Rudimentary Liver from Stem Cell, 3D Printed Ear and 3D Printed micro Battery ? What does the future hold

Theres a huge amount of research going on in fields that don’t at first appear to have much to do with each other that could in the next few years to few decades lead to a world where the possibility of building new organs either as replacements or upgrades is possible, even common.

Read more at: MIT TR // A Rudimentary Liver Is Grown from Stem Cells
Read more at: Princeton Nano Letter // 3D Printed Bionic Ears
Read more at: MIT TR // A Battery and a “Bionic” Ear: a Hint of 3-D Printing’s Promise
From ViaMeadia:

Those worried about the future of employment in America—for themselves or for the country as a whole—should look to this data. As of now, many of the jobs of the future are going to be health care jobs, and that will only become more true if Obamacare stands and the pool of insured patients expands dramatically. To understand what the jobs of the future will be (or to land one), go where the money is: services, and especially, according to this data, health services.
For those unlikely to take up health jobs, this graph might seem discouraging. After all, more doctors and health workers points to more health care costs, in a system that’s already vastly too expensive. As the Atlantic points out on its piece on the graph, “There are a couple stories that branch off from this graph. One is the unchecked growth in health care prices over the last few decades, which has made the medical industry the one truly recession-proof job engine of the economy.”
But there’s also a case of optimism here. The Atlantic notes that the two kinds of health care jobs most likely to grow in coming decades are personal health aides and home health workers. This is good news even on its own; achieving a better balance between hospital care and home care is an important task for health care reformers. Moreover, it means there’s a lot of room for entrepreneurial individualse to come up with new and creative ways to cater to a growing demand for personalized health care.

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Read more at: Jobs of the Future in One Astounding Graph

phys.org | Do-it-yourself invisibility with 3-D printing

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“I would argue that essentially anyone who can spend a couple thousand dollars on a non-industry grade 3-D printer can literally make a plastic cloak overnight,” said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.
Urzhumov said that producing a cloak in this fashion is inexpensive and easy. He and his team made a small one at Duke which looks like a Frisbee™ disc made out of Swiss cheese. Algorithms determined the location, size and shape of the holes to deflect microwave beams. The fabrication process takes from three to seven hours.
“Computer simulations make me believe that it is possible to create a similar polymer-based cloaking layer as thin as one inch wrapped around a massive object several meters in diameter,” he said. “I have run some simulations that seem to confirm this point.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-05-do-it-yourself-invisibility-d.html

Well ain’t that just Harry Potter cool?

Printing tactile images for the blind

3D Printer | Exploring the world of 3D printing | Printing tactile images for the blind
by Cameron Naramore on April 25, 2013
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A “relief” is an example of what a 3D printed picture could look like.


Etchings, reliefs, contoured renderings of images. But what would a blind Rembrandt create with the right tools, ways for the sighted to gain concept for the inner perceptions of the blind? In the end this will become a new art form.

Graphene conductor is ink-jet-able, flexible, what about 3D enabled?

Inkjet-printed graphene electrodes may lead to low-cost, large-area, possibly foldable devices at phys.org by Lisa Zyga

This is the sort of technology that could enable 3D electronics for all sorts of applications from industrial and maker shops.

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‘Just’ eye candy

3D Printed Dresss

And a great reason to show a picture of a beautiful woman ( “muse and model” Dita Von Teese),

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Photo: Andrew Tingle/Wired

Article in Wired, clothes cusomized to you are coming. The dress was made from several panels of laser sintered nylon giving the dress the ability to conform to the wearers body, cool and slinky sexy, if a bit Metro Goth.

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Additive Manufacturing in Space- Two favorites in One!!!

3D / Additive Manufacture in Space! Two favorites in one!

And its an SBIR…Small Business Innovative Research, program, how cool is that on top?  The SBIR program is a personal favorite of mine.  It basically provides entrepreneurs and engineers with ideas with funds to develop a concept and put together a prototype then helps them either commercialize it or work with a big company to bring to the market or to NASA, USAF, Navy, Army, DoE, DoT, DHS etc.  When done right which NASA, the Navy and to some extent the AirForce and Army have done this can provide fantastic bang for the buck.  Its only downside is that it can be seen as a substitute for bigger development programs and it’s not.  SBIR works for initial concepts, for components, basic materials, small-scale projects (App scale maybe) but it’s not enough bucks to do anything major.  The only program that does something similar on a larger scale is DARPA, which is also a world leading organization in this area.

