3D printing impact on human life

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/meet-3-kids-alive-today-thanks-to-a-3d-printer/

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Meet 3 kids alive today thanks to a 3D printer

A 3D printer saved the lives of three baby boys with the same life-threatening condition, their doctors report in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Kaiba Gionfriddo was six weeks old when he turned blue because his lungs weren’t getting enough oxygen. He was diagnosed with a terminal form of tracheobronchomalacia, a medical condition that causes the windpipe to periodically collapse and prevents normal breathing. With no cure and a low life expectancy, doctors told his mother April he may not make it out of the hospital alive.

Kaiba was one of the three babies who became the first in the world to receive 3D-printed devices that helped keep their airways open so they could breathe properly, thus saving their lives. “These cases broke new ground for us because we were able to use 3D printing to design a device that successfully restored patients’ breathing through a procedure that had never been done before,” Glenn Green, MD, an associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, said in a statement.

Tracheobronchomalacia affects about 1 in 2,000 children around the world, according to the doctors, and renders them unable to fully exhale. Using a 3D printer, Green and his colleagues were able to create and implant a customized splint around the airways of the three boys to expand the trachea and bronchus. This 3D printed device is made to change shape over time as the children grow, and eventually be reabsorbed by the body as the condition is cured.

The findings in the report suggest that this early intervention may prevent complications of conventional treatment of tracheobronchomalacia such as a tracheostomy, prolonged hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, cardiac and respiratory arrest, food malabsorption and discomfort.

Kaiba was the first to receive the implant three years ago and his doctors report that the splint has degraded and he appears to be disease-free. “Before this procedure, babies with severe tracheobronchomalacia had little chance of surviving,” Green said. “Today, our first patient Kaiba is an active, healthy 3-year-old in preschool with a bright future. The device worked better than we could have ever imagined.”

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Two other children have also had success with the device.

Garrett Peterson received one a the age of 16 months. Garrett spent the first year of his life in hospital beds tethered to a ventilator, being fed through his veins because his body was too sick to absorb food.

Since receiving the device, he has not shown signs of any complications and is leading a normal life, able to breathe properly, doctors say.

Ian Orbich’s condition was so grave that his heart stopped before he was even six months old. He received a customized 3D-printed splint and is now doing well at the age of 17 months.

Green and his colleagues received emergency clearance from the FDA to do the procedures. While these three cases appear to be a huge success, the doctors noted that this technology will take time to put into widespread practice. “The potential of 3D-printed medical devices to improve outcomes for patients is clear, but we need more data to implement this procedure in medical practice,” Green said. The authors also acknowledge that potential complications of the procedure may not yet be evident.

Yet if you ask Kaiba’s mom, April Gionfriddo, the procedure was nothing short of a miracle. “The first time he was hospitalized, doctors told us he may not make it out,” she said in a statement. “It was scary knowing he was the first child to ever have this procedure, but it was our only choice and it saved his life.”

cbsnews.com

by ASHLEY WELCH, CBS NEWS | April 29, 2015, 2:05 PM

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Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona and 3D printing

The still Unfinished Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona is Assisted by 3D Printing!

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31923259

Construction of the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona began in 1882 and the building is still unfinished. It was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi but by the time of his death in 1926, it was only one quarter complete.

The project, which relies on private donations, has developed slowly ever since and it is hoped the church will be completed by 2026.

And as BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly discovered, the 21st Century technology of 3D printing is now playing a crucial role in ensuring this 19th Century project will be completed.

References:

Help to wounded soldiers

Welcome to the Future of Emergency Medical Care!

http://goo.gl/X86HWd

US Marines of the 1st Division line up for a joined prayer at their base outside Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 6 , 2004. Four years into the Iraq war, President Bush is staring down a Congress in revolt. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

The U.S. military is reportedly looking into an idea that’s always seemed a little more like something straight out of a science-fiction novel.

