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3D Printing


Latest significant advancements in 3D printing. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of improvements in 3D printing on society and humanity.

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Staggering Promise of Exponential Technologies in a Succinct 5-Minute Video

Have you ever wanted to explain exponential technology to someone—but didn’t know where to start? We’ve got a video for you. Watch Peter Diamandis and DrawShop discuss six key technologies at the heart of...

Thanks to 3D Printing, the Visually Impaired Can Have a Braille Mobile Phone

With free-market capitalism and its tried-and-true methods of mass production, mainstream consumers are inundated with more product choices than many have time to make, while smaller, specialized segments of the population find that even...

Sitting Inside Elon’s Spaceship, the Dragon-2 Capsule from SpaceX

Recently I attended the unveiling of SpaceX's Dragon-2 capsule -- the new spaceship they've designed to take people to space. I wanted to share this exciting experience with you. After a small press event, I had the...

Singularity Surplus: New Uses for Hot Techs and New Tech for Unwanted Heat

Advances in exponential technology happen fast — too fast for Singularity Hub to cover them all. This weekly bulletin points to significant developments to keep readers in the know. Here’s a clever new use for...

3D Printers and Drones — The Best Mash-up Since Peanut Butter and Chocolate?

Because one of the formulas for innovation is combining two useful technologies to see if the whole might be greater than the sum of its parts, it was only a matter of time before someone mounted a 3D printer to a drone. Mirko Kovac, an aerospace engineer at the Imperial College London, has done just that.

Singularity Surplus: Robotic Furniture and Stuffed Animals

Kids learn with robots; 3D printed liver, no stem cells required, robotic furniture; living forever as computer code

Biotech’s Brave New World: Push One To Create Life; Push Two To Create Alien Life

It’s been a good month for miracles. And by miracles I mean our oldest miracle, that first miracle, the creation of life itself. During these first weeks in May, two separate teams working at two...

NASA Set to Launch the First 3D Printer to the Space Station

Space travel is a dangerous business. Astronauts are hurled into space in a tiny life support bubble. Contact with Earth is severed. Whatever they’ve got onboard is all they’ve got—period. But what if they...

What Will They 3D Print Next? Inside My Trip to Local Motors

Last week, I flew my Cirrus to visit Jay Rogers and his team at Local Motors in Phoenix. Jay showed me their plans to 3D print an entire car in just one day at the...

Victims of War in Sudan Aided by 3D Printing

Last November, equipped with two 3D printers, a few days' intensive training, and a digital schematic for a 3D printed prosthetic arm, Mick Ebeling flew to war-torn Sudan to find Daniel Omar. Daniel had...

Singularity Surplus: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

U.N. goals whittle child and maternal death rates; computer solves word problems so you don't have to; the Milky Way gets an MRI; making fuel out of nothing.

3D Printed Organs, Blood Vessels and All, Takes a Big Step Toward Reality

There’s something a little creepy-sounding about the phrase “lab-grown organs,” but producing human organs in the lab could have a range of such powerful benefits that, if they became widely available, only the rare...

Singularity Surplus: Not, Contrary to Popular Belief, Impossible

3d printing houses, neighborhoods, and audio speakers; growing new cartilage in the lab; Congressional bipartisanship over online privacy.

Beyond the Hype and Hope of 3D Printing: What Consumers Should Expect

The latest 3D printing Kickstarter smash hit, the Micro, raised its target $50,000 in eleven minutes. The Micro bills itself as the first truly consumer 3D printer—it plugs in with a USB cable, costs...

Check Out This Futuristic 3D Printed Car Body

German auto firm, EDAG, made a stir at this year's Geneva Motor Show with a fully 3D printed auto body called Genesis. And why not? Its smooth grey curves and futuristic honeycomb ooze sex appeal....

Patient’s Cranium Replaced With Custom 3D Printed Implant

Three months ago, a 22-year-old woman, suffering from a rare bone ailment, underwent brain surgery in Holland. Her skull, which had grown some three times thicker than average, was putting pressure on her brain,...

Patient’s Face Reconstructed Using 3D-Printed Parts

Stephen Power, a 29-year-old Welsh man who was badly injured in a 2012 motorcycle crash, underwent major reconstructive surgery on his face and now wears custom-made 3D-printed structural implants that were devised and installed using 3D-printed models of his facial bones.

From Scans, Doctors 3D Print Custom Heart Wraps to Deliver Treatments

Researchers used MRI and CT scans of rabbit and human hearts to 3D-print custom fitting flexible mesh sacs that fitted each heart perfectly and stayed in place as it beat. The mesh holds sensors and electrodes precisely in place and could deliver drug therapies.

Matter.io Wants to Make 3D Modeling Easy as Instagram

3D printing is increasingly an essential part of industrial processes. But for those lacking digital design experience and who aren’t daily fabricating rocket motors or bike parts—essential isn’t quite the word. MIT Media Lab’s Matter.io is on a mission to lure in the masses with user-friendly design software; software that vastly simplifies 3D modeling.

