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Is it really possible to 3D print living body parts?

By now, the majority of us are familiar with 3D printing technology, and the remarkable possibilities that it prises. However, one of the most recent scientific advancements is truly astounding, and one that could revolutionise regenerative medicine forever.

Scientists and Doctors are currently working alongside each other in a bid to 3D print living body parts. According to professionals, there is now hope that we may be able to recreate exact copies of various body parts, and use them to repair bodily defects and injuries.

3D printing has become quite commonly used by the health sector, but I think it’s safe to say that none of us could have even anticipated such incredible developments.

Originally published by Nature Biotechnology, these regenerative advancements present a hope that we may be able to recreate living body parts using human cell tissue.

The ITOP (integrated tissue-organ printer) is capable of fabricating stable, human-scale constructs of any shape, which could eventually be used to heal various defects of the human anatomy.

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Tested on a number of different forms, the ITOP has successfully replicated ears, jaws and more. By placing human cells in a specific pattern, experts believe that the notion of actually utilising such components is completely possible.

In order to work, the ITOP uses a water-based gel containing cells to encourage growth, and a bio-degradable plastic that provides structure.

So far, the technology appears to have been successful. When implanted into animals, the plastic in the structures eventually broke down as natural proteins were produced.

Lead researcher, Professor Anthony Atala, is now confident that these tissues could now be printed on a human scale.

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As scientists and doctors test durability, the world waits in anticipation. Eventually, doctors hope that they will be able to print directly into a patient, but there is still plenty of research that must be done first.

How exciting. Another 3D printing phenomenon to add to the ever-growing list. For more on 3D printing, make sure you check out our YouTube Channel, where there are loads of cool videos to watch.

3D printing helps music sensation Will.I.Am discover a new kind of pop

‘3D Printing will revolutionise our future’. Will.I. Am launches new brand ‘Eko-C’ – changing recycling as we know it forever

Not one to go unnoticed, Will.I.Am has become renowned for his quirky personality and his unique sense of style. He’s a little bit on the bonkers side, but he’s also extremely intelligent.

Recognised all over the world for his contribution to the music industry, Will has an abundance of loyal fans behind him.

Performing isn’t his only calling in life, though. Aside from his successful music career, the LA-born star is multitalented, with a passion for lots of other things, too –science and the environment to name a couple.

Will discovered his love for science at a very early age. His mother sent him to a specialist school over an hour away from where they lived, where he became captivated by what he learned. He believes that this early introduction to science is what influenced his drive and ambition.

So, what is it that Will is working on now?

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Well, believe it or not, Will.I.Am’s latest project is centred around 3D printing.

Will has admitted to being fascinated by 3D printing, adamant that this technology will ‘revolutionise the future’.

It all began after one of his many gigs with the Black Eyed Peas. Will claims that he was shocked by the amount of waste that littered the ground– thousands of plastic bottles and packaging everywhere. All of this got him thinking about the future, and ended up sparking a revolutionary idea.

He began to explore the possibilities of recycling, thinking outside of the box to try and create something that would take both 3D printing and recycling to a whole other level.

Determined to take action, Will teamed up with Coca-Cola to develop a whole new brand of technology that encourages recycling, all through the art of 3D printing.

The brand name ‘Eko-C’ is actually ‘coke’ backwards – very clever, right? And it’s pretty incredible.

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The ‘Ekocycle Cube’ prints using post-consumable waste. 3D printing technology enables the likes of used plastic bottles to be completely reformed into something completely different. And when it’s done, you can even recycle your empty cartridges. Super eco-friendly!

From bags, to hats, shoes and clothing, the Ekocycle brand is set to take the world by storm, with luxury London department store, Harrods, already retailing the products.

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The cube itself is also available to buy from 3D Systems – a brand which Printerbase stock.

Amazing or what?

For more on 3D printing, make sure you check out our official YouTube page where you’ll find some great videos.

3D Printing in the kitchen – yes, really!

It’s no secret that 3D Printing has developed tremendously in recent years. From one vocation to another, with this remarkable technology, the possibilities really are endless.

And with an increasing number of trades recognising its benefits, the 3D printing hype is definitely catching on.

Though it has to be said, one of the most interesting and exciting new developments in 3D technology has to be its contribution to the food industry.

We all love food – from how it tastes, to how it looks. And apparently, the prettier the dish, the more tempting to us it is. This is where 3D printing comes into play.

