Turtles love jellyfish. Unfortunately, they often mistake plastic bags for their favorite food. According to the United Nations Environment Program each year 100,000 marine mammals, including sea turtles, die from ocean pollution and ingestion or entanglement in marine debris; waste directly or indirectly disposed in oceans, rivers and other waterways. Antonio Esparza designed the TurtleBag: a 3D printable exoskeleton to help turtles distinguish plastic bags from jellyfish and extend their lifespan.
At the beginning of 2016, two artists made a 3D scan of the Nefertiti bust in the Neues Museum in Berlin and uploaded it to the Internet. It caused an international fuss, with people wondering if they truly scanned the bust of Nefertiti themselves, and if so, with what tools? Did they scan a replica? Or did they hack the servers of the museum to steal the 3D scan? Does it even matter if the scan is fake, real or fake for real?
You don’t have to visit New York for a nice plastic souvenir of the Statue of Liberty anymore, you can easily 3D print one yourself. With 3D printing becoming more and more omnipresent, souvenirs of places you have never been to, and a load of other useless crap, are just a few clicks (and if you don’t own a 3D printer, a short walk to the nearest fablab) away.
Researchers from BAE Systems together with the University of Glasgow are experimenting with a new technology that in theory would be able to grow small-scale Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) from chemical compounds. The breeding of drones explores how aircraft could be designed and manufactured in the future.
It is widely known that 3D printing is a revolutionary technology. Several surgeons and medical students are using it to improve the learning process and to advance medical science, forging new frontiers in the field. Of course bio-printing will be the next step, but until it becomes widely adopted, 3D can still save lives. We are familiar with several interventions where this technology helped save human lives, such as the 3D printed face and skull, but in this case we’re talking about saving defenseless, animal lives.
Amanda Ghassaei, currently a student at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT Media Lab, is a former employee at the do-it-yourself website Instructables.com. Back then she developed ways to 3D print and laser cut vinyl records.
“In order to explore the current limits of 3D printing, I’ve created a technique for converting digital audio files into 3D-printable, 33rpm records that play on ordinary turntables. Though the audio quality is low, the audio output is still easily recognizable – the records have a sampling rate of 11kHz and 5-6 bit resolution”.
In both vases pictured, you can put your flowers into water. Both are analogue objects. The manufacturing process is the analogue/digital difference in this case. The vase pictured at right is a 3D printed vase, completely digitally processed by a 3D printer. It is believed that in the near future we will all have a 3D printer at home. Will we be giving them commands to print our home accessories, food or maybe even our own organs?
From the Analogue vs Digital Memory Game
From buildings to artificial organs, 3D printing has the potential to print almost anything. However, one of the biggest limits of 3D printing is its slow printing speed. The current 3D printing technology prints an item by constructing them layer-by-layer, a process which can take several hours.
A team of researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill recently developed a new method that can reduce the printing process down to minutes.
Nowadays 3D printing is increasingly used for medical purposes and body upgrades to design devices, implants, and a variety of customized prosthetics, from a 3D printed face, to a skull, and even organs.
In the future we may look at the world with new – artificial, 3D printed – eyes. Italian research studio MHOX is working on EYE, a 3D bioprinted sight augmentation. The project envisions the removal of the natural visual system and its replacement with a digitally designed 3D printed one. The original retina would be replaced by a new artificial network, able to offer enhanced vision, WiFi connection and the possibility to record video and take pictures.