Tattoos to 3D printing!

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/sep/04/tattoos-to-3d-printing-five-inventions-that-will-revolutionise-healthcare

contact lens

Tattoos to 3D printing: five inventions that will revolutionise healthcare

Most people know they are sick or their health is at risk because of symptoms – pain, temperature, swelling, rash etc. These are the alarm bells that drive people to doctors. However, new epidemics like obesity and type 2 diabetes can start causing damage a long time before symptoms appear, and no alarms go off.

Today we can meet these challenges with new allies. Beyond the health and fitness uses, the new world of wearables (external surface sensors) and, in time, digestibles (nanoparticle sensors that can transmit information from within), offer the opportunity to restore control back to us. Advances in biotechnology as well as material science offer us alternatives never before dreamed possible.

Google’s smart contact lens
This contact lens has an embedded sensor that measures the glucose level in your tears every second and transmits that data to a device (ie a smartphone) where it can be displayed or transmitted to a medical professional. It can also change colour if glucose levels fall below or rise above specific levels. The limiting step at the moment is powering the device. Currently it includes a small antenna which is placed between two layers of glass along with the sensor but this has to be close to a power source.

Medical tattoos
Butterfly biostamps the size of a thumbnail measure sun exposure, and a medical stamp can measure motion, temperature, heart rate and perspiration, or oxygen saturation.

There’s a new version that can be placed directly on brain tissue to monitor epileptic seizures and one that can be draped around the heart helping better detect arrhythmias and give finer control to pacemakers. The latter would use the heart’s motion to convert the energy of muscular contraction into electrical energy.

The 2025 vision is that every baby in the developing world will be tagged with several biostamps at birth. One on the wrist or ankle would replace the hospital bracelet and allow nurses to monitor the baby’s heart rate, temperature respiratory rate and oxygenation.

At UC San Diego, they have created a different type of tattoo which currently lasts on the skin for about 24 hours, applying a very mild electrical current to the skin surface for 10 minutes forcing sodium ions to migrate towards the printed electrodes. A built-in sensor then interprets the strength of the charge generated to determine a person’s overall glucose levels. Two further refinements are needed to make this ready; at present it is not connected to a numeric read out, and they are working to extend the life beyond 24 hours.

Biological 3D printing
A team at Princeton printed a bionic ear and a team at Cambridge has printed retinal cells to form complex eye tissue. But Jennifer Lewis, a biological engineering professor at Harvard, has solved the dilemma of how to print tissues with full blood supply (essential if you are going to create functional replacement organs) and has taken her team closer to being able to print a full kidney (currently the most widely transported organ). Making complete organs requires even more complex structures but with new innovations we can look to a future where damaged or worn out organs, from kidneys to hearts, could be printed to precise design specifications.

Optogenetics
Various forms of direct stimulation to the brain (implanted electrodes, vagal nerve stimulation etc) have been used in a variety of situations including depression. Now there is the possibility to use encoded genetic proteins that change in the presence of light to stimulate areas of the brain non-invasively for a particular purpose. While initial approaches used methods to genetically alter cells that could result in cell destruction limiting their practical value, the University of Chicago has recently developed an alternative which uses tiny gold nanoparticles that allow the modification of cells using low-level infrared lights and which remain intact and effective within cells over the long term without hurting or damaging nearby cells. While still in its infancy, in the next 10 years we will see new approaches and even more refined procedures of central nervous stimulation used to do everything from enhance learning to treat depression.

Real-time physiological monitoring
A low-cost device with multiple sensors that could monitor heart rate, temperature, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, respiratory rate, fluid state, and glucose could provide a comprehensive output on the body’s dynamic health. While still in phased development, the first versions of such devices exist in the US and Switzerland. Couple their sensor capabilities with analytic data fusion software and you have real-time dynamic physiological data. No longer do I need to do an artificial stress test to see how your heart behaves under strain or what is most likely to push you into diabetic crisis. Now I can see that your heart’s function was pushed to extremes at 2pm on Thursday and 5pm on Friday. With a report of your body’s reaction to exercise, increased stress at work, overeating, episodic illness, lack of sleep, you can not only assess your vulnerability but understand what patterns in your life will most likely tip you over the edge. When I get up in the morning currently I know more about the state of my car than I do about my own health. With these technologies finally that is about to change.

theguardian.com

by David Whitehouse, Chief medical officer, UST Global | Friday 4 September 2015

Advertisements

The world’s smallest phone charger

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150819-3d-printing-helps-uk-designers-develop-the-nipper-the-worlds-smallest-phone-charger.html

3D printing helps UK designers develop The Nipper, ‘The World’s Smallest Phone Charger’

When considering that nearly everybody carries a smartphone these days – in addition to their keys and wallet – it makes perfect sense why so many designers and manufacturers have been actively designing accessories ranging from speakers and cases to stands and sleeves for the mobile devices.  However, the one problem that everybody runs into is also among one of the most difficult to solve: battery life.