3D Printing Stocks Fall, But Long-Term Prospects Remain Bright

3D Systems, a big maker of 3D printers and accessories, recently lowered their profit estimate for 2013 and outlook for 2014—and their stock took a big hit. The decline extended to other leading 3D printing stocks, like Stratasys. Is it a sign of doom and gloom for 3D printing? Has the much-hyped technology finally jumped the shark? Maybe a bit. But the long-term potential is still there.

Intricate 3D Printed Materials Lighter Than Water and as Strong as Steel

Using precision lasers, a Nanoscribe 3D printer can print models of the Empire State building in a space the width of a human hair. Watching the machine build through the “lens” of an electron...

New Stratasys 3D Printer Makes Multi-Material, Full Color Parts in a Single Run

An industrial 3D printer hums to life at bicycle maker, Trek. The designers are prototyping a new hand grip of soft rubber layered over a core of hard plastic. Traditionally, the print job would require the designers to switch print nozzles and materials or to compromise the design to speed things along. However, Trek is one of the first firms to employ the multi-material, color Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 3D printer. And their new grip can go from design to printed prototype in a single step.

Kindhearted Techies 3D Print Prosthetics for Ducks With Disabilities

Thanks to a few thoughtful individuals and a 3D printer, Dudley the duck has a new lease on life. Still a duckling, Dudley and his siblings were placed in a cage at an animal shelter with some aggressive chickens. In a fight that left his siblings dead, Dudley’s leg was seriously injured and had to be amputated. The shelter’s owner, Brandon Schweitser, coaches jiu jitsu on the side. One of his students, Terence Loring, runs a 3D design company called 3D Pillar. Schweitser asked Loring whether he might design a new leg for Dudley.

3D Systems and Sugar Lab Bring ChefJet 3D Sugar Printer to CES

For a $5,000 to $10,000, high-end chefs will have a new toy and tool later this year—a 3D printer specializing in sugar. 3D Systems’ ChefJet series can print monochromatic or full color shapes to adorn cakes and other edible works of art.

Simple SkySweeper Robot a Mechanical Inchworm to Patrol Power Lines

Nick Morozovsky, an engineering graduate student at UC San Diego, exemplifies how much you can do with how little these days. His SkySweeper robot that moves along cables like an inchworm, using naught but an Arduino microcontroller, 3D printed parts, and an off-the-shelf battery for power. Morozovsky thinks it might be used to inspect power lines for a fraction of current costs.

2013 in Review: The Eight Biggest Stories In Exponential Tech

It’s been a fast-moving year, so before diving headlong into 2014, we thought we'd take stock and revisit some of the year’s most notable stories in exponential technology.

Progress in Efforts to Develop Lab-Grown Lungs: Functional Cells

Since the development of induced pluripotent stem cells in 2006, scientists have managed to use the manufactured stem cells like seeds to grow a wide range of tissues and rudimentary organs. But different tissue types have not proven equal, and researchers are still struggling to coax stem cells to take on certain roles: Lung cells have proved difficult to create. Columbia University researchers recently managed to develop functional lung and airway cells from human iPSCs.

Delicate Eye Cells Are Latest to Be 3D-Printed

Blindness might just be the first major disability to disappear, at least if our high-tech future takes more a utopian than dystopian bent. A bionic eye is already on the market in the United States, and stem cell therapy has been shown to restore sight in mice. Now British scientists have successfully printed retinal cells.

3D Systems and Motorola Explore 3D Printed Lego-Like Modular Smartphones

Motorola's Project Ara aims to build custom, open source smartphones out of easily replaceable, updatable, snappable blocks. They hope such modular smartphones will do away with today’s rapid cycles of device obsolescence, and they recently added a new co-conspirator—3D printing giant, 3D Systems.

Cody Wilson’s War: Saving the World from 3D Printed Guns

The list of objects being 3D printed is impressive and grows by the day. Rocket parts, bionic ears, full buildings, food, meat and leather, and personalized prosthetics. As manufacturing goes, it could “revolutionize the...

Peachy Printer Kickstarter Promises $100 3D Printer and Scanner – Can They Do It?

3D printers tend to blow up on Kickstarter. And one of the latest, the Peachy Printer, is no exception. The project's raised almost C$500,000, about ten times its original goal. Peachy is an innovative approach to 3D printing being offered for as little as C$100. But there are yet many unmet challenges to be navigated before its June 2014 delivery date.

3D iPad Scanner by Occipital Digitizes the World for 3D Printing and Augmented Reality

Three days into its Kickstarter, app developer Occipital had raised just under $600,000, or roughly six times its $100,000 goal—which was met in the first three hours. What’s got early adopters and developers so excited? A 3D scanner called Structure that attaches to and runs on an iPad.

3D Printing Delivers Functional Prosthetic Hands at a DIY Price

Dylan Laas, 12, says Robohand makes him look like Darth Vader. For $150, the 3-D printed Robohand also lets Dylan, who is missing the fingers on one hand as a result of Amniotic Band Syndrome, grab things with bendable fingers, which most prosthetic hands don’t.

Israeli Researchers Debut Software That Extracts 3-D Objects From Photos

When editing digital images, algorithms struggle to differentiate one object from another, even when it seems obvious to the human eye. Some Israeli researchers have developed a workaround software that prompts the human user to do the identifying work, and then allows the computer to do what it’s good at: turning the object into data that can be manipulated.

