Like any good tool, additive manufacturing (AM) has a variety of uses. Beyond rapid prototyping and parts manufacturing, AM improves the lives of everyday people through its medical applications. Whether it’s a new ear or synthetic human tissue, 3D printing has become an important part of the health care field.
The technology doesn’t stop at helping humans, either. AM has helped out a duck with a malformed leg, an eagle without a beak, and probably many other feathered or furry patients I’ll never hear about. Along with building prosthetics, AM is used to treat animals in many of the same ways it helps human patients. Continue reading
In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
If you follow AM news you’ll almost certainly be aware of the controversy surrounding Defense Distributed’s successful firing of a 3D printed firearm. The US State Department apparently heard about it as well and sent the company a takedown order, along with a suggestion the “Liberator” breaks international gun control laws. Continue reading
I’m not sure what it is about ears and additive manufacturing (AM) that’s grabbed the attention of researchers, but apparently the two work well together. It wasn’t all that long ago that Rapid Ready reported on Cornell University’s bioprinted ear, and now Princeton University has performed the same feat, albeit with a different focus.
Where Cornell researchers were focused on creating a prosthetic for children who suffer from a congenital deformity, Princeton’s team has put its efforts toward battling hearing loss. Princeton’s ear was built using AM to combine biology and electronics. The result is a prosthetic that could not only boost a user’s hearing, but also allow him to pick up radio signals. Continue reading
When William Shakespeare put the words, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” in the mouth of Mark Anthony, he may well have been prophesizing the future. Additive manufacturing (AM) has been a natural fit for prosthetic development and manufacturing, and now Cornell University and the Weill Cornell Medical College have taken prosthetics research to a whole new level with a bioprinted ear.
While every prosthesis is designed to be functional (and some to have artistic merit), they are artificial replacements for living material. Not so with the ear developed by Dr. Jason Spector and Dr. Lawrence J. Bonassar. The bioprinting process uses living material to create a structure that remains alive after being implanted and becomes another functional biological part of the human body. Continue reading
Indiana Jones, and his female equivalent, Lara Croft, race around the world in an attempt to beat other archaeologists to priceless artifacts. Their lives might have been a whole lot less exciting (but safer) if they’d have been packing 3D scanners instead of pistols. In the real world, archaeologists are beginning to add 3D printers to their metaphorical arsenals.
The sciences of uncovering and restoring the past are getting a boost with additive manufacturing (AM). Rapid Ready has previously looked at the use of 3D printing by the Smithsonian and to build dinosaur bones. As more people are exposed to AM, it’s no surprise that other branches of academia are finding ways to use the technology. Continue reading