Inspired by the need to create a portable, on-the-go power solution for smartphone users that doesn’t involve carrying bulky cases or powerpacks, designers Doug Stokes and Chris Tait of Design on Impulse in the UK recently created what they are calling “The World’s Smallest Phone Charger” – AKA “The Nipper”.

Consisting of two AA batteries and a magnet that reside on a user’s keyring (the batteries are only installed when in use), the 10 gram Nipper is capable of charging smartphones while users are out and about or perhaps most importantly – during an emergency situation.

“The Nipper was primarily designed for emergency use,” explain the designers.

“When all else fails, when all hope is lost – in situations where you desperately need to use your phone but have no access to laptops, electrical sockets, wind turbines or solar panels the Nipper will be there for you.”

The design of the Nipper contains 3 neodynium magnets that are responsible for both making an electrical connection to the circuit board as well as holding the batteries together.  According to the designers, the circuit is actually a “boost converter” that converts the power from the batteries into a 5v power supply to charge your phone.  For today’s modern smartphones, this means that the batteries can supply an additional 10% battery capacity in 30 minutes, and 20% in just over an hour.

Like so many other hardware developers today, Stokes and Tait turned to 3D printing to make their idea for the World’s Smallest Phone Charger real – and have put the concept on Kickstarter to help it gain some traction; already, the campaign has surpassed their $10K goal by more than $3K and it has three weeks left to go.

“If we’re making small volumes of Nippers, we’ll 3D print the cases out of high quality nylon, but if demand is high and we have to make a full Nipper army we’re going to injection mold the cases out of polypropylene,” says the designers.

“The two halves of the Nipper are connected by either fabric or genuine leather straps. The neodynium are nickel plated on the classic Nippers, and gold plated on the premium Nippers.”

While the concept is certainly impressive, the fact that Tait and Stokes just graduated school together and entered a national design competition to develop The Nipper makes the story all the more impressive.

“One moment we were doing our finals and the next we were in the centre of London, working on a product we’d come up with in our flat which we’d been given support to make into a reality,” said Stokes.

“A lot of people who have just graduated are spending the summer travelling or trying to find a job and move out of home. But being able to go straight from university to working in Somerset House every day, where you’ve got Parliament on one side and St Paul’s on the other, is pretty amazing.”

Considering that the device comes in a number of colors and will likely expand to include multiple strap options, the charger is likely to fit with anybody’s style similar to modern smartphone case designs.

For those interested, a ‘Classic Nipper’ can be purchased starting at just $23 over on Kickstarter.

3ders.org

by Simon | Aug 19, 2015

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150819-3d-printing-helps-uk-designers-develop-the-nipper-the-worlds-smallest-phone-charger.html

NEODiVR Environment-sensing VR System

http://3dprint.com/72131/awe-2015-occipital-neodivr-vr-headset-3d-printing-iphone-sensor/

images (1)

NEODiVR Environment-sensing VR System – 3D Printing, iPhone 6 & Structure Sensor Come Together

As the world of 3D printing evolves and revolves, it has developed kinships with other technologies that seem to function as symbiotic cousins. Both virtual and augmented reality fit right into that category, and not only are they parallel similar technologies, but they often employ 3D printing due to the affordability and flexibility involved in prototyping. With many iterations usually being required, for AR and VR, it’s usually very helpful to be able to create a new prototype on whim or at the last minute.

MiTmVFh8PK2vG6gokZcHLvLC9nW9YdUNyxRzfQYdrzo,zgJSrVLTsLuP0tf0gYGUovmJpI-06Bbvcbk5YUzE62M (1)

And now, factoring 3D printing right into the final product, along with the iPhone 6,Occipital has announced today at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara (AWE 2015) that users can now create their own AR experience through the NEODiVR system with just four things:

  • Structure Sensor
  • 3D printed NEODiMOUNT case and matching NEODiVR conversion plate
  • HOMiDO VR headset
  • iPhone 6

While you can try this out if you are on hand today at the Expo, it’s easy to put together if you own the iPhone and a Structure Sensor. If so, all you will need extraneously is the HOMiDO VR headset and the ability to 3D print a custom attachment piece to create the system.

This is a spectacular AR gizmo that allows you to enter another world right from your living room or yard. Previously this technology was connected only to the iPad; with the inception of the iPhone 6, however, the entire setup is able to be transferred to the smartphone.