The military is reportedly in talks with the University of Nevada to develop 3-D printed “twins” of American soldiers. The concept would require troops’ bodies to be scanned and images stored. Those images, in turn, would assist doctors and surgeons in developing 3-D printed prosthetic body parts should the soldiers ever become wounded in battle, according to 3DPrint.com.

“The idea is to image someone when they are in a healthy state so that the data is available if it’s needed at a later point,” James Mah, a clinical professor at the University of Nevada said.

“We have soldiers who get injured. They lose limbs and other tissues and it’s a challenge to reconstruct them in the field. but if they are imaged beforehand, you can send that over the internet and have a 3D printer in the field to produce the bone,” Mah said.

A similar method is already used among some in the medical field. Medical students, for example, use virtual operating tables that allow them to dissect and operate without ever needed an actual human body in front of them.

Image source: 3Dprint.com

The tables are created in much the same way as what the military is reportedly looking to do for wounded veterans. With an X-ray, MRI or ultrasound, an exact replica of a human body can be engraved into the table, thus creating a virtual cadaver.

But this isn’t an entirely new innovation as doctors have been developing 3-D printed body parts for a few years now. In 2013, doctors were able to create a virtual windpipe for a baby born with a rare, life-threatening condition. Another example happened in 2012 when doctors used the technology to give a 2-year-old girl motion back in her arms.

TheBlaze reached out to a Pentagon spokesman asking for more information on existing plans, but no immediate response was received.

THEBLAZE.COM
by  | February 19, 2015 11:59pm

3D printing helped with facial defect

3D Printing Has Another Positive Impact on a Child’s Life

http://goo.gl/3GZNgy

Check out this excellent story about a little girl named Violet born with a rare defect, a Tessier facial cleft, that left a fissure in her skull, and how 3D-printing is helping doctors take on these kinds of complicated surgeries. The piece is in today’s The New York Times and written by health reporter and CommonHealth contributor Karen Weintraub, who offers a little background:

Violet Pietrok was born nearly two years ago without a nose. Her eyes were set so far apart that her mom compared her vision to a bird of prey’s. There was a gap in the skull behind her forehead.

There was no question she would need drastic surgery to lead a normal life. But few surgeons have seen patients with problems as complex as Violet’s. Her parents, Alicia Taylor and Matt Pietrok, who live near Salem, Oregon, brought her to Boston Children’s Hospital, to Dr. John Meara, who had operated before on kids with Tessier facial clefts.

As part of Children’s Pediatric Simulator Program, Meara was able to get several 3D printed models made of Violet’s skull. By handling and slicing up the models, he got a better sense of what had gone wrong and how best to fix it.

Such 3D-printing is becoming more commonplace in complex surgeries, allowing doctors views and knowledge they can’t get on their screens.

From the Times story:

Such 3-D-printed models are transforming medical care, giving surgeons new perspectives and opportunities to practice, and patients and their families a deeper understanding of complex procedures. Hospitals are also printing training tools and personalized surgical equipment. Someday, doctors hope to print replacement body parts.

“There’s no doubt that 3-D printing is going to be disruptive medicine,” said Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, chief of medical imaging at the Ottawa Hospital and chairman and professor of radiology at the University of Ottawa. He is the former director of the applied imaging science lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a few blocks from Boston Children’s.

“It makes procedures shorter, it improves your accuracy,” said Dr. Rybicki, who has used 3-D printing in his work with face transplants. “When bioprinting actually hits, it will change everything.”

For now, the printer extrudes a layer of liquid plastic instead of ink. It adds a second layer, and then another, and a skull or rib cage — or whatever the surgeon dials up — slowly emerges.

The same process can also print layers of human cells. So far, researchers have also printed blood vessels, simple organs and bits of bone.

