Posts Tagged ‘Organ Printer’

Most Interesting 3D Printers

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The world of printer technology has begun to produce some truly useful and interesting innovations during the last few years.  Rather than sticking with the standard 2d format and all the conventions that come with it, many print companies have started making devices capable of truly unique and often amazing 3D results utilizing various materials to create the end result with layers of medium. Take a look at some of the most interesting 3D printers available today.

1. Printers that Print Glass: Through vitraglyphic processing, engineers and artists at the University of Washington were able to create glass objects using a 3D printer. Typically a 3D object is made by these printers using a fine powder and small drops of binding agent to build the structure of the object, layer by layer. In the case of the glass printer, this process needed to be modified. Previously the glass powder and binding agent didn’t work well together and no structure would hold the glass powder together; however, after some alterations were made in the amount of binding agent and a heating process, glass objects could finally be created.

2. Printers that Make Highly Articulated Robot Figures: Utilizing a printer made by Safeway to construct objects out of stainless steel, one Algerian artist has created highly articulated robot figures. The art world has found 3D printing a wonderfully exacting and useful resource for both, constructing specific designs and also easily replicating them for sale; Mani Zamani’s robots are just one example of the pieces that have come from the innovation. Just as with the original 3D printers, these objects are made out of steel powder adhered with binding agent and then infused with bronze. The innovation means that with time and work, the machines we use everyday could literally recreate themselves. 

3. Printers that Print Themselves: It’s not completed yet, but a new printer called the RepRap is in the process of being developed and is said to already be able to print parts of itself, effectively making a machine that can replicate itself. The implications are of course quite intriguing and according to the makers, it is likely to do a great deal to help the economy and the environment by reducing the amount of impact on the world.

4. Printers for Printing Buildings: Really? Yes it’s true they’ve begun to make 3D printers large enough and effective enough to turn sand and binding material into large stone blocks for construction! Working very much like the original 3D printers which could print models, these devices offer an effective and very green method of building the real thing out of the sand available on sight and binding material. The innovation has plenty of implications for current use and could prove useful for the future when we finally succeed in our endeavor to settle on a foreign moon or an alien world.

5. The Organ Printer: This device could prove to be one of the most valuable and important inventions created in recent years if it works as intended. What does it do? This device prints human organs and tissue utilizing your own DNA. This means repairing damage that was irreversible such as major scarring and severed limbs and evading the issue of organ rejection because the material is derived entirely from your own. Designed utilizing the inkjet printer, it builds these materials layer by layer as do most other 3D printers; only this is constructed in a petri dish.  The dish contains liquid and the printer cartridge uses cells and a crosslinker to build the material bit by bit. For time being, it’s only getting started but the outlook is very good.

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