They’ve been used by large companies for rapidly creating prototypes for at least a few decades, but finding a reason to put a 3D printer in every home hasn’t been as successful. Making accessories for your vacuum? Boring. Building pop bottle bridges? Meh. Super-sizing Lego? Hello holy grail of 3D printing.
As Mixael Laufer tells it, the vision came to him in El Salvador. Laufer was visiting Central America as a human rights envoy, touring a tiny, rural mountain town with the Marin County Peace and Justice Coalition. When he arrived at the town’s medical clinic, it had just run out of birth control.
This morning, Windows users woke to terrible news: Microsoft was reportedly axing its beloved Microsoft Paint. The program, which has been annotating our memes, creating our webcomics, and teaching us how to art since 1985, is on Microsoft’s list of Windows features to be removed or deprecated in the Windows 10 Fall…
Since at least the first time a man got on stage at a TED talk and 3D-printed a human kidney, the idea that one day we might simply grow new body parts to replace our old, out-of-service ones has existed in the collective consciousness as the pinnacle of biomedical achievement. But what if you didn’t actually have to…
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have a new crew member—an adorable robotic ball capable of recording video while moving in zero gravity. Dubbed “Int-Ball,” the device will free astronauts to do more important work, while providing ground controllers with their own set of eyes.
Researchers in Europe have created a soft artificial heart that mimics the real thing. It’s still not ready for prime time, but the approach, in which the developers used silicone and 3D-printing, could revolutionize the way patients with heart disease are treated.
Millions of years ago, unlucky animals settled in the sticky resin of trees, only to be trapped and preserved until we humans found them. Fossils of the distant future, however, will probably be a whole lot weirder than bugs in tree sap.
Like maintaining a zen garden, or pruning a bonsai tree, some people stack and balance rocks as a way to relax. But robots don’t really experience emotional stress, so why bother teaching a bot to balance rocks? One day, this robot’s skills could prove invaluable when it comes to building structures on distant worlds…
Pasta might not make you think “science.” But then again, you’ve probably haven’t shouted “holy shit” while you watched it curl up before your eyes.
Fertility has become a major target for regenerative medicine. What if, the thinking goes, science and medicine could be used to simply restore fertility to women who for one reason or another no longer have it? In mice, scientists have now done just that.
Superman needs Lois Lane. It’s built into the fabric of his narrative. He’s an all-powerful, godlike creature and he needs something human to keep him tethered to this world and give him a little weakness the rest of us can empathize with. Human characters like the Flash and Green Arrow don’t need characters like…
Scientists with the European Space Agency have shown that it’s possible to make durable bricks using simulated Moon dust and concentrated sunlight. A similar approach may eventually allow lunar colonists to 3D-print their own habitats and structures using materials found on the Moon.
The potential for 3D printing to revolutionize manufacturing is astounding—if the technology can overcome a few limitations. Researchers at MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab have come up with a novel way to both speed up the 3D printing process, and free it from the restrictions imposed by gravity.
One of the many challenges of colonizing Mars is that the planet is lacking many of the natural resources we rely on here on Earth. We’ll need to bring as much of what we need to survive as possible, but you can only pack so much into a spaceship. So scientists are developing ways to utilize at least one of the red…
Sixty million dollars. That’s roughly how much it costs to send a payload to orbit on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. It’s actually a bargain for space, but it’s far more than University of Central Florida physicist Julie Brisset, who seeks to study the early stages of planet formation in microgravity, can afford. She’s one…
Manufacturers of 3D printers have had a hard time convincing consumers they need a machine that takes 12 hours to make a plastic trinket. But 3D printing enthusiasts do exist, and they’re coming up with lots of different reasons to want one of the machines.
Spinach has long been understood to be good for your heart. But researchers have demonstrated that some day spinach could actually be your heart. Specifically, it could be used to repair damaged tissue by giving human heart tissue a plant-infused vascular system.
Imagine a future in which humans can produce a vast variety of foods with all sorts of textures and shapes at the flick of a switch. Just throw a mix into your 3D printer, and, presto, gooey gorgonzola globules! Crunchy candy cubes! Incredible!
Building a gun out 3D-printed parts is so 2013. Now, the United States Army has managed to 3D-print an entire grenade launcher, and it looks roughly like an assault rifle in the popular video game Halo. Also, the new weapon is named RAMBO.