Want to heal your bones faster? Well, thanks to researchers at Northwestern University, pretty soon you'll be able to 3D print a flexible "scaffolding" to encourage bone growth on and around them.
Okay, taking a breath.
Here we go:
The scaffold is "made up of hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that exists in our bones and teeth, and a biocompatible polymer called polycaprolactone, and a solvent. Hydroxyapatite provides strength and offers chemical cues to stem cells to create bone. The polycaprolactone polymer adds flexibility, and the solvent sticks the 3D-printed layers together as it evaporates during printing. The mixture is blended into an ink that is dispensed by the printer, layer by layer, into exact shapes matching the bone that needs to be replaced."
The idea, they continue, is that "a patient would come in with a nasty broken bone—say, a shattered jaw—and instead of going through painful autograft surgeries or waiting for a custom scaffold to be manufactured, he or she could be x-rayed and a 3D-printed hyperelastic bone scaffold could be printed that same day."
Currently the technology is being used to fuse spinal vertebrae in rats, and is performing well. Since you can't use this tech YET, maybe you can 3D print yourself a cast in the meantime:
Read more on the innovation here.
The arm was created by Enabling the Future, which has a chapter at Sienna College in Albany, New York. For its first project the Siena e-NABLE group made an Iron Man-themed hand for 5-year-old Jack Carder in Ohio.
In this case, nine-year-old Karissa Mitchell's (who was born without a right hand and most of her wrist) mother reached out to the group on campus, Siena College's director of marketing and communications said.
"She's watched the movie at least 100 times. We sing the songs all the time. We even have a karaoke machine that's 'Frozen'-themed," said Karissa's mother. The prosthetic was built using a 3-D printer and is comprised of 30 parts (it took near 30 hours to make).
To help Karissa achieve her dream of becoming a Disney princess, the team used "a pretty transparent ice blue color filament and added snowflakes to the forearm and her name with an Elsa crown on the cuff," said Alyx Gleason, the project lead and president of Siera e-NABLE. The arm also came with an Olaf LED light source.
Anyone who is in need of an arm or hand is encouraged to reach out to Siena e-NABLE.
Brace yourself for emotions.
e-Nablers is an incredible organization of volunteers, engineers, teachers and artists who come together to design, build and give away 3D printed prosthetics.
They documented presenting one of their new prosthetics to 8-year-old Isabella last month. And it is beautiful.
Using 3D printed prosthetics, Derby the dog can now walk and run for the first time in his life.
He was born with small forearms and no front paws like a furry little T-Rex, and he could only move around on soft surfaces as a result of the deformity.
So 3D Systems created some new legs for him using a 3D scanner and a multi-material 3D printer that could build both the sturdy base and comfortable rubber cups.
“He runs with Sherri and I every day, at least two to three miles,” said his owner Dom Portanova. “When I saw him sprinting like that on his new legs it was just amazing.”
Watch him in action in the video above.
Earlier this year, a team of Smithsonian-led 3D digital imaging specialists scanned President Obama and then sculpted his bust using a 3D printer.
It is the first 3D portrait of a United States President.
For the 1:1 bust, in a process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a laser melted nylon powder into a highly accurate and durable print. Given the size of print (the bust stands 19 inches tall, and weighs almost 13 pounds), the printing process took 42 hours, after which the print cooled down for 24 hours.
The White House has now released a behind-the-scenes video of the process, and you can check out the bust in person in the Smithsonian Castle where it is on display for the public Dec. 2-31.
Japanese researchers at Aerial Burton have developed new technology that can project text and images in the sky without using a screen.
According to DigInfo:
"The images are constructed by firing a 1kHz infrared pulse laser into a 3D scanner, which reflects and focuses the pulses of the laser to specific points in the air. The molecules at that point are ionized, and the energy is released as photons."
The company thinks that the device could be used in emergency situations to relay information. Or maybe we can just use it to summon Batman?
Omote 3D Shashin Kan is the world's first 3D portrait studio that uses a handheld scanner to produce a three-dimensional scale model of your entire body, which is then sculpted into a intricate plastic figurine. Created by Japanese advertising and branding company PARTY and located in Tokyo's youthful Harajuku neighborhood, the studio offers three different sizes for your luxurious mini-me sculpture: 3.9 inches (¥21,000 / $258), 5.9-inches (¥32,000 / $394) and 7.8-inches (¥42,000 / $517). It's hard to call it a downside, but 3D printing isn't exactly a instantly gratifying process and the models take about a month to complete.
Meanwhile in (X) of the Day is a feature series bringing you the latest buzz from all over the continents with a special focus on non-English speaking parts of the world.