February was so perfect, it inspired us to turn The Week in 3D Printing into The Month in 3D Printing! We’ll still be bringing you the most exciting developments in this future tech, but we’ll also give you to a sense of the bigger stories and bigger trends… bigger-ly. Strap in for February’s most inspiring news, presented for your speed-reading pleasure.
Not only did we get to see “Black Panther” this month, we also found out that some important parts of the magic of Wakanda were 3D printed. Working with 3D designer Julia Koerner, legendary costume designer Ruth Carter incorporated 3D printed elements into the film’s regal fashions. Watch the Racked feature on it here.
So many feels
In medical news, we’re going to pull a “This Is Us” and start with… well, you’ll see. That would be this ugly-cry-inducing story from the BBC about rescue doggo Duke, who needed a paw. Luckily, 3D printing was there to give him just that. And in other touching, adorable news, 3D printing is helping visually impaired children in the classroom. Watch the video and feel nothing, we dare you:
But, we’re not done yet with your heart just yet. Ten years ago, professional snowboarder Mike Schultz had an accident that led to the amputation of his left leg. He turned his injury to his advantage, creating a company, BioDapt, that makes the specialty prosthetics sported by this year’s Paralympians — including Mike Schultz himself. Read more about how 3D printing powers his creations at Engadget, and see what adaptive athletes have done with BioDapt’s prostheses, below:
There were a lot of other astounding medical 3D printing accomplishments announced in February. This beautiful brace (the UNYQ Align by Francis Butonti) was displayed this month at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NYC. Meanwhile, UK researchers made progress toward creating 3D printed cell tissues, and one startup, BioLife4D, announced that it plans to focus on “building” hearts. Godspeed, BioLife4D.
Style is ageless
In up-and-coming style icon news, this month we met incredible teenager Shami Oshun, who taught herself 3D printing for apparel design, which is so much cooler than what I was doing as a teen. See her tweets and bow down:
Hi Twitter, my name is Shami Oshun. I am 18. I taught myself how to 3D print in August 2017. As of today I am the youngest person and first black person to 3D print fashion. I hope this inspires other black girls to pursue careers in tech and fashion 💙 #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/OST0ScgttM
— Oshun (@bluexheeta) February 8, 2018
And if you follow car news, you’ll know that Porsche has figured out what you have known for so long: 3D printing is great for replacing parts that don’t exist anymore for the classic things that you love. The iconic, stylish carmaker is 3D printing things like a clutch release lever for the 959. Sounds… like a car thing!
Medtech won’t quit
Thanks to scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, we are now closer than ever before to something you might not have even dreamed about, which is printing microscopic devices inside the body. And, in the meantime, their technique could simply deliver super-ultra-high-res 3D prints. Merci, y’all.
In Australia, the excellently named Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics has created something equally excellent: a clip-on smartphone microscope that can help people in remote locations analyze water cleanliness, test blood samples, and detect disease at an early stage. So… our iPhone addictions could save our lives? Right?
It’s 2018. Stop watching ‘Encino Man.’
Brits learned this month that their ancient ancestors looked different than many had imagined. With the help of DNA analysis and 3D printing, a team from London’s Natural History Museum and University College London revealed the face of a 10,000-year-old Cheddar Grove, Somerset man. With dark skin, blue eyes, and curly hair, “Cheddar Man” most surprised people who’d seen “Encino Man” too many times.
If we build it…
A Long Island company has proven that they can 3D print a home that’s 70% cheaper and 200% stronger than traditionally constructed homes. While that company’s paperwork clears, Chinese manufacturer WinSun continues to forge ahead with large-scale 3D printed construction, this month unveiling these Shanghai-area bus shelters.
Not to be outdone, Made in Space printed out the world’s longest single 3D printed piece (a beam) in the world — in their terrestrial offices. Next up: condos on the moon (dibs).
See you in March! And in the meantime…