On Thursday, NASA announced the selection of 39 proposals for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II awards. ……  Made in Space, a Silicon Valley company working on 3-D manufacturing in space.
Made in Space, Inc.
Moffett Field, CA

PROPOSAL TITLE: ISS Additive Manufacturing Facility for On-Demand Fabrication in Space
SUBTOPIC TITLE: ISS Utilization
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Begin: 6 End: 8
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT
Made in Space has completed a preliminary design review of the Additive Manufacturing Facility. During the first half of Phase 1, the design went through conceptual development, simulation testing, cost analysis, and comparison testing of which off-the-shelf parts can be used. The deliverables for Phase I include a written report detailing evidence of demonstrated technology (TRL 5) in the laboratory and will outline in detail the path taken toward hardware demonstration for Phase II (TRL 6). The preliminary design is ready to be manufactured as an engineering test unit in Phase II. A feasibility study was created to demonstrate what could be fabricated for the inside of the ISS (parts and spares) and for the outside (possible satellites). It is anticipated that many of the sample uses that the AMF will make possible on-orbit have not yet been envisioned.

Better Pharmaceutical Manufacturing via Continuous Processing | MIT Technology Review

Better chemistry: To produce drugs in a continuous-manufacturing method, MIT engineers had to develop several new pieces of equipment, including this reactor, which enabled a faster reaction and eliminated the need for a toxic solvent.

This is a big breakthrough, this is part of the maker revolution though a long way from maker bot.  In the long run such a system can be miniaturized and stocked with a range of precursors which will allow a single system to produce any number of different drugs on demand. In the early days such systems will be huge and hugely expensive but will make drug exploration exponentially quicker and less expensive. In the long-term the system makes the whole pharmaceutical infrastructure we have today obsolete…except that it will probably increase the need for scientists, physicians specializing in individualized medicine, etc, etc. Old jobs go away new ones come on-line. And the new ones will generally be much more about the outer edges of technology and the connection between people and between people and their machines, instead of embedding people as cogs in the machines.

The article is pretty high level but a good quick read on the topic.

3D printer builds a Lower Jawbone Replacement

This piece of news popped up all over earlier this week, but the Technology Review piece though short gives it some context.  The rapid advances in imaging, tissue creation, stem cell technology, bio compatible materials, low impact surgery and 3D fabrication are being brought together to make things possible that were once fantasy and to eventually overtake transplants in the traditional sense.

While this is fascinating from a sci-fi writer’s viewpoint, the reality is something close to awe-inspiring.

New Age of Discovery | iPad, Pandora and the

Stars and Gas in the Milky Way Galaxy
OK, I have to admit that I have done most of my posting from the iPad for the past couple of weeks, it does make micro blogging pretty danged easy. The iPad continues to amaze me it is the single most life changing device I have ever used. No it is not the god machine and Steve Jobs, though a genius (with a lot of help from his team), was not a messiah. But the device and the infrastructure it accesses with such elegance have changed how I live in ways and at a speed that no other single device has (baring perhaps my license/first car.)

Telecommunications technology (phone and TV), the computer, the micro chip, the mini computer, the calculator, the personal computer, the internet, the cell phone, the laptop and now the tablet computer have each in their way had a profound impact on my life but each one though important in some particular piece of my life had little effect on other parts. The iPad has changed how I read, what I read, how I create, what I create, how I communicate with my wife, what entertainment I enjoy and when. It is my constant companion and I would be lost without it. This has never been true of any other device to the same extent though my laptop and cell phone are close, more because of how important they are to one or two important parts of my life, unlike the iPad which has had a broad impact on most of my life.

Is this good or bad? One part of me wants to say it has to be good, otherwise why would it have taken over so thoroughly, it allows me access to the web at almost any instant to look up info or browse, I use it to keep me amused at the club, etc. Another part wants to say bad, because there is no denying that I have been more sedentary (big word for sitting on my ass more) since I got the iPad, and I in fact have not read as many books since I got the iPad. Pull back for the big picture and I think that the iPad has enables changes in how I live my private life, and that good or bad is what I make of the changes it enables, because there is nothing that I used to do that it forecloses by its existence and use.

Though not as high impact as the iPad, Pandora is the other technical insert in my life that I feel I would miss profoundly. I am currently listening to it Jennifer Thomas’ Beautiful Storm, a piano piece with orchestral background, a strikingly beautiful piece of music I doubt I would ever have heard if not for Pandora. Over a period of a couple of years I have slid sideways from Nickleback, to Shinedown, to Adele, Glitrap, Jes and more. Music discovery is what Pandora is all about and I think I’m better off for it….

And that brings me back to the iPad and its impact….one of the things it does is make discovery easier, discovery of new memes, of new sounds, new skills and new voices. It allows me to fill in the little wasted cracks of time in my life with more discovery.

Two posts this week have dealt with 3D printers, what I think of as stereolithographic machines. And the computer controlled 3D wood carving machine I saw in Rockler catalogue. The Maker movement is all about discovery, the DARPA crowdsourcing initiative is all about discovery. So is it that the iPad and Pandora are my first windows into this