Musk Tests Oculus Rift, Leap Motion Controller to Design 3D Printed Rocket Parts

It’s been said Iron Man’s Tony Stark (the movie version) was modeled after Elon Musk. Apparently, the admiration's mutual. Musk is now modeling his space exploration firm, SpaceX, after Iron Man. Or Minority Report. Or name the sci-fi film or show with gesture-based 3D computer systems. (There are more.)

Sarah Murnaghan’s Two Double Lung Transplants Inspiring and Sobering

Sarah Murnaghan just turned eleven years old. She wouldn’t be here but for two lung donors, a crack team of surgeons, and a last-minute suspension of the rules.

MakerBot’s New Desktop 3D Scanner Ships in October

The new MakerBot Digitizer—a $1,400 desktop 3D scanner that ships in October—can make a digital copy of real objects. The new digital model will be a standard file type that you can print, share, or manipulate. The Digitizer scans objects on a turntable and constructs a digital 3D model using a camera and two lasers. The 3D model is watertight (i.e., no digital holes), within 2 mm the size of the original object, and captures detail down to 0.5 mm.
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GSP 101 — Introduction to 3D Printing

Singularity University produces a series of "101" videos for the Graduate Studies Program to help acclimate the participants of the 2013 class to the emergent technologies that are shaping the world today. In this video,...

Amazon Jumps into 3D Printing With Online Shop

Last month, the office supply chain, Staples, joined the world of 3D printing. Adding to the momentum? Amazon is in too. Or at least that’s the story.vThe online retailer launched a new department offering 3D printers ($1,099 and up), 3D printing filament, parts and accessories (for those building their own machine), 3D printing books, and software, like CAD, to make 3D models.

NASA Puts Up Cash To Create Pizza-Making 3D Printer

In an attempt to not only expand the menu for Earth orbiters, but to also bring us one step closer to every Trekkie’s dream of a food replicator, NASA is funding a project that is aimed at creating a 3D printer to serve astronauts up some pizza.

3D Printed Windpipe Saves Baby’s Life

A group of resourceful doctors at the University of Michigan used 3D printing technology to give a young man a stint for his weakened trachea. Without the stint the boy’s prognosis was to never leave the hospital – and that was the best case scenario.

‘Anti-Gravity’ 3D Printer Uses Strands to Sculpt Shapes on Any Surface

3D printers build objects by cross-section, one layer at a time from the ground up—gravity is the limiting factor. But what if it wasn’t? Using proprietary 3D printing materials, Petr Novikov and Saša Jokić’s Mataerial 3D printing system is gravity independent. The duo’s method allows a robotic arm to print objects on floors, walls, ceilings—smooth and uneven surfaces.

You’ll Be Able to Buy a 3D Printer at Staples by the End of June

Though industrial firms have used additive technologies in rapid prototyping for years, the tech is still fresh and growing in the consumer segment. The latest sign of the 3D printer home invasion? Retail office supply chain, Staples, says they’ll sell the 3D Systems Cube 3D Printer online and in retail stores by the end of June.

New Device Keeps Liver Alive Outside Body

In what’s being called a medical first, doctors were able to keep a liver functioning outside the body and then transplant it into a patient.

First Fully 3D Printed Building May Take Shape This Year

We can 3D print the very small—check out these mindblowing nanoscale creations—but what about the very big? If a few bold architectural startups have anything to do with it, we may soon see the first...

Patient Receives 3D Printed Implant To Replace 75 Percent Of Skull

At the beginning of March of this year, a radical surgery was performed on an American patient: 75 percent of his skull was replaced with a 3D printed implant. The company that produced the implant, Oxford Performance Materials, made the announcement though offered little detail about the patient or the procedure. The surgery was given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration in February.

Exclusive Interview With Avi Reichental, CEO Of 3D Systems

Avi Reichental of 3D Systems stops by to chat with Founder of Singularity Hub, Keith Kleiner. In addition to his role as President and CEO of 3D Systems, Avi is also the Co-Chair for Nanotechnology and...

A 3D Printed Spaceship On The Scale Of A Human Hair? Hello Nanoscribe 3D Printer

3D printing has become one of the most exciting and talked about technologies of 2013. Last year, a group of researchers at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria refined a 3D printing technique that allowed the construction of sophisticated structures (a F1 racecar and a cathedral) smaller than dust mites in about 4 minutes. Now, a company called Nanoscribe GmbH that emerged from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has made 3D printer called the Photonic Professional GT which can produce detailed structures on a similar scale but faster.

Human Ear Created With 3D Printer

Researchers have constructed a living human ear that looks and feels just like the real thing, and they made it with the help of a 3D printer.

3D Printing On The Frontlines — Army Deploying $2.8M Mobile Fabrication Labs

Throughout history, war and innovation have gone hand in hand, whether it's breakthroughs out of heavily funded R&D programs or makeshift contraptions thrown together with spare parts. Soldiers are trained to use the technology on hand to get the job done, one way or the other.

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