COMMONHEALTH.WBUR.ORG
by Rachel Zimmerman | 

Hendo hoverboard and 3D printing

Awesome Back to the Future Style Hoverboards Will Soon Be Available for Consumer Purchase, with a Helping Hand from 3D Printing.

http://goo.gl/aJdPYd

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We are one month into the year 2015, and despite predictions made by writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis in their 1985 Back to the Future we have yet to lay eyes on an actual working hoverboard. If you recall, Michael J. Fox’s character, Marty McFly’s preferred get-away vehicle in the film was a skateboard-like contraption which floated on a thin layer of air rather than relying on wheels for its movement.
Greg Henderson Arx Pax CEO, Co-founder

Even today such a vehicle seems nearly impossible, but after speaking with a man named Greg Henderson, CEO and Co-Founder of Arx Pax, parent company of Hendo Hoverboards, my opinion has drastically changed. Not only is Henderson constructing an actual hoverboard, but he and his team want to begin shipping the very first unit this year. And despite the skeptics who are out there, 3D printing is playing a major role in the speed at which Arx Pax is able to move forward with their plans.

A major Kickstarter success at the end of last year, raking in over $510,000, Arx Pax’s hover engines which will power their Hendo Hoverboard are more than just amazing. The company is making tremendous progress leading up to the expected October 21, 2015 launch date (Yes this is the date in which Marty McFly arrives in the Future in Back to the Future). This progress, as Henderson tells us, is sparked primarily by their use of 3D printing, a technology that he seems to be as excited about as we are here at 3DPrint.com.

Speaking of a specific key component used in the first prototype of their hover engine Henderson told us the following:

“The first one I designed it took a week to get it manufactured at a machine shop out of aluminum. It cost $500, and we had to bring it back and put it together. Today we print new components that essentially replace that component for about $1.50 in filament and 60-90 minutes of print time. “

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I asked him where his company would be if he did not have access to 3D printing.

“I think it’s a very safe bet to say that we wouldn’t be where we are,” explained Henderson to 3DPrint.com. “We would still be hovering things, but it would be in the first generation not our 20th. We are much further along than we would have been. We have saved a great deal of money by using 3D printing, absolutely!”

The company’s first printer was a 3D Systems-made CubeX. From there they purchased a MakerBot Replicator, which they have put hundreds upon hundreds of hours of print time on already. Recently they acquired a printer from Ultimaker, which Henderson feels has really been a benefit to the company because of its high resolutions, and ability to provide near-exact dimensions when needed on the fly.

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“It would be great to move at some point to a professional or production 3D printer that has more capabilities than PLA or ABS does,” explained Henderson. ” But, man this is such a phenomenal technology because we are able to rapidly iterate where it might [normally] take weeks of turn around time to design, test and build some component. We can even at a sub-scale test a component’s mechanical connections, and all sorts of other things which would be prohibitedly expensive, but instead we are able to knock these things out, test and iterate within a day.”

The company is primarily using PLA in their printers, and Henderson informs us that he hasn’t seen any real benefit to ABS beside finish appearance, which they are not concerned with at this time.

During the company’s prototyping of the hover engine’s components they experimented with outsourcing parts to other companies as well, but in the end they found that 3D printing the parts in-house was the way to go. It has enabled them to think about problems in new ways, which according to Henderson is particularly exciting when creating a new industry.

As for whether we will eventually see end use components within the actual hoverboard later this year, that is doubtful. However, Henderson tells us, there are certain one-off pieces that they are selling right now, or would consider selling, which are entirely appropriate to 3D print and are individually customizable.

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If you were one of the backers of the Hendo Hoverbord, then Henderson has some good news that you will like to hear. As of now, the company is on track to meet their deadlines, and several additional prototypes have been constructed since the end of their Kickstarter campaign. These prototypes feature different engine characteristics and configurations, almost all of which include 3D printed components. He wants his backers to be pleasantly surprised and ultimately provide them with more than what they are expecting.

As for Henderson’s personal opinion on 3D printing technology and where it’s headed, he closed the interview with the following statement:

“I would say if you are trying to solve a problem and you can conceptualize this in a physical way, 3D printing offers you a tool, that if you are not taking advantage of it you should certainly consider it. Rapid iteration and being able to redefine problems to make sure you are asking the right questions, is something that in previous human history has been prohibitive; you make a decision, you make something and you live with it. We don’t have to do that any more.”

