Additive manufacturing (AM) is an interesting technology to follow not just because of what it offers, but because of how it can inspire innovation. Rapid prototyping means inventions and upgrades enter into production more quickly, and sometimes researchers can even riff off the technology to develop new products using AM elements. The 3Doodler is one example of this in action, even if it isn’t the sort of development that will save the world.
Perhaps inspired by the 3D drawing device, scientists at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) have developed an AM biopen that allows surgeons to draw live cells directly onto an injury, decreasing recovery times and assisting with the regrowth of bone and cartilage. Continue reading
Everyone loves Christmas cookies. Whole doughy herds of reindeer go into the oven, along with enough stars to fill the night sky and give Santa diabetes. For some people, baking Christmas cookies is part of the holiday tradition they look forward to. For others, it’s simply another chore associated with the holidays. Mixing the dough, rolling the dough, cutting the dough. Ugh.
What those folks really want for Christmas is some sort of machine that speeds up production. No, not a mixer. How about a 3D printer for the kitchen? The Foodini is here to save your dough-covered hands. The first commercially available additive manufacturing (AM) system for food preparation can make cookies in almost any shape imaginable, in a large variety of flavors. Continue reading
Bigger isn’t always better. While many additive manufacturing (AM) systems seem to be focused on growing larger and larger build envelopes, you don’t always need bigger parts. Micro laser sintering looks to be growing in popularity for the usual reasons AM is popular: speed and freedom of design.
For every article written proclaiming that additive manufacturing (AM) is overhyped or some kind of phase, companies like Materialise 3D prints and ship another object. New service bureaus and 3D design clearinghouses are appearing all the time, clamoring for attention from a public that has just begun to understand what AM can do for them.