Ukraine pastry chef Dinara Kasko breaks the mold with her artistic approach to baking cakes. Using 3D printing technology she not only creates never before seen cake forms, but she then delights you with pastry surprises when you cut open one of her recipes. You can purchase her molds (including recipes) online on her site. The molds are made of food-grade silicone and they sell with collapsible plastic frames to preserve accuracy of the geometry shape. We are big fans! Thanks for the inspiration!
NASA has announced that it will fund construction of the world’s first ever 3D food printer. The American space company has given a $125,000 grant to mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, who has already designed the machine.
And they hope it will eventually be able to provide food for astronauts on long-distance journeys through space.
Some commentators also say the design is just as exciting for Earth-dwellers, as the machines could eventually become a standard kitchen appliance. Families would then be able to simply print off their dinner, rather than spend time preparing it.
The food printer is fed on cartridges of powders and oils containing all the nutrients needed for a healthy diet — which work in much the same way as a standard printer’s ink cartridges.
The ingredients are sprayed on layer-by-layer by the 3D printer, eventually creating solid three-dimensional food.
It is also thought the printers might help cut food waste globally, as the cartridges wouldn’t go out of date for over 30 years and could only be refilled when they had completely run out.
Contractor told Quartz online magazine: “I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently. So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.”
Once it is up and running, Contractor will test the machine by trying to print a pizza, which was an obvious choice due to its flat shape. The dough will be printed first, then the tomato base, then the “protein-layer” topping.
The report was first published in U.K’s daily national tabloid, the Sun.
3D-printed casts for fractured bones could replace the usual bulky, itchy and smelly plaster or fibreglass ones in this conceptual project by Victoria University of Wellington graduate Jake Evill.
The prototype Cortex cast is lightweight, ventilated, washable and thin enough to fit under a shirt sleeve.
A patient would have the bones x-rayed and the outside of the limb 3D-scanned. Computer software would then determine the optimum bespoke shape, with denser support focussed around the fracture itself.
The polyamide pieces would be printed on-site and clip into place with fastenings that can’t be undone until the healing process is complete, when they would be taken off with tools at the hospital as normal. Unlike current casts, the materials could then be recycled.
“At the moment, 3D printing of the cast takes around three hours whereas a plaster cast is three to nine minutes, but requires 24-72 hours to be fully set,” says the designer. “With the improvement of 3D printing, we could see a big reduction in the time it takes to print in the future.”
He worked with the orthopaedic department of his university on the project and is now looking for backing to develop the idea further.
After many centuries of splints and cumbersome plaster casts that have been the itchy and smelly bane of millions of children, adults and the aged alike, the world over, we at last bring fracture support into the twenty-first century.
The Cortex exoskeletal cast provides a highly technical and trauma-zone-localised support system that is fully ventilated, super light, shower friendly, hygienic, recyclable and stylish.
The Cortex cast utilises the x-ray and 3D scan of a patient with a fracture and generates a 3D model in relation to the point of fracture.
Biomimicry borrows design solutions from the embedded intelligence within animals’ bodies—chiefly from other species. But occasionally, it also borrows from within the human body. For example, a new study from MIT suggests that buildings of the future could be built with super-strong materials based on the structure of human bones.
In a study published yesterday in Advanced Functional Materials, MIT researchers explain how studying human bones led to the creation of three super-materials. Human bones, you see, are made up of microscopic layers of collagen (the stuff your tendons are made from) and hydroxyapatite (which is more like your teeth). Together, they form a stronger structure—a bit like brick and mortar—and make our bones capable of withstanding an incredible amount of force.
The MIT group applied the same principle to three synthetic materials, layering them on a microscopic scale using a 3D printer. The result was a hybrid material with a staggering 22 times the strength of any single material. Wired UK writer Liat Clark explains:
The team first designed the three materials using computer software: bone and nacre (mother of pearl); mineral calcite and a snakeskin-like diamond-patterned material. Each material […] would be made from two synthetic materials to “micrometer resolution”, with one acting as the bricks and the other the cement. The mother of pearl-type material was made from a microscopic structure that looks like a wall, while the calcite saw the materials swapped round so the cement was actually made up of the stiffer material, and the bricks the softer.
The paper describes these hybrids as “metamaterials,” and posits that the future of of architecture lies in figuring out how to spend less energy fabricating more efficient buildings. By altering the hierarchical design of materials on a micro level, architects may, eventually, end up altering the way buildings are constructed at a macro scale. In fact, plenty of designers are experimenting with similar ideas—for example, using parametric modeling software to optimize the shape of columns based on stress loads.