“You may remember that I’ve covered the previous version at CES of this device when we had it hooked up to a tablet,” says Michael Balzer of All Things 3D. “At that time I thought what a great idea if we could apply this to a headset, so I spent the last six months creating what I call NEODiVR.”

device

In the video you will find below, he shows off the 3D printed iPhone case that he designed, which is attached to the Structure Sensor, as he dons the headset, allowing him to experience VR and AR with six degrees of motion.

One puts on the headset and connects the Structure Sensor, which quite simply adds a depth sensor allowing every step you take in your living room to be recreated in the virtual world, whether you are crouching like a ninja or high-stepping it in pure unabashed fun.

“What they have done by attaching the sensor to the actual screen means they now are able to project the prime sensor feel or pattern and pick up the mesh information in real time of the objects around them,” says Balzer.”

This means you aren’t just going into the technology blindly either as physical objects are introduced into the VR world, eliminating the risk of tripping, embarrassment, and bodily injury.

view

It is a compact mobile device requiring no power source, and allows you to use 3D printing brackets to attach it to the iPhone or to an iPad with a Lightning connector. It allows your smartphone to understand the world in 3D.

The sensor is a hardware platform that works quite well on an iOS device, allowing you to:

  • Perform 3D mapping of indoor spaces, with measurements and ‘virtual redecoration’
  • Integrate AR games where virtual is completely connected to the physical world
  • Use body scanning during fitness tracking, as well as virtual clothes fitting
  • Play virtual reality games using 3D environments imported from the real world
  • Perform 3D object scanning just using the app, without hardware

Does this look like a VR/AR device you’d like to put together yourself and try out? Will you or were you on hand at AWE 2015 to check this out? Tell us about it in the Occipital’s NEODiVR AR/VR System forum over at 3DPB.com.

up close

3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 9, 2015

Control a smartphone with sound waves

http://3dprint.com/65250/3d-print-control-smartphone/

d2

3D Printing Allows Researchers to Control a Smartphone with Sound Waves

It’s no secret that Disney Research is incredibly interested in all aspects of 3D printing. We’ve seen what seems like a laundry list of innovative applications for the technology, coming from the talent at Disney.

This week a research paper surfaced, authored by Gierad Laput, Scott E Hudson and Chris Harrison of both Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute, and Eric Brokmeyer of only Disney Research. In the report, titled ‘Acoustruments: Passive, Acoustically-Driven, Interactive Controls for Handheld Devices,’ researchers detail a method in which they are able to make tactile controls that can direct a smartphone’s actions via sound, without the need for any form of additional electronic devices. And best of all, a large portion of these devices are able to be 3D printed as prototypes.

d5

When I was a child, my grandfather gave me his old TV. Although the picture wasn’t all that clear, as it dated back to 1976, I had a television set unlike anyone else I knew. It had a remote control that required no batteries. It was a passive remote which gave off a sound that the TV was able to recognized as one of five directions; volume up, volume down, channel up, channel down, and finally if you clicked the volume button three times the TV would shut off. The research presented in this recent paper brought back memories of both my grandfather and that TV.

Like with my old TV, researchers were able to utilize ultrasonic waves to control a device., only this time the sounds were coming from the speaker of a smartphone and were diverted through a series of tiny 3D printed pipes no larger then a centimeter in any direction. The pipes were designed in Rhino, and its Grasshopper visual language, and fabricated using a Stratasys Objet260 Connex 3D Printer. They were all printed out of a material known as VeroClear-RGD810 UV-cured photopolymer. Dependent on the size, shape, and bends within each pipe, the output from the smartphone speaker would transform as it shoots through various pipe types. At the other end of these pipes is the smartphone’s microphone. Researchers were able to program the phone, allowing it to recognize various sounds as commands for a specific function. All these pipes were intricately placed within different devices based on whatever passive tool the researchers were creating.  They called these devices Acoustruments, ‘Low-cost, passive, and powerless mechanisms, made from plastic, that can bring rich, tangible functionality to handheld devices.’

d3

The researchers presented several applicable examples of what these passive systems could be used for, including an alarm clock, smartcase, interactive doll and an interactive toy car.

“Our experiments show that Acoustruments can achieve 99% accuracy with minimal training, is robust to noise, and can be rapidly prototyped,” wrote the researchers.

d4

The most impressive aspects of these methods is the fact that no battery power, no wired connections or other complicated setups are required. The plastic 3D printed pieces are able to control a smartphone, using only sounds. What this does is exploit the phone’s powerful internal computer and integrate it with these external devices.

Disney Research has noted that most of the tubing could in fact be manufactured on a mass scale using traditional techniques such as injection molding, but the 3D printed parts they prototyped seem to work just as well.

It will be interesting to see where this research leads us, and if we may begin seeing games, tools and other applications which passively utilize our smartphone’s computational capacity in a whole new way. Let us know your thoughts on this research in the 3D Printed Passive Smartphone Control forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | MAY 14, 2015