3D Printing Industry

The Week in 3D Printing

MIT 3D printing Steelcase gel zero gravity 3D printing

We get “a-head,” print our way into interior design, and some other really cool stuff, all this week in 3D printing.

Two Heads Are Better Than One

This story echoes a lot of the news we’ve recounted in the past, but it reinforces the way in which 3D printing is advancing the medical field in leaps and bounds. New Atlas covers how surgeons at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine combined 3D printing with the talents of some special effects professionals to create a crazy-realistic head that doctors can practice surgical procedures on before doing the real thing.

Defying Gravity

RapidLiquidPrinting from Self-Assembly Lab, MIT on Vimeo.

Gizmodo reports that Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Self-Assembly Lab, office furniture manufacturer Steelcase, and materials researcher Christophe Guberan have developed a new 3D printing process that prints large structures in only minutes (vs. hours) — making it possible to custom-print furniture. The new technique prints into a thick gel suspension, making it possible to print gravity-defying structures without needing supports. The gel also acts as an instant chemical hardening agent so they can print large structures in plastic, rubber, and even foam within minutes.

Lego of Your Disbelief

Adafruit recently posted a tutorial on how you can make your own nifty little Lego strips that will adhere to any glass surface without adhesive. The secret? They got crafty and use a heated print bed which results in a glossy surface that can create an airtight suction on glass. The strips work with traditional Lego bricks so you can take your Lego-building to new heights.

A Record to Write Home About

Another research team at MIT just printed a 12-foot-tall and 50-foot-wide igloo via a mobile 3D printer — which is the largest structure constructed by a robot to date. Engadget’s article also mentions that the 81,000-pound robot is solar powered and is being optimized to safely navigate a construction site without colliding into other equipment or people.

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