Markus Buehler, the head of MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a lead author on the study, describes the findings as a way to borrow from nature while pursuing the future. “The geometric patterns we used in the synthetic materials are based on those seen in natural materials like bone or nacre, but also include new designs that do not exist in nature,” he said in a statement. “As engineers we are no longer limited to the natural patterns. We can design our own, which may perform even better than the ones that already exist.”
The biggest challenge, so far, is one of scale: 3D printing is still too expensive and inaccurate to scale production up to the building scale. Still, as Harvard’s Jennifer Lewis put it, “this research is a wonderful example of how 3-D printing can be used to fabricate complex architectures that emulate those found in nature.” [Wired UK]
“This photo shows the brick-and-mortar pattern of simulated bone and nacre against the backdrop of real nacre found in the inner shell of many mollusks,” explain the folks at MIT.
A 3D printer is slated to arrive at the International Space Station next year, where it will crank out the first parts ever manufactured off planet Earth.
The company Made in Space is partnering with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center on the 3D Printing in Zero G Experiment (or 3D Print for short), which aims to jump-start an off-planet manufacturing capability that could aid humanity’s push out into the solar system.
“The 3D Print experiment with NASA is a step towards the future. The ability to 3D-print parts and tools on demand greatly increases the reliability and safety of space missions while also dropping the cost by orders of magnitude,” Made in Space CEO Aaron Kemmer said in a statement. [10 Amazing 3D-Printed Objects]
“The first printers will start by building test coupons, and will then build a broad range of parts, such as tools and science equipment,” he added.
In this photo, taken in February 2010, sunlight glints off the International Space Station, with the blue limb of Earth providing a dramatic backdrop. Credit: NASA
The 3D printer is slated to blast off in August 2014, tagging along with a cargo mission private spaceflight company SpaceX is launching to the orbiting lab for NASA.
The device will build objects layer by layer out of polymers and other materials, using a technique called extrusion additive manufacturing. The blueprints for these objects will be pre-loaded onto a computer bound for the orbiting lab or uplinked from Earth, Made in Space officials said.
Advocates say 3D printing can help make living in space easier and cheaper. For example, more than 30 percent of the spare parts currently aboard the International Space Station can be manufactured by Made in Space’s machine, company co-founder and chief technologist Jason Dunn told NASA chief Charles Bolden and congressman Mike Honda (D-Calif.) during a presentation today (May 24) at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
“3D printing is an exciting technology,” Niki Werkheiser, 3D Print project manager at NASA Marshall’s Technology Development and Transfer Office, said in a statement. “It will allow us to live and work in space with the same efficiency and productivity that we do on Earth, with the ultimate objective being to eliminate reliance on materials and parts launched from the ground.”
While off-Earth manufacturing will get its start at the International Space Station, NASA officials say the technology’s potential goes beyond low-Earth orbit. Werkheiser described 3D printing as “absolutely a critical enabler for NASA’s exploration missions.”
Indeed, NASA recently funded the development of a prototype 3D printer designed to make space food products out of cheap raw materials that have a long shelf life. This “3D pizza printer” could help feed astronauts on long space journeys, such as the 500-day trek to Mars, agency officials say.
California-based Made in Space was awarded a Phase 3 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from Marshall for this mission, and the two organizations will work together to make it happen.
3D Print won’t be Made in Space’s first foray into microgravity printing. The company tested out various 3D printing technologies in 2011 on parabolic airplane flights that produced short periods of weightlessness.
While 3D Print is primarily a demonstration mission, Made in Space is also developing a more permanent space-printing capability called the Additive Manufacturing Facility that’s expected to arrive at the orbiting lab in 2016.
The Additive Manufacturing Facility will likely be used to build components for ongoing off-Earth experiments, Made in Space officials said.
Grant money goes to see if we can’t print perfect, nutritious food.
NASA has bestowed a $125,000 grant upon a research corporation to pursue the development of 3D-printable food, according to a report from Quartz. Anjan Contractor, who runs Systems & Materials Research Corporation, hopes to design a system that will turn shelf-stable cartridges of sugars, complex carbs, and protein into edible food on demand.
By the time the population reaches 12 billion people, we will have to change our perceptions of what “food” is in order to sustain everyone.
Contractor asserts that by the time the population reaches 12 billion people (“peak human” for Earth being around 9.5 billion to 10 billion people), we will have to change our perceptions of what “food” is in order to sustain everyone. A modified RepRap 3D printer serves as Contractor’s theoretical prototype design for printing food.
