First drug made by a 3D printer

http://qz.com/471030/the-fda-has-approved-the-first-drug-made-by-a-3d-printer/

The FDA has approved the first drug made by a 3D printer

3D printing, a technology still in search of a market, may have just found a home in the world of medicine. The US Food and Drug Administration approved an epilepsy medicine called Spritam that is made by 3D printers, making it the first 3D-printed product that the FDA has approved for use inside the human body.

Aprecia, the pharmaceutical company behind Spritam, says that its new type of tablet is made by 3D-printing layers of the powdered drug, binding the layers of powder together, and then blowing away the excess powder. The drug’s unique structure allows it to dissolve considerably faster than the average pill, which as the news site 3DPrint points out is a boon to seizure sufferers who often are prescribed large, hard-to-swallow pills. Aprecia also says 3D printing will allow doctors to know that the medicine they’re prescribing delivers the exact dose intended, as each pill will be completely uniform.

This could prove to be an important step for integrating 3D printing more deeply into the US health system. Doctors in the US already use a government-sponsored 3D-printing repository to share tool designs to aid in surgeries and treatments; now scientists are working on 3D-printed tracheas and bones, as well as ears, kidneys and skin—which could one day help cover the massive shortage in donor organs.

While the quick-dissolving Spritam tablet is a world away from 3D-printed organs and body parts, its approval shows that the FDA thinks certain 3D-printed materials are safe for human consumption.

Rather like 3D printing itself, this drug could be the base layer the technology slowly builds upon, perhaps generating future medical innovations.

qz.com

by Mike Murphy | August 03, 2015

3D printing with glass

http://makezine.com/2015/06/26/new-3d-printer-uses-molten-glass/

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New 3D Printer Uses Molten Glass

Micron 3DP, a maker of extruders for 3D printing, has been exploring an exciting new area: 3D Printing with glass.

This exploration seems like a somewhat natural transition for the company. The “hot end” of the 3D printer is the part of the extruder assembly that literally melts the plastic which is then deposited in layers to make an object.

Many new materials have been appearing on the market, but they are typically mixtures of plastic that can melt at temperatures below 300 degrees Celsius. Micron has been toying with the ability to go to a much further extreme with this prototype which melts glass at a temperature of up to 1,640 C (2,984°F)!

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While the prints may not look too impressive initially, keep in mind that there is currently no quality control on glass rods to ensure that they are the perfect diameter for constant extrusion. With this in mind, you can surely excuse the crude and clumpy results. If Micron 3DP finds the right partner for further development, we could begin to see a whole series of glass created specifically for its printing properties just as we’ve seen in plastic filaments.

Printing in glass could have several benefits. Assuming that there was no contamination from materials in the hot end itself, glass can be food safe and even be used in medical practices. Due to the much higher melting point, glass parts will not be susceptible to warping as plastic parts are.

While glass is fun to imagine, simply having an extruder set up, no matter how crude, that can melt things consistently at that temperature opens up a lot of possibilities. Some fine tuning on temperature and we may see some simple and crude metal printing come out of this as well.

Currently this system is only a prototype, but Micron3DP is seeking a partner to further develop and refine the idea for market.

makezine.com

by  | June 26th, 2015 6:00 am