3DPrinting Body Organs >

Circulatory System

Circulatory System (Photo credit: kevin813)

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The goal of building lab-grown bodily organs out of a patient’s own cells is something that Bio-engineers have been advancing toward, but a few major challenges remain – one of them is making vasculature, the blood vessel plumbing system that delivers nutrients and removes waste from the cells on the inside of a mass of tissue.

Without these blood vessels, interior cells suffocate and die.

Growing thin layers of cells is already possible, so one proposed solution is to “print” the cells layer by layer, leaving openings for blood vessels as necessary. The downside is that this method leaves seams in the printed output: when blood is pumped through the vessels, the seams are pushed apart.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Bio-engineers have turned the problem inside out by utilising a RepRap 3DPrinter called to manufacture templates of blood vessel networks out of sugar. Once the networks are encased in a block of cells, the sugar can be dissolved, leaving a functional vascular network behind.

“I got the first hint of this solution when I visited a Body Worlds exhibit, where you can see plastic casts of free-standing, whole organ vasculature,” says Bioengineering postdoc Jordan Miller.

Miller, along with Christopher Chen, the Skirkanich Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering, other members of Chen’s lab, and colleagues from MIT, set out to show that this method of developing sugar vascular networks helps keep interior cells alive and functioning.

After the researchers design the network architecture on a computer, they feed the design to the RepRap. The printer begins building the walls of a stabilizing mold. Then it then draws filaments across the mold, pulling the sugar at different speeds to achieve the desired thickness of what will become the blood vessels.

“I got the first hint of this solution when I visited a Body Worlds exhibit, where you can see plastic casts of free-standing, whole organ vasculature,” says Bioengineering postdoc Jordan Miller.

When the sugar becomes hardened, the researchers add liver cells, suspended in a gel, to the mold. The gel surrounds the filaments, encasing the blood vessel template.

After the gel sets it can be removed from the mold with the template still inside. The block of gel is then washed in water, dissolving the remaining sugar inside – the liquid sugar then empties from the vessels it has created without harming the growing cells.

“This new technology, from the cell’s perspective, makes tissue formation a gentle and quick journey,” says Chen.

The researchers have successfully pumped nutrient-rich media, even blood, through these gels blocks’ vascular systems. They also have experimentally shown that more of the liver cells survive and produce more metabolites in gels that have these networks.

The RepRap makes testing new vascular architectures quick and inexpensive, and the sugar is stable enough to ship the finished networks to labs that don’t have 3DPrinters of their own. The researchers hope to eventually use this method to make implantable organs for animal studies.

 Video by Kurtis Sensenig

Materials: Wood Filament > > > 
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3DPrint Patent Is Weak – New Scientist >

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(Image: Martine Roch/Flickr/Getty)

‘One of the greatest benefits of 3DPrinting technology – the ability to make replacements or parts for household objects like toys, utensils and gadgets – may be denied to US citizens thanks to the granting of a sweeping patent that prevents the printing of unauthorised 3D designs. It has all the makings of the much-maligned digital rights management (DRM) system that prevented copying of Apple iTunes tracks – until it was abandoned as a no-hoper in 2009.

US patent 8286236, granted on 9 October to Intellectual Ventures of Bellevue, Washington, lends a 3D printer the ability to assess whether a computer design file it’s reading has an authorisation code appended that grants access for printing. If it does not, the machine simply refuses to print – whether it’s a solid object, a textile or even food that’s being printed.

The piracy of 3D designs is indeed an emerging concern, and 3D object sharing – rather than file sharing – sites have already sprung up. While no 3DPrinter maker has adopted what might be called “3D DRM”, international treaties like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement mean it is not out of the question.

“Clamping down on moves to 3DPrint handguns may fuel such moves, for instance.”

What has riled some tech commentators (here and here for instance) is the fact that Intellectual Ventures that does not make 3DPrinters at all, but simply trades in patent rights – a practice detractors call ‘patent trolling.’

The firm, run by Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, quietly files patents under the names of a great many shell companies (as this Stanford University analysis shows) and then licenses them to companies using the ideas it lays claim to, litigating if it has to. Intellectual Ventures is thought to hold more than 40,000 patents.

