inkjet paper printers, they use cartridges to apply ink to the paper and in the same way 3D printers use reels of plastic – which is melted – to create layers which eventually forms into a dimensional object.”
We wanted to find out more about Noztek’s peculiar red box and we therefore did an interview with Forster.
3D printing has become a trend in many sectors, such as the medical world, fashion, and even pop music. This is all due to the fact that the technique offers many new opportunities. With the invention of a 3D printed lung that worked for 40 days, it really seems like the opportunities are limitless. But there are still companies to surprise us, with 4 AXYZ being a perfect example. This company claims to have found a way to print wood.
Yes, wood. If you are one of our frequent visitors you will probably remember our recent article on the company, in which we showed you a variety of pictures of wood furniture (as you can also see in the images featured in this article). In this piece we also explained you that 4 AXYZ uses a machine which combines small uniformly-cut pieces of wood and uses a special binding process to assemble the layers. Very, very technical – we understand. Therefore, we wanted to learn more about this company and decided to get in touch with them in order to find out how one can produce 3D printed wood. We spoke with 4 AXYZ’s co-founders Abir Shah, the principal engineer, and Shikhar Shah, who works on business development and promotion.