Contractor plans to keep the printer open-source and envisions situations where recipes can be traded and tweaked by users. The printer could even theoretically produce foods based on the optimal nutritional makeup for the consumer, whether it’s a young boy, old woman, or hung-over college student.
Quartz notes, per the NASA grant, that Contractor’s current focus is developing printable food for space travel. If 3D printers can someday handle food chemistry like they handle gun components (and become drastically less expensive), we’d try some nutritionally optimized meatcubes fresh out of the extruder. For science.
Nanotechnology engineers from Princeton have 3-D printed an ear from calf cells and silver nanoparticles that picks up radio signals at frequencies beyond human capacity. The creation is part of their greater plan to one day build spare parts for human cyborgs.
Rather than simply adding electronics to an ear, the team decided to try and integrate the two from the start. They 3-D printed hydrogel — a polymer-based gel often used as scaffolding in tissue engineering – with calf cells, and weaved in silver nanoparticles to create an built-in antenna coil that replaces the cochlea. The calf cells matured to become cartilage and the electronics were then encased in a highly supportive ear that mirrors the complex build of the real thing.
It might not be the prettiest of inventions, looking a little like Freddie Krueger’s lost ear, but this bionic creation can pick up radio frequencies beyond human abilities, after the antenna is attached to electrodes.
“The printed ear exhibits enhanced auditory sensing for radio frequency reception, and complementary left and right ears can listen to stereo audio music,” the authors write in a paper on the study in Nano Letters.
This is really a proof of concept endeavor for the Princeton team. It’s not planning on sewing its bionic ears on to human heads anytime soon — though research leader Michael McAlpine says it could, in theory, be connected to nerve endings like hearing aids are. For now, the challenge they have set themselves is to generate new techniques for building potential cyborg parts.
“Biological structures are soft and squishy, composed mostly of water and organic molecules, while conventional electronic devices are hard and dry, composed mainly of metals, semiconductors and inorganic dielectrics,” coauthor on the paper David Gracias from John Hopkins said. “The differences in physical and chemical properties between these two material classes could not be any more pronounced.”
Choosing to replicate an ear was also ambitious — it’s one of the most complex and intricate shapes to engineer from scratch. In a study announced in February of this year, a team from Cornell got around this by 3-D printing a mould in the shape of an ear, before filling it with a gel made of living cells. Meanwhile, it was announced in November 2012 that we can now in fact 3-D print cartilage using a combination of electrospun fiber and cartilage cells. It makes sense that in the advent of these techniques, combined with the rising popularity and interest in bionic eyes and wearable electronics, researchers have begun looking at the possibilities for one day replacing all manner of organs with potentially superior parts.
“This field has the potential to generate customized replacement parts for the human body, or even create organs containing capabilities beyond what human biology ordinarily provides,” the paper states.
In future incarnations, the team hopes to install pressure-sensitive electronic sensors so that it might hear acoustic sounds similar to how a real ear does.
Why buy things from stores when you can print them yourself? The DIY 3D printer revolution is here, friends, and have we got the entry-level 3D printer for you. It’s the Play-Doh 3D Printer, and it’s loaded with features without a price tag that will set your wallet on fire. Let’s take a quick tour, and then you’ll want to buy one.
First, some quick assembly (of the snap-together variety) and your Play-Doh 3D Printer is almost ready for action. Add 2 C batteries, plug it into your iPad, and launch the free app: iPlay-Doh 3D. Quickly design all sorts of things on the free app and then send them to your Play-Doh 3D Printer. Add up to 3 different colors (they’ll blend like soft serve ice cream) to the top of the Play-Doh 3D Printer and then watch your iPad for directions. The iPlay-Doh 3D app will let you know when the printer is ready for you to start cranking.
While debate rages over using 3D printers to make guns or gun parts, technologies for other possible abuses are emerging — including the ability to cheaply copy and reproduce works of art and jewelry.
A few days ago at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, 3D-printer company MakerBot introduced the other end of the equation — a device called the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner that can create a computer model of any small object.
Makerbot founder and CEO Bre Pettis didn’t name a price for the new gadget, which goes on sale this fall. But given the company’s focus on home enthusiasts, it will likely be comparatively low-cost. (The latest 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator 2, sells for $2,199.)
“This technology has been around for 20 years, maybe more,” said Pettis of 3D scanning during his presentation in Austin. “But it’s been hard.” He explained that, in earlier forms of the technology, once a 3D scan was made, it required extensive processing to remove flaws and produce a ready-to-print digital file.
With the new device, the process will be automated and accessible to anyone. The small dimensions of the scanning area rule out the vast majority of objects, but some of the most valuable items are small ones, such as jewelry and sculpture in precious metals.
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