The new patent may face challenges to its validity, however, because it extends rights management beyond 3DPrinting to much older computerised manufacturing techniques, such as computer-controlled milling, extrusion, die casting and stamping.

Companies in those businesses are likely to have previously considered some kind of design rights authentication, says Greg Aharonian, of bustpatents.com in San Francisco. He says that museums were wondering how to protect 3D sculptures against printer piracy back in 2002 and that DRM was in the frame then. So Intellectual Ventures’ claim to novelty – a key part of whether any patent is determined to be valid and enforceable – looks weak…’

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2012/10/patent-could-shackle-3d-printers-drm.html

London’s 3DPrinting Trade Show >

Some of 3DPrinting’s possibilities will be on display at the UK’s first 3DPrinting trade show from Friday to next Sunday at The Brewery in central London . Clothes made using the technique will be exhibited in a live fashion show, which will include the unveiling of a hat designed for the event by the milliner Stephen Jones, and a band playing a specially composed score on 3DPrinted musical instruments.

3DPrinting is Star Trek science made reality, with the potential for production-line replacement body parts, aeronautical spares, fashion, furniture and virtually any other object on demand.

The cutting-edge technology, which layers plastic resin in a manner similar to an inkjet printer to create 3D objects, is on its way to becoming affordable for home use.

Some 2,000 consumers are expected to join 1,000 people from the burgeoning industry to see what the technique has to offer, including jewellery and art.

A 3D body scanner, which can reproduce a “mini” version of the person scanned, will also be on display. Workshops run by Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects, which provided 3DPrinted models and props for cinema blockbusters such as the Iron Man series and Snow White and the Huntsman, will add a sprinkling of Hollywood glamour. Kerry Hogarth, the woman behind 3DPrintshow, said yesterday she aims to showcase the potential of the technology for families.

Prices for printers start at around £1,o00 – DIY kits from around £500 – they will continue to drop steadily over the coming year.

Birmingham-based Black Country Atelier, will invite people to design a model vehicle and then see the result “printed” off for them to take home.

“We believe 3DPrinting needs to be seen to be believed,” Ms Hogarth said. “We hope that our show will give fashion students, makers, designers, artists, families and businesses the chance to see the different types of services, software and print technology available to them.”

3D Printshow runs from 19-21 October (3dprintshow.com)

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: DRM for 3DP? >

Most 3DPrinting has been done in industry or by hobbyists who share their designs freely online. Now Intellectual Ventures, the company run by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has been issued a patent on a system that could prevent people from printing objects using designs they haven’t paid for.

The patent, issued Tuesday by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, is titled Manufacturing control system and describes methods for managing object production rights.”

The patent basically covers the idea of digital rights management, or DRM, for 3DPrinters. Like with eBooks that won’t open unless you pay Barnes & Noble to use its Nook Reader, with Myhrvold’s technology your 3DPrinter won’t print unless you’ve paid up.

You load a file into your printer, then your printer checks to make sure it has the rights to make the object, to make it out of what material, how many times, and so on,” says Michael Weinberg, a staff lawyer at the non-profit Public Knowledge, who reviewed the patent – “It’s a very broad patent.”

The patent isn’t limited to 3DPrinting, also known as additive manufacturing. It also covers using digital files in extrusion, ejection, stamping, die casting, printing, painting, and tattooing and with materials that include “skin, textiles, edible substances, paper, and silicon printing.”

This is an attempt to assert ownership over DRM for 3DPrinting. It’s ‘Let’s use DRM to stop unauthorized copying of things’,” says Weinberg, author of It Will Be Awesome If They Don’t Screw it Up – a 2010 white paper on how intellectual property rights could harm the development of 3DPrinting.But Weinberg points out the big loophole to all this: “nothing says manufacturers have to use DRM.”

The manufacturing control patent, number 8,286,236, was filed back in 2008 and issued on October 9th to Invention Science Fund I, an arm of Myhrvold’s company.

Myhrvold’s timing of the 3DPrinting revolution could be perfect. The company MakerBot just opened the first retail store dedicated to 3DPrinters in Manhattan’s trendy SoHo neighbourhood. The second by company DeezerMaker opened within days afterwards in California.

