3D printing technology is taking off in the medical science community, especially in emerging methods known as “bioprinting.” Instead of inks, plastics and other artificial materials, science and medical labs use a patient’s actual living human cells to replicate organs that the body can recognize and accept.
3D bioprinting has tremendous promise for medical professionals, but it could also forever change areas such as cosmetic surgery and food engineering (not to mention counterfeiting or spy disguises). Here are some of the latest innovations happening in 3D printing and 3D bioprinting.
Some bioprinting labs are using cells to print sheets of skin for skin grafting procedures.
Modern Meadow is a 3D bioprinting startup that aims to develop cell-based products to replace beef and leather. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is investing $350,000 in the company.
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have developed tissue aimed at replicating the outer ear using bioprinting.
The scientists at Wake Forest IRM are also using bioprinting to develop a replacement bladder.
Connecticut-based Oxford Performance Materials used 3D printing to replace bone and insert the material into an American patient’s skull in March 2013.
Photo: Yves Herman / Geoff Pugh
Eric Moger survived the removal of a large tumor under his face but lived for a period with an unsightly hole. Doctors used 3D printing to produce a fleshy prosthetic. Pictured also is a life-size model of a similar complex anaplastology case created by anaplastologist Jan De Cubber at the Belgian company Materialise, the biggest 3D printer in Europe.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.