I will be waiting eagerly to see just what Henderson and his team bring forth by year’s end. How about you? Disucuss in the Hendo Hoverboard forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | JANUARY 28, 2015

Brain tumor defeated? – help of 3D printing technology

A 3D Imaging Expert Takes Matters Into His Own Hands, Saving his Wife in the Process

http://goo.gl/OjSJor

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In the summer of 2013, Pamela Shavaun Scott started having “24/7 severe headaches” — so severe that she couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t before December that she heard for sure that it was a brain tumor.

Initially, when Scott had an MRI, radiologists seemed unconcerned when they discovered a mass over an inch in diameter. About three months later, after another MRI, doctors said that it had ballooned about half a centimeter, a sign of malignance. Scott’s husband, Michael Balzer, requested her DICOM files, which are commonly used for medical imaging.

As first detailed by Make magazine, Balzer, who is a 3D imaging expert behind the websiteAllThings3D, used Photoshop and layered the 2D images to compare what radiologists were telling his wife to his own research. He found the tumor hadn’t grown at all. It was clear they couldn’t simply rely on what the doctors were saying.

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This image shows that two radiologists from the same clinic came up with two different measurements, despite the tumor not growing at all, Balzer said.

Scott, who is a family psychotherapist that researches things like video game addiction, said several neurosurgeons told her that, because of the mass’ location (behind her left eye), the only option was “sawing your skull open” and lifting the brain to remove the tumor, which, of course, comes with tons of risks, including possible cognitive damage and blindness. Scott worried she’d never be the same.

It was the second time doctors were telling the couple about frightening possible scenarios; Scott had her thyroid removed in 2013, an altogether separate medical ordeal. Some doctors predicted similarly invasive procedures for that, but through diligence, she was able to undergo a comparatively minor procedure at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Balzer began experimenting with 3D imaging technology from other parts of the world. Using a tool called InVesalius — open-source software from Brazil that uses DICOM, MRI and CT files to visualize medical images — as well as another imaging software 3D Slicer, he was able to create renderings of his wife’s tumor. The couple sent them out to hospitals across the country around February, Balzer said.

UPMC — the same hospital where Scott had here thyroid removed — agreed to take on the operation. The procedure, compared to the other options, was almost completely harmless. Instead of sawing into her skull and lifting the brain, the doctors planned to go through her eyelid.

The couple sent the hospital the DICOM files, as well the 3D volume renderings. And about three weeks prior to when the couple arrived in Pittsburgh for Scott’s surgery, Balzer sent the surgeons a physical 3D rendering of parts of his wife’s skull so they could examine and look at what they were dealing with. He said it was the first time doctors had something like that.

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The surgeons were able to remove 95% of the tumor (about 5% was wrapped around the optical nerve — too dangerous to remove). There’s a very slim chance that it will grow back, the couple said. After the surgery, Scott said it took her fewer than three weeks to recover enough to return to work.

Though Balzer’s 3D renderings can’t take all the credit for how smoothly everything went, he said that the surgeons were “very excited” about what he had done. He also realized that he didn’t need to rely on doctors alone for medical advice.

“There’s a lot of open-source stuff out there,” Balzer said. “The Internet is a very powerful tool now. People shouldn’t just rely on their doctor’s recommendations.”

MASHABLE.COM
by Rex Santus | JAN 14, 2015

3D printing revolutionising war and foreign policy

An Interesting Look at 3D Printing’s Inevitable Impact on Politics & Global Warfare

http://goo.gl/7BN9Rm

3D printing will revolutionise war and foreign policy, say experts, not only by making possible incredible new designs but by turning the defence industry on its head.
For many, 3D printing still looks like a gimmick, used for printing useless plastic figurines and not much else.

