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.
Building a robot that can replicate everything a human can do is both impossibly complicated and expensive. So, researchers at the IT University of Copenhagen are taking the exact opposite approach: building incredibly simple robots, on-demand, that only do what humans can’t.
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.
Wave a high-powered laser around fast enough, and the human eye will perceive an image in the light trail left behind. That’s how laser projectors that cost thousands of dollars work, but it’s also how this cheap, 3D-printed plastic contraption turns a simple laser pointer into a full-on light show.
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.
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.
Chain mail was an essential tool for medieval warriors hoping to avoid a quick (or slow) death by a sword. But NASA engineers hope a similar material, with a few modern upgrades, could prove to be just as useful for spacecraft and astronauts looking to survive the rigors of outer space.
Reduce, re-use, and recycle are words to live by as we try to minimize humanity’s demand for our planet’s natural resources. But instead of sending your empty soda bottles off to be recycled, scientists from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany want you to build everything from chairs, to boats, to outdoor shelters
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…
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.
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.
3D printers may have failed as a home appliance, but researchers at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut aren’t ready to give up on them just yet. Last year they successfully 3D-printed a working door handle without any moving parts, and this year they’re following it up with a 3D-printed, PIN-protected door lock.
The Switch, Nintendo’s new phablet console, was a big bet, but perhaps not a smart one. Despite being marketed as a step into the future, it launched with more hardware issues and irritating design flaws than playable titles. As such, fans who just plunked down $300 are already rolling up their sleeves to build…
Artist John Edmark has done it again. With the clever use of a strobe light, he’s created sculptures that move like weird computer animations but are actually real, 3D printed objects that physically exist. It’s a bit hypnotizing but so, so cool, because they move and grow and essentially come alive in such a bizarre…
The hype around consumer 3D printers has mostly died down, but that hasn’t stopped the startup Divergent 3D from barreling full steam ahead in the industrial printing world. The company debuted the first 3D-printed supercar—the Blade–two years ago and has since continued developing its printing methods. Now, it’s…
We’ve all been there: building a scale model of the Death Star in our basement and thinking, “I just wish this had a tractor beam to grab onto my tiny styrofoam Millennium Falcon.” Now, thanks to a team of scientists, you can put the finishing touches on that model with your very own sonic tractor beam. Okay, maybe we…
The Legend of Zelda on NES had a sprawling world by the standards of 1980s console games. While decades ago people used to draw their own maps to try and keep track of where each dungeon and secret, alternative methods now exist. Like, for instance, 3D printing a replica of the game’s entire overworld.
You no longer have to be a Stradivarius, a Gibson, or even a Steinway to make your own musical instruments. Anyone with access to a 3D printer and this simple software, developed by Autodesk Research, can turn any 3D model into a wind instrument capable of playing a variety of different notes.