People have begun accepting there is going to be wide access to [3DPrinting] machines, and they are going to be able to create a wide range of things,” says Michaels. “People will want to control that. This patent is people thinking about how to do it.”

Adapted from: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/429566/nathan-myhrvolds-cunning-plan-to-prevent-3-d/

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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Update >

Industries that would almost certainly be put out of business by 3DPrinting, were it to become a household norm, are not going to go down without a fight, say legal experts. And what will be their weapon of choice? 

Intellectual property laws…

The presumed fear is that people will eventually be able to download CAD files, or create their own with advanced 3DScanners, of anything in the world: shoes, televisions, guitars, iPhones, and on, and on. Yes, 3DPrinter users would likely have to create these object piece-by-piece (as is currently the case). But in the end, they would still have a complete product. So just as the movie and music industries have gone after bit-torrent files and the sites that share them in their war against online piracy, so too will manufacturers attack CAD files and CAD file sharing, experts watching the space believe.

 

As incumbent companies begin to see small-scale 3DPrinting as a threat, they will inevitably attempt to restrict it by expanding intellectual property protections

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wrote Michael Weinberg, a staff lawyer for Public Knowledge, in a recently published white paper on 3DPrinting. “In doing so they will point to easily understood injuries to existing business models such as lost sales, lower profits, and reduced employment.”

Prepare for battle?

This is a cycle we’ve seen before. Weinberg notes that “incumbent companies” put up similar fights against the printing press, photo copiers, VCRs, and even the personal computer. In the case of the PC, writes Weinberg:

these interests pushed through laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that made it harder to usecomputers in new and innovative ways.”

The challenge for the fledgling 3DPrinting industry is to understand “how intellectual property law relates to 3DPrinting, and how changes might impact 3DPrinting’s future,” so that it will be ready to fight “before incumbents try to cripple 3DPrinting with restrictive intellectual property laws.”

While patent and trademark law may be used by established industries to trample 3DPrinting, both have a number of limitations that will make them difficult to use against home 3DPrinting, explains Weinberg. Instead, threatened industries will likely seek to strengthen copyright laws to make the recreation of objects — or even the creation of objects that perform the same function as a copyrighted item — illegal.

“Useful objects could be protected for decades after creation. Mechanical and functional innovation could be frozen by fears of massive copyright infringement lawsuits,” warns Weingberg. “Furthermore, articles that the public is free to recreate and improve upon today would become subject to inaccessible and restrictive licensing agreements.”

 

At the very least, says Weinberg, “rightsholders could insist that, in order to avoid liability, 3DPrinter manufacturers incorporate restrictive DRM that would prevent their printers from reproducing CAD designs with ‘do not copy’ watermarks.”

 

What next?

As mentioned, the goal of Weinberg’s paper is to prepare the 3DPrinting industry and its customers for a coming legal battle over this emerging technology. For the moment, however, 3DPrinting remains a niche.

 

If Weinberg is right, so-called incumbent companies will flex whatever muscles they can to stop that day from ever arriving…

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/3d-printing-and-copyright-lawsuits/#ixzz294d3Vg9d

Amazing Homemade 3DPrinted Drone >

When Mitre Corporation, a McLean-based defense contractor announced that they were looking for summer interns, University of Virginia engineering student Steven Easter and his brother and lab partner, Jonathan Turman applied the job. They got the assignment: to build an unmanned aerial vehicle, using 3DPrinting technology.

Luckily they got support from Professor David Sheffler, a 20-year veteran in aerospace engineering. Between May and August the team has been working on designing and building a plane entirely from parts from a 3DPrinter.

The plane has a 2 metre wingspan and all the parts were printed in layers in plastic. During four test flights in August and early September at Milton Airfield near Keswick, the plane achieved a cruising speed of 70 kilomertres per hour.

There are seven 3DPrinters in the Engineering School’s Rapid Prototyping Lab. These 3DPrinters allows students to design, modify and print the parts until they get exactly what they want…

(The unmanned aerial vehicle, “dressed” in U.Va.’s colors.)


(Mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and project adviser David Sheffler, left, with the “printed” plane’s creators, Steven Easter, center, and Jonathan Turman. )

This is “the third 3DPrinted plane known to have been built and flown.” notes in UVA Today’s news. The technology also allows students to take on complex design projects that previously were impractical.