But with key patents running out this year, new printers that use metal, wood and fabric are set to become much more widely available — putting the engineering world on the cusp of major historical change.

The billion-dollar defence industry is at the bleeding edge of this innovation, with the US military already investing heavily in efforts to print uniforms, synthetic skin to treat battlewounds, and even food, said Alex Chausovsky, an analyst at IHS Technology.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have already invented “4D printing” — creating materials that change when they come into contact with elements such as water.

One day, that could mean things like printed uniforms that change colour depending on their environment.

In the real world, the baby steps are already being taken.

Late last year, British defence firm BAE Systems put the first printed metal part in a Tornado jet fighter.

The company recently put out an animated video showing where they think such humble beginnings could one day lead.

It imagined a plane printing another plane inside itself and then launching it from its undercarriage.

“It’s long term, but it’s certainly our end goal to manufacture an aerial vehicle in its entirety using 3D printing technology,” Matt Stevens, who heads BAE’s 3D printing division, told AFP.

Revolutionising war and politics

But the real revolution of 3D printing is less about the things you can make and more about where you make them.

Being able to take printers to a warzone promises a radical shake-up of combat and the defence industry, says Peter W Singer, an expert in future warfare at the New America Foundation.

“Defence contractors want to sell you an item but also want to own the supply chain for 50 years,” he says.

“But now you’ll have soldiers in an austere outpost in somewhere like Afghanistan who can pull down the software for a spare part, tweak the design and print it out.”

This could lead militaries to cut out private defence companies altogether. And by combining 3D printing with assembly line robotics, those that remain will be enormously streamlined.

That sort of disruption carries huge political implications in places like the United States where defence firms are purposefully spread around the country and support millions of jobs.

“The Pentagon and defence industry have an incredibly tough time with innovation, but you don’t want to wait to lose a major battle before you do it,” says Singer.

3D printing could even change foreign policy, for instance by undermining sanctions.

“The US has sanctioned everything from fighter jet spare parts to oil equipment. 3D printing could turn sanctions — which have been a crucial part of foreign policy for a generation or more — into an antiquated notion,” says Singer.

Then there are the scarier prospects that come with reducing the barriers to arms manufacturing.

“Think of master bombmakers in the Middle East making new designs that look like everyday products or a lone wolf operator printing a plastic gun he can get past security at the White House,” says Chausovsky.

But all of that may pale in comparison to the security risks that 3D printing could trigger by revolutionising economies.

If anyone can print retail goods, economies that rely on cheap factory labour to make things like clothes and toys may find themselves in deep trouble — with all the security consequences that go with that.

“If you want to know where the big threat of 3D printing is, think about how reliant China is on its low-cost merchandising sector,” says Chausovsky.

‘Can’t drill a curved hole’

3D printing — invented in the 1980s — is much older than many realise.

The recent upsurge in interest is tied to the fact that patents on the original technology are expiring — opening the way for competition that will drive up quality and push down prices.

The first major patents to run out were in 2009 for a system that used plastics known as “fused deposition modelling”.

But the next big ones, that expired in the first half of 2014, are related to “selective laser syntering” that prints metals such as aluminium, copper and steel, and with much greater definition.

And rather than working with solid lumps of metal, engineers can create complex new shapes that use much less material without losing any strength.

“You can’t drill a curved hole,” says Chausovsky. “With 3D printing, you’re creating products that would never be possible with traditional methods.

The full implications are still hard to imagine.

“It’s the first time in a very long time that there’s been such a radical shake up in industrial engineering,” says Stevens at BAE. “We’re not just improving things — we’re re-writing the rule book.”

