When a vein or artery gets seriously blocked, a common course of action involves replacing it with part of another blood vessel harvested from elsewhere in the patient's body. While 3D-printed
blood vessels show promise as alternatives, scientists from the Vienna University of Technology and Vienna Medical University have developed another option – polymer fabric vessels that transform into biological ones, once implanted.
Buying a mechanical watch with a finely-crafted tourbillon
movement can set you back tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, but if you don’t mind one made out of plastic and a bit larger than usual, 3D printing may be the answer. Computer scientist and watchmaking enthusiast Nicholas Manousos has created a printable version of the famous watch movement called Tourbillon 1000%. Fabricated from thermoplastic and ball bearings, it may not be practical, but it's certainly eye catching.
Unlike the prickly desert dwelling plant, Citroen’s new C4 Cactus CUV/hatchback mashup is approachable and easy to hug. Lighter than the regular C4, the airbump-bearing vehicle is more about making a design statement than pushing the technological envelope.
What do hemp
have in common? They’re just a few of the things that have been used to create “green” composite materials, in which most or all of the usual petroleum by-products are replaced by more environmentally-friendly substances. Now, thanks to two separate studies, it looks like peat and beets can be added to that list.
Looking not unlike a plastic Popsicle stick, the Flamestick from Germany's AceCamp is a firestarter made from recycled thermoplastic that measures 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) long by 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) wide. While plastic may sound like a strange way to start a fire, the Flamestick offers several advantages over more traditional materials.
KeepCup, which claims to be “the world’s first barista standard reusable coffee cup,” has arrived on the shores of Italy, bringing to 32 the number of countries where the cup is now available. Developed in 2009 in response to the large global waste generated from disposable coffee cups, KeepCup attempts to blend the best elements of disposable and reusable cups.
Spartanburg, South Carolina, is home to one of the largest privately owned chemical and textile research establishments in the world, Milliken & Company. The firm's innovative research that combines textiles and chemistry has now produced a thermoplastic composite called Tegris that is cheap, recyclable and tough. These properties make Tegris an attractive alternative to (or composite partner for) carbon fiber, and it's already proving to have wide ranging applications in the automotive, military and sporting industries.