Have you ever watched one of those cookery programmes where they’re making all those really fancy little dishes? Everything is all completely uniform and flawless – it’s like artwork! And you find yourself just sat there thinking ‘how on earth are they going to make all those dishes look exactly the same?’

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Previously, these astounding culinary delights have been produced solely by hand – a tedious, no doubt wearisome task. But now, innovative technology is taking pressure off the chefs, and eateries are relying increasingly on 3D printing.

Particularly popular with exclusive, luxuriant restaurants, 3D printing is becoming a more frequent component in the kitchen. Capable of recreating sophisticated designs, these stylish outlets are using 3D printing to replicate intricately-designed foods on command.

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And that’s not all. Organisations are identifying tons of new prospects with 3D printing and food. From personalised edible goods, to delicious cocktails, it seems there are still plenty more ways in which 3D printing technology can contribute to the wonderful world of food and drink!

With 3D printing, the possibilities are expanding, and with the number of industries using its facilities, the popularity of this machinery is flourishing. We can’t wait to discover all the other new amazing things that 3D printers are going to achieve in the future!

3D printing offers new chance at life for poorly animals

Used regularly in the workplace by a whole host of professionals, 3d printing has become sought after in various different industries. Popular with the likes of Architects and Dentists, 3D printing has helped make some truly incredible things possible. And now, thanks to innovative technology, it’s also helping to save the lives of thousands of sick and injured animals.

That’s right, technological advancements in 3D printing are now being used to give sick, injured and deformed animals a second chance at life.

We all know how it feels to read a heart-breaking story about a poorly animal – a dog born without its front legs, a fox that’s suffered at the hands of poachers. That feeling of being helpless is upsetting in itself, but now, developments in 3d printing mean that professionals can help our feathered and furry friends lead a happy life in spite of their disabilities.

From prosthetic limbs, to reconstructed beaks and mobility carts, veterinary nurses are beginning to really see the advantages of 3d printing, offering poorly animals and their owners the chance to be happy again.

One of these animals is Derby the Dog. Derby was born with deformities in both of his front legs, and was taken in by Peace and Paws Dog Rescue in New Hampshire, USA. Unable to walk or even sit upright, there appeared to be no hope at all for Derby, until he was rescued and fostered by an employee at 3D Systems, Tara Anderson.

Tara says she ‘cried every night’ as she thought about Derby, and dreamt of ways to make his life better. With access to intelligent 3D technologies, Tara worked with her colleagues to create a custom prosthesis for Derby that would allow him not only to walk, but to run – which he now does every day for at least 2-3 miles!

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Derby has since become one of the most famous animals in the world to have been helped by 3D printing technology. He isn’t alone though. Other success stories include Beauty, the bald Eagle who was shot in the face by poachers back in 2005, leaving her with a severely damaged beak, and Buttercup, the Duck who was born with his left foot turned backwards.

Everyday thousands of animals begin their 3D printing journey as professionals work to create the most effective tools and prosthesis that will allow them to live life as fully as possible.

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Had it not been for the marvellous possibilities brought about by 3d printing, many of these animals would have otherwise been euthanised. Now, with this incredible technology, a whole new window of opportunity has opened for sick animals, offering them a life full of joy and content.

Amazing or what? Who knew that printers would one day be able to save lives? For more on Derby and other animals that have been rescued by 3D printing, click here. And as always, make sure you visit our YouTube Channel to check out our full selection of 3D printing videos.

3D printing technology used to recreate Syrian monument destroyed by Islamic state

Last year, Palmyra’s famous ‘Arch of Triumph’ was left almost completely destroyed after an attack by alleged Islamic State Militants.

Since then, a group of archaeologists have been using the art of 3D printing technology to recreate an exact replica of the Syrian monument, which was erected in London’s Trafalgar Square yesterday afternoon upon completion.

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Created by the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) using 3D technology, this reproduction is made entirely of Egyptian Marble, and looks identical to the original monument. Using photographs of the original arch, this intelligent machinery was able to create an artificial copy that is identical in both scale and size.

Described by Syria’s director of antiquities as an ‘action of solidarity’, the artificial monument will travel to cities all over the world following its opening in London.

For the next three days, tourists and locals in and around London will be able to go and visit the monument where it is located in Trafalgar Square. It will then move onto a host of other locations including Dubai and New York.

Incredible or what?! 3D printing really is opening up a whole new world of possibilities. Don’t forget to check out our official YouTube channel for more.

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