References:

Impact of 3D printing on the Aerospace Industry

Follow the link below to see the potential impact of 3D printing on the Aerospace Industry. The sky’s the limit with these two combined! 🙂

http://3dprint.com/26081/3d-printing-aerospace-5-uses/

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Like many industries, the aerospace industry is increasingly adopting 3D printing and rapid prototyping technologies to develop aircraft parts in the pursuit of trimming down manufacturing costs. As a matter of fact, one of the major players in the aerospace domain, Boeing, already makes use of 3D printing technology extensively and printed over 22,000 parts last year.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner apparently has 30 printed parts, which in itself is an industry record. Moreover, General Electric (GE) recently announced an investment of $50 million to 3D print fuel nozzles for the next-generation LEAP jet engine. The sudden inclination of aerospace industry towards additive manufacturing is mainly due to the possibility to achieve significant weight reduction. According to American Airlines, for every pound of weight removed from the aircraft, the company saves 11,000 gallons of fuel annually.

Vivek Saxena, VP of Aerospace Operations at technology consulting companyICF International, said that additive manufacturing currently accounts for as low as 0.0002% of the worldwide manufacturing market. More specifically in aerospace, this percentage is about 0.002% of the $150 billion aerospace parts market. However, many industry observers, like Saxena, forecast that the market for 3D printed parts in aerospace is expected to reach $2 billion within the next decade. With such an excessive proliferation of additive manufacturing/3D printing in aerospace industry, its potential applications in the future seem to be even more promising. Here are five most possible applications of additive manufacturing for aerospace that can be expected in near future.

Aircraft Wings

While smaller parts in aircraft are already being developed using 3D printing techniques, Boeing also envisions printing an entire airplane wing in the future. The present 3D printing techniques have limitations when it comes to printing large objects, as with the increase in dimensions there’s a possibility of building up of internal stresses, leading to distortion. However, a recent technique developed by BAE Systems involves making stronger metal parts by striking them repeatedly using ultrasonic tool as each layer gets printed. This allows relieving of the stresses from the part, thereby paving the way to print large objects such as aircraft wings.

Complex Engine Parts

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Apart from 3D printed nozzles, GE is also developing 3D printed parts for the GE9X engine, which is the world’s largest jet engine designed for the next generation Boeing 777X long haul passenger jet. The use of 3D printing is also expected to be useful in developing testing prototypes to check clearances, angles and tolerances without investing in CNC machining. Recently, Autodesk and Stratasys collaborated to develop a full scale model of the turbo-prop engine using 3D printing, demonstrating the future capabilities of 3D printing for developing jet engine parts.

On-Demand Parts in Space

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At present, NASA’s next space exploration vehicle consists of about 70 3D printed parts; yet, they are developed on the ground here on earth, which elongates the supply chain drastically. Printing parts on-demand directly in space would significantly reduce the cost and planning cycles required to send a rocket in space with necessary replacement and repair tools. 3D printing on-demand parts in space is what being currently investigated by groups like Made in Space and Lunar Buildings. In collaboration with NASA, Made in Space is conducting zero gravity tests to experiment 3D printing on the International Space Station, which would allow astronauts to print tools and parts when required.

Unmanned Aerial Systems

Recently, BAE Systems unveiled 2,040 aircraft engineering concepts incorporating on-board 3D printing to develop UAVs. The concept explains how an aircraft examines the disaster and reports to the mission control where the required engineering data is fed to the on-board printers to print unmanned aerial vehicles according to the requirements of the disaster scenario. Eventually, these 3D printed UAVs will perform rescue operations or monitor the situation. While this concept is still on the drawing board, BAE Systems has already invested ₤117m in research and development to ensure that these concepts can be turned into a reality.

3D Printing as a Service (3DPaaS)

NASA is looking ahead to explore 3D printing as a service for rapid pre-prototyping. “3D printing makes it easier to capture the imagination of the mission concepts. We can see what others are imagining,” said Tom Soderstrom, IT chief technology officer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Using 3DPaaS, engineers could obtain peer reviews, alternative design concepts, and approval for final prototype. With open source design development, there will be a possibility to integrate multiple ideas from the outside, thereby reducing the build time considerably and also minimizing costs.

