Local Motors added a little flair to the International Manufacturing Technology Show this past September, by live 3D-printing
its Strati car. The car used a small electric powertrain from the Renault Twizy
. Now, Local Motors is about to commission a sure-to-be-more-powerful vehicle – 12 of them actually. The company repeated its live printing effort at this year's SEMA Show
and opened up a new contest that will see 12 tuners customize an all-new 3D-printed car.
A sculpture so tiny that it cannot be seen by the naked eye is claimed to be the smallest sculpture of the human form ever created. Measuring a picayune 20 x 80 x 100 microns, artist Jonty Hurwitz’s tiny human statue is part of a new series of equally diminutive new sculptures that are at a scale so infinitesimally miniscule that each of the figures is approximately equal in size to the amount your fingernails grow in around about 6 hours, and can only be viewed using a scanning electron microscope.
ESA is set to send a 3D printer up to the International Space Station (ISS) for a preliminary round of orbital testing in the first half of next year. The Portable On-Board Printer (POP3D), was designed and manufactured in Italy and will be one of the focusses of ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti's Futura mission. The results of the study will be instrumental in informing us on the potential uses of 3D printing in microgravity.
Italian start-up Youbionic has created a functional, myoelectric bionic hand using 3D printing and Arduino components. While still at prototype stage, the company says that its research will result in a prosthetic hand that costs a tenth or less than other models on the market.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is currently exploring the possibility of establishing a permanent lunar base with the aid of 3D printing technology. The space agency and Foster + Partners, the London-based architecture firm that worked closely with the agency in the exploration of the project
, have released a video outlining how they envision a future mission to construct a moonbase may unfold.
A PhD candidate and six undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UCIC) have created a low-cost, programmable, 3D-printed prosthetic hand that may soon change the lives of amputees in Ecuador. The hand costs just US$270 to manufacture, making it a small fraction of the cost of a typical prosthetic of this type.
As confirmed by a strong robot presence in our round-up of the best tech toys for kids
this year, there's something captivating and fascinating about interacting with robots. But rather than just play with a factory-assembled robot like the mesmerizing MiP
we got to control at IFA
back in the September, many folks want to build and customize their own. The Brighton, UK-based Maker Club has launched a project developed for the home and educational market that combines a custom control chip, a mobile app, an online learning package and 3D printing.
Slowly but surely, 3D printing is working its way through the human anatomy, replacing infected jaws
, cancerous vertebrae
and deformed hips
in a procession of world-first medical treatments. The latest body part to be ticked off the list is the heel, putting a 71-year-old cancer patient who was facing an amputation below the knee back on his feet.
A new power inverter developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) marries advances in 3D printing and wide-band semiconductor technology to deliver significantly improved performance in a smaller, lighter package. With further development, it could go a long way toward helping build electric cars that are more powerful and energy-efficient.
Startup company Future Make 3D is developing the Polyes Q1, a 3D pen with a slew of safety features that aims to make it fun and safe for everyone – children included – to sketch out three-dimensional sculptures made of plastic. The cordless, USB-charged pen will come with standard, glow-in-the-dark, transparent and temperature-changing inks and is set to hit Kickstarter sometime next month.