Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New 3D Printing Technique...

...could be used to print off arteries and even organs. The technique could also have some uses in creating props, food items, etc.

One of the limitations of 3D printing is whatever substance you use has to be solid enough to support its own weight while being printed. This is also why you can't print a top heavy item, although multi-filament printers offer a solution for this by allowing you to make part of the item in water soluble plastic that can be washed off.

The new technique is a variant of that idea that allows you to print gels - and they used off the shelf printers to do it. Essentially, you print one gel "inside" another one and then wash off the outer support. They've already 3D printed something rather like a heart - and hopefully should be able to use it as a scaffold to grow a patient a new heart in a lab. Given how many people die each year while waiting for transplants...