Discuss this story in the 3D Printing and Aerospace forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | NOVEMBER 23, 2014

3D printed garden !

Time to spruce up those boring city rooftops! 3D printed gardens are now becoming a thing of the present! 🙂

http://www.businessinsider.com/3d-print-plants-for-city-gre…

Patrick Blanc vertical garden

Too many city rooftops are barren, grey, and boring. Computer scientist Yuichiro Takeuchi, who works with the Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. is out to change that.Takeuchi has found a way to print gardens filled with herbs and flowers. These gardens can then be planted on rooftops, or pretty much anywhere.

He uses a 3D printer and software that he designed to print yarn encasements that hold plant seeds that grow in to full-fledged plants in just a few weeks. His 3D printing technology can print gardens that conform to any shape you choose be it, triangular, rectangular, or even panda-shaped:

3d printing garden

The way Takeuchi’s method works is to first design your shape on a computer. Then you feed that design into the 3D printer, which prints yarn in the shape of your choosing.

Yuichiro Takeuchi, Sony Computer Science Laboratories3D printer prints felt in the shape you choose.

Once the 3D printer is finished, an attachment to the printer dispenses tiny seeds into the yarn.

Seed-dispenser attached to 3D printer releases seeds into felt.

Takeuchi’s approach hinges on a method called hydroponics where you grow plants with mineral nutrient material in place of soil. This is how some of those amazing vertical gardens are grown, like this one in France designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc.

Creations like the one above can run commissioners $1000 per square meter. Although it might be less expensive to build one yourself, it takes a lot of time and care. High prices and long hours of manual labor are the two factors that are hindering large-scale adoption and preventing greener cities, Takeuchi told Business Insider in an email interview. But 3D printing could be the key.

“The printing solution takes away much of those hurdles, and also provides a high degree of flexibility (one can print out a garden that fits snugly into any designated space) which hopefully will make hydroponic gardening more attractive for citizen living in dense cities with limited space,” said Takeuchi.

Takeuchi presented his ideas for a greener future last month at the Sony CSL symposium, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Right now, Takeuchi can grow relatively small plants, like watercress and herbs such as arugula and basil. Below is an image of one of the plants he grew in about one month:

3d printing plant

In the future, Takeuchi wants to print yarn encasements large enough to grow fruits, vegetables, and trees. His current 3D printer is too slow for that large a scale, but he’s spending the next year on building a bigger, faster printer.

3d print plant

Ultimately, Takeuchi envisions his city of residence, Tokyo, lush with blooming rooftops. Plants have proven to increase productivity in the office and they’re ability to suck up carbon dioxide and output oxygen is one way cities could help mitigate their carbon footprint.

Takeuchi is interested in transforming Tokyo rooftops for another special reason, however:

“Here in Japan we love fireflies (they have a special cultural significance), but as they can only thrive in pristine environments we don’t see them in dense, built-up Tokyo,” he said. “I’m hoping that by installing a number of printed gardens on rooftops and walls throughout Tokyo, I can someday bring back fireflies to my neighborhood.”

Below is a a before and after image of what Takeuchi hopes to achieve, which he presented at the Sony CSL symposium:

greenroofs 3d printing

Before and after comparison of what rooftops currently look like and what they could look like in the future.

BUSINESSINSIDER.COM
by  | Oct. 23, 2014, 3:18 PM

Library of 3D printed resources

Check out how much 3D printing has to offer for the visually impaired!

http://3dprint.com/19173/librarylyna-3d-print-blind/

3D Printed Model of an Isosceles Triangle

With all the hoopla and headlines surrounding 3D printing innovation, it’s also good to get back to basics and focus on the major impact this technology can have in the classrooms–especially in those of the visually impaired.

Educational tools geared specifically toward blind students can improve their quality of life substantially—as well as improving drop-out rates across the board. The team at LibraryLyna is on a mission to create and provide both teacher and student accessibility to these educational tools by ‘hosting the largest collection of high quality educational 3D models to foster learning of the blind and visually impaired.

