3D Printing News Blog

3D Printing News and Articles

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One man’s trash…

While we haven’t reached the point of being able to just shovel our used waterbottles into a machine in our house and have something new come out. We have moved one step closer with Liz Havlin’s open source project based on the work of Hugh Lyman. The device will be able to take recycled nuggets of plastic and spin it out into spools for printing. Liz is working on getting a kickstarter for the project up and running.


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3D Printers in Space



The thought of 3D printed materials being used in space exploration is quite fascinating. The revolution of 3D printing just continues to expand at an exponential rate. One of the main factors of NASA space exploration missions comes down to budget allotted by our government. In 2015, it has been reported that Congress has approved a $17.5 billion budget for NASA.

So, anything that could help ease the cost of materials heading to space would be a great benefit for exploration. Now, with 3D printers becoming smaller and more accessible, it will be possible for astronauts to bring the printers up to space with them, as listed in this recent article by phys.org:

“Manned missions could carry a 3D printer with them to ensure full self-reliance as they fly many months or years distant from Earth. Any broken item could be quickly and easily replaced.” This would absolutely come in handy if NASA does end up sending manned spacecraft to Mars.

One reason that this technology will be so useful for NASA is due to the type of manufacturing that 3D printing will allow. This is known as Additive Manufacturing (AM). Basically, rather than starting with a large mold that is chiseled down to create whatever objects are needed (known as Subtractive Manufacturing), with 3D printing you can create several smaller parts that you would then piece together. Certainly there will be more news on this in the future, so stay tuned!

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3D Printed Fails

3D printing is obviously a beautiful, beautiful thing. After all, this blog is entirely dedicated to it! But like anything else in life, this technology doesn’t always run smoothly. Whether it is caused by user error or other, not everything created by 3D printers comes out as beautiful creations. Below is a small list that highlight just a few 3D printed fails. Click the pictures to see more!

Supposed to be a skull:

11 Spectacular 3D Printer Failures



Vapor Bracelet Epic FailSubmitted by printedsolid


(Insert ‘worse than Jar-Jar’ joke here)

AT-AT 3D Printed Fail


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Ethics of Bioprinting Organs

Over a 100,000 people are on the waiting list for an organ transplant that could save their life. Although we are a few decades of from clearing up all the technical problems that comes with 3D-printed organs we have to begin to think about the ethical issues that will come with Bioprinting. This type of technology could save many people if they can afford it.

3D Printing will allow for personalized treatments for many different kinds of ailments. However, like today anything that you are not able to mass produce will be costly and printing functioning organs is extremely complex. We have to ask the question related to money first. Would everyone be able to afford these treatments and if not should we deny those who could afford the treatment? Is it fair to leave those who cannot afford it on the organ transplant list not knowing if an organ will arrive in time to save their lives?

Another issue that will come up with Bioprinting is during clinical trials. Those who try these new technologies first will be desperate and will serve as guinea pigs.With any new technology there will be a lot of failure before we figure out the right methods and techniques required to be successful and in many cases patients are not fully aware of this fact. They put their faith in the hands of their doctor who may or may not explain the procedure and the risks completely. Who will be making sure that doctors do not coerce the patients into having a procedure which my potentially do more harm then good just to further their research?

In 2004 the Biomedical Engineering Society approved a code of ethics. The ethics code addresses many of the issues that I have talked about today but who is making sure that bioengineers  follow these guidelines. 3D printing will be affecting our lives and our society in ways that we can only begin to imagine. It is vital to start dealing with the many ethical issues we will face as we move forward with Bioengineering.


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3D Printing News: Artificial Ears

Researchers have found a way to print 3D ears . This would not only help children born with deformities but also people who have last part or all of their ear in some form of accident or cancer. This is an amazing feat and one to change the future for the better.

3D printing is turning out to be an amazing discovery for science and medicine. However, we need to also think about the negative side effects that will undoubtedly effect our society. Should we freely be allowed to build and replace any body part or organ that stops working ? We have all read the books and seen the movies about humanoids who destroy our planet. The idea of a living robot is now not such a far fetched thought.


“Hear this: 3-D printing creates lifelike artificial ears; the prosthetic look and feel like the real thing, and could help accident victims or those with cancer.” Consumer Health News [English] 20 Feb. 2013. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
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