3. Body Parts
The notion is not to grow back human organs rather print organs with living cells integrated in them. Engineers at Cornell University managed to print a working ear utilizing cells pulled from a patient’s rib. The cells were mixed into a gel material that the 3D printer could use to build a model and after three months, the ear actually began growing its own cartilage. San Diego research company Organovo has successfully printed human liver tissue that functions like a normal human tissue and although they don’t have a full liver yet, they certainly are headed in the right direction.
Many research groups are already working on prototypes for robots. Some worth mentioning are as follows:
In Germany, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has managed to print a robot that resembles a spider and the printing is so easy that it is being compared to a “disposable rubber glove”, its better to print a new one than re-use the old one.
A joint project by MIT and Harvard also printed a robot which can assemble itself. The robot is made with “shape memory polymers,” which allow it to fold itself into the appropriate shape once it’s been printed. A voice-activated android robot is also printed that will respond to verbal commands.
1. 3D Printers
What better way to use a 3D printer that to print another 3D printer. The University of Bath in the U.K tested a printer called RepRap that prints a 3D printer. It prints most of the parts of the 3D printer except for the metal nuts and bolts. And just in the next 3 minutes the newly printed printer was able to print the next printer or the “Child Copy” of the printer.