“Kevin’s simple, practical concept is revolutionary and will transform the education of the blind and visually impaired,” said Marc Ashton, CEO of Foundation for Blind Children.

Currently, according to the census, around 88% of citizens twenty five years and older in the U.S. have attained a high school degree or equivalent, while only 32.2% of visually impaired in the U.S. ages twenty one years and older have a high school diploma or equivalent. While visual status and educational status are not what define a person, anything that can be done to improve either of those issues is nothing but positive.

LibraryLyna 1

Through raising the bar—as well as the texture and dimension of learning tools for the blind,LibraryLyna also hopes to raise enthusiasm levels andexpectations for graduation rates. Many teachers of visually impaired students are left with the frustrating and somewhat heartbreaking task of trying to teach their students while lacking the proper tools, forcing them to try and make homemade resources on their own. This would be a task for teachers instructing students who are not visually impaired, thus understandably making the challenge virtually impossible for TVI’s.

“Many times, it is too difficult to create these models from scratch. We focus on creating and hosting this ‘missing’ educational material,” Kevin Yang, President and Founder of LibraryLyna, told 3DPrint.com. “We are actively trying to level the playing field; maybe with our help, blind students will have the same opportunities as their sighted peers.”

Yang’s father, Dr. Peichun Yang, is the co-founder of LibraryLyna. The senior Yang is a blind engineer and scientist with a Ph.D in Material Science. Having lost his sight seventeen years ago, he has years of knowledge when it comes to technology to aid the visually impaired.

3D Printed Multiplication Table

The young and very bright Kevin Yang does not remember a time when his dad could see, and he sometimes endured great frustration and challenge in trying to explain his creative and interesting ideas to his father. Eventually he was intrigued and inspired by 3D printing because he discovered an excellent method of demonstrating and communicating ideas and designs to the elder Yang.

With this inspiration and motivation, he felt he was given a purpose in life at a young age.

“3D modeling came with a good amount of struggling and frustration, but fortunately the things that I wanted to explain to my dad were simple and geometric, using only basic techniques of 3D design. This technology was a revelation!” says Yang. “After printing a few of my models through 3D printing vendors such as Shapeways and Materialise and giving them to my dad, I didn’t even have to do any explaining.”

It was no fleeting interest or hobby for sure, and in 2013, Polymer Braille Inc. invited Kevin Yang to use 3D design and printing to create a complicated multidimensional concept that would help to explain to blind people the mechanical mechanisms of a braille display.’ This 3D printed display was very inspiring to his father.

“My dad and I put 3D printing on a pedestal, as if it were the holy grail for clear communication,” says Yang.

Kevin and his father both agreed they had the tools together to help visually impaired students, and Yang, after four years in attendance at the National Federation of the Blind Convention, was a presenter regarding the work he had done in the classroom with 3D printing. With the help of the Diagram Center, support from employees at Pearson, and the Foundation for Blind Children, Kevin founded LibraryLyna.

LibraryLyna is working to offer a comprehensive package that gives support to the teachers and students, allowing the teachers to contact LibraryLyna with a specific request for what 3D printed tools they need for lessons, and then LibraryLyna goes to work on getting them what they need, most often through ‘curating pre-existing art.

“We find useful models from websites like Thingiverse, and host them on our website which offers a screen-reader, which is software that blind individuals use to navigate electronic devices,” Yang told 3DPrint.com.“LibraryLyna is taking the initiative to move 3D printing into hands of those who really need it.”

LibraryLyna is working to make sure that classrooms for visually impaired students are thriving, and that teachers never have to worry about finding resources within the inventory of STEM-based 3D printed materials that LibraryLyna will provide them.

“If pictures are worth a thousand words, 3D models should be worth a million words–heck, even a billion,” says Keven Yang.

Have you been involved in 3D printing any items for individuals with handicaps or visual impairment? Tell us about it in the LibraryLyna Forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | OCTOBER 14, 2014