New 3D printed corneas could save millions of people's vision

Researchers have spent decades exploring methods to 3D print organs for transplant but progress is slow due to the complex structure of, say, a kidney or pancreas. Precise Bio, a startup founded by scientists from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, claim that the first real success will come from 3D-printed corneas. They've already conducted animal studies and are building a roadmap toward human trials. From IEEE Spectrum:

Corneas could be the first mainstream application of bioprinting, (Precise Bio CEO Aryeh) Batt says, in part because they have a layered structure that’s a good match for the technology. Each layer consists of different types of cells and fibers, which the printer could lay down in sequence, and these layers don’t contain blood vessels or nerves. What’s more, putting a new kind of transplant in the eye is inherently safer than implanting one deep in the body, since physicians could easily check for signs of trouble and could remove the tissue if anything seemed wrong.

There’s certainly a need for more corneas in the world, says Kevin Corcoran, president and CEO of the Eye Bank Association of America. In 2017, his members supplied nearly 51,000 transplantable corneas to patients in the United States, and also sent more than 26,000 abroad. Internationally, “there is a tremendous amount of unmet demand,” he says. “It’s estimated that 10 million people suffer from corneal blindness globally, primarily because they lack access to effective and affordable treatment.”

Part of Precise Bio’s proprietary approach is its printer, which uses a technique called laser-induced forward transfer to propel droplets of bioinks onto a surface.

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Playing a 3D printer as a musical instrument

David McCallum writes, "I made an interface to play a 3D printer like it's a musical instrument." Read the rest

Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine

How To Mechatronics has pulled together detailed instructions and a great video explaining how to make an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine whose gears can create arbitrary vector images out of precision-bent continuous lengths of wire. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

Security researchers identify "fingerprints" in 3D printed objects that can be used to trace their manufacturing

In PrinTracker: Fingerprinting 3D Printers using Commodity Scanners (Scihub mirror), a paper to be presented at the ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security conference in Toronto this month, a group of U Buffalo and Northeastern researchers present a model for uniquely identifying which 3D printer produced a given manufactured object, which may allow for forensic investigators to associate counterfeit goods, illegal guns, and other printed objects with the device that manufactured them. Read the rest

3D-printed gun promoter arrested in Taiwan, returned to US, and bailed on sex charge

Charged with paying a 16-year-old girl for sex at a hotel in Austin, Texas, Cody Wilson was bailed Sunday and is a free man again—at least for now. The BBC reports that Wilson, famous for promoting 3D-printed gun plans, was arrested by Taipei police and returned to the US over the weekend. KHOU 11 filmed him leaving jail and hopping into a cab.

Wilson’s attorney Samy Khalil of Gerger, Khalil & Hennessy released a statement late Sunday evening.

“We are glad that Cody is back in Texas again where we can work with him on his case. That’s our focus right now, representing our client and preparing his defense.”

It’s been a long journey back for the accused 3D-printed gun designer.

Authorities say the 30-year-old flew out to Taiwan after a friend told him he was being investigated for allegedly paying $500 for to have sex with a 16-year-old girl he contacted online.

Surveillance video shows Wilson checking in to a Taipei hotel Thursday. That’s where police finally arrested him on Friday.

How can this guy call himself a Libertarian? You go to Thailand, not Taiwan: just ask Elon! Read the rest

Hypnotic video of 3D-printed plant forms undulating underwater

Hydrophytes are 3D-printed multimaterial forms that explore the possibilities for engineered plants of the future. Read the rest

Rolling robots 3D print a bridge, inching their way along the span as they lay it

The Smarter Bridge is a project led by Mix3d, which makes robotic 3D printers that can sinter stainless steel structures and inch their way along the surfaces as they are completed. Read the rest

Laser cutters and 3D printers revive century-old a magic lantern show of Erewhon at the Edinburgh Fringe

James Coutts writes, "Indiana University Victorian Studies PhD candidate Mary Borgo Ton assembled an international group of artists/makers, a media archaeologist, laser cutters and 3D printers to create magic lantern slides that have not been made in 100 years for a show running in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe called Erewhon: "An antique magic lantern projector, an iPhone and a live musical score shine a new light on Samuel Butler’s classic sci-fi novel. A Victorian explorer discovers a colony of refugees; time travellers from the 21st century escaping their dependence on its technology. This delightful neo-historical head-scratcher playfully welds future, past and present into a glittering bracelet of time." Read the rest

Watch this nanolab print liquid 3D structures

By creating a surfactant that holds water in place, scientists are able to produce repeatable liquid 3D shapes in these nanoparticle "supersoaps" with modded off-the-shelf 3D printers. Read the rest

What's at stake in the fight over printing files for guns

There's been a lot of news freakout over Defense Distributed (previously) and "3D printed guns" (a term that confusingly encompasses milled guns, 3D printed guns, and files that describe the shapes of guns). Read the rest

Darknet paper, the 3D printed gun edition

In 2002, Microsoft security researcher Peter Biddle (previously) published The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution, a paper that argued that DRM would always fail and that traditional forms of censorship would be harder and harder to execute online (it also coined the term "Darknet"); today, in honor of America's mass freakout over 3D printed guns, he's published an updated version, which mostly consists of adding "this applies to guns, too" over and over again, for people who are unclear on the concept. Read the rest

Time For America To Freak Out About 3-D Guns Again

None of the mass shootings in America have been committed by shooters using 3-D Guns, but that's not stopping Donald Trump and a bunch of NRA-backed lawmakers from freaking out about the threat DIY weapons pose, before doing anything about how readily available regular old guns are to regular old bad guys. Read the rest

This 3D printed titanium fuel tank part shaved 18 months off spacecraft production schedule

Lockheed Martin just made the largest 3D printed part they've ever ever built for space. The titanium domes used to take a couple of years to make from scratch, but this was completed in about three months. Read the rest

Watch how to 3D print freaky, wobbly sphericons

After seeing a successful Kickstarter project, Angus from Makers Muse has been experimenting with sphericons, unusual shapes that meander when they roll. Read the rest

3D printed guns just cleared a major legal hurdle

Last week, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson won a major ruling in his quest to distribute gun-printing software. The video above from February outlines the background of the case. Read the rest

Watch this lab 3D print human skin equivalent

Printable human skin analogues have a number of important real-world uses, particularly as current replacements for animal models used in testing things like cosmetics. Read the rest

What it's like to be personally responsible for automating away someone's high-paid, high-skill job

When Erin Winick was a sophomore, she got a summer internship at a company where her manager offered her the opportunity to use her passion for 3D printing to streamline the company's mold-making process; but when she started consulting with "Gary," a 34-year veteran of the company who was responsible for the complex molding process, she realized that she was about to put him out of a job. Read the rest

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