“To make a plastic turbofan engine to scale five years ago would have taken two years, at a cost of about $250,000,” Sheffler said. “But with 3DPrinting we designed and built it in four months for about $2,000. This opens up an arena of teaching that was not available before. It allows us to train engineers for the real challenges they will face in industry.”

 

The students work impressed Mitre Corp. representatives and Army officials, they got a new task – “to build an improved plane – lighter, stronger, faster and more easily assembled.”

Besides creating an attractive and operational unmanned airplane, this is also a valuable experience for the students. “The students sometimes put in 80-hour workweeks, with many long nights in the lab.”

“It was sort of a seat-of-the-pants thing at first – wham, bang,” Easter said. “But we kept banging away and became more confident as we kept designing and printing out new parts.”

Source: UVA Today

NEW MATERIALS: Viscous Liquids & Flexible Solids >

Viscous Liquids

 

Recently TNO researchers have developed a print head that can handle viscous liquids. This allows computer controlled 3D printer to work with stronger objects.

Currently DIY 3D printers can build complex objects by extruding tiny droplets of liquid plastic through extruder but the printed objects are often not strong enough. To be able to print with a conventional print head, the material must be thin liquid and that means the monomers (long molecular chains, the building blocks of a plastic) is short.

“After curing the product is often brittle and fragile,” says Dr. René Houben of the Department Equipment for Additive Manufacturing of TNO.

To solve this problem Houben designed an entirely new print head, suitable for a mixture with much longer chains. The maximum workable viscosity is around 500 mPas (millipascal seconds, the unit of viscosity), similar to thick motor oil.

Houben presented his work at the end of September at the University of Twente.

Most home color printers work with “drop on demand” method: nozzle spits out ink exactly when required. For viscous liquids it does not work like that. For pressing “ink” through the nozzle you need a high pressure of a couple of hundred bar.

Houten made a so-called continuous inkjet to create a continuous stream of droplets. Once in motion only a much lower pressure is needed. The basis of the print head is a metal cylinder with a nozzle of 80 microns in diameter.

Inside the head, just above the nozzle, there is a cylinder with a piezoelectric crystal vibrating at 20 kHz and an amplitude of about 100 nm to ensure a stable flow of liquid.

The liquid is set to vibration and it breaks just below the nozzle at some twenty thousand identical droplets with a diameter of about 140 µm, with a speed of approximately 10 m/s.

In this printing system selective passage of droplets is essential – otherwise it would only be a flat printing. Existing continuous printing usually give droplets a small electric charge and bend them in the direction of a discharge chute. Most plastics, however, are non-conductive.

 

“It is possible to add conductive materials, but this changes the composition, which is usually undesirable. Think of materials for medical implants or displays, in which the material composition is very close, “says Houben.

 

He found an unusual solution: a fine stream of air from a syringe shoots unwanted droplets away. It sounds easy, but the on and off of an air flow of 20 kHz was not feasible.

Therefore TNO researchers developed a fine mechanical system with a continuous airflow – to set the droplet stream within 20 µs and can only shoot single drop out.

“We believe this is the way to get the fastest building speed. We strive to minimize the time that a print head does nothing”, says Houben.

A plastic block that is printed in layers by three heads in three colors: blue, red and transparent plastic. Photo: TNO

Besides 3D printing of relatively strong plastics, the print head has an unexpected application: making milk powder. Milk drops can be rapidly turned into powder by using spray drying in high spray towers.

Source: deingenieur
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Flexible Solids

Fabbster uploaded a video of 3D prints of flexible material made on a Fabbster 3D printer. Fabbster uses a special material concept: SDM – stick deposition moulding.

The extruder of the printer is fed with special sticks developed by the fabbster team. These sticks are characterized by a cogging-shape on their sides. They are made by injection molding technique and thus are extremely precise. This innovation offers some major advantage over circular filament that is subject to slip.

The sticks are automatically fed to the extruder via a supply magazine. The result is a precise dosage of the melt. Also they can be easily combined to produce an object in various colors and materials.

^In this video, Fabbster showed objects printed using sticks made of flexible material and compared the print with ABS plastic print

Source: Fabbster