When asked to name an endangered species, rhinos are probably one of the
first animals to come to most peoples' minds. In both Africa and Asia,
poaching is causing populations to plummet, due mainly to demand for
rhino horn as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine – whether or
not it actually has any medicinal value is another question
altogether. In any case, San Francisco-based biotech startup Pembient is
developing what it hopes could be a solution: inexpensive bioengineered
rhino horn, which could out-compete the genuine item.
Japan's oldest carmaker, Daihatsu and American 3D printing company Stratasys have come together to let Daihatsu Copen owners design their own car panels and have them made to order. Utilizing the unique changeable panel system on the open sports car, special panels will accept costumer designed elements with new shapes and textures. This personalized driving experience was recently proven by Designers Kota Nezu and Junjie Sun on their “Effect Skins” project and Gizmag went along to the 2015 Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo to see the results.
The key to better, tougher and more coordinated robots as well as improved surgical procedures, among other advances, could derive their inspiration from an unlikely source – the odd, square tail of the all-around strange seahorse.
Already home to numerous architectural wonders, including the world's tallest building, Dubai is set to add the world's first 3D-printed office building to its streets. It will be printed layer by layer by a 3D printer standing 20 ft (6 m) tall, with the layers to be assembled on site to produce a building covering approximately 2,000 sq ft (186 sq m) in a process that is set to take a matter of weeks.
A new 3D-printing ink being developed at Northwestern University could soon make it possible to build objects which are made of graphene for 60 percent of their volume and 75 percent of their weight. This unprecedentedly high graphene composition means that the oft-praised electric and mechanical properties of graphene might soon find their way into all kinds of macroscopic 3D-printed creations, with important consequences for the electronics and biomedical fields (among many others).
The creators of the 3D-drawing pen known as the 3DSimo are back again,
and this time they have a new device called the 3DSimo Mini. The device
is smaller, of course, but the team is also expanding the functionality
of it by adding a foam cutter, a burn tool, and a soldering iron. These
functions go along with the return of the 3D drawing functionality from
the previous model.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has successfully test fired a 3D printed platinum alloy thruster combustion chamber and nozzle. The world first test is further evidence that the 3D printing approach is a viable one for the aerospace industry, with the potential to cut costs by streamlining production methods and adding a greater level of flexibility in terms of supply and demand construction.
The 3D printing revolution brings with it a harmful side effect: the special inks that it uses are derived (for the most part) from environmentally-unfriendly processes involving fossil fuels and toxic byproducts. But now scientists at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in using cellulose – the most abundant organic compound on the planet – in a 3D printer. They were also able to create electrically-conductive materials by adding carbon nanotubes.
Researchers at Australia's University of Wollongong (UOW) have created a number of 3D-printed custom flutes that can play microtonal tunings otherwise unachievable with standard flutes, thus opening up a whole new series of tones to flute players. The same research could also lead to instruments which are easier for disabled people to play.
Gizmag has covered a wealth of remarkable architectural projects involving 3D printing – including a backyard castle, a number of small homes and a room with 260 million surfaces – but a project in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is set to be particularly impressive. 3D printing R&D firm MX3D is planning to print a bridge across a canal. It is hoped that the robots used will print their own supports and gradually move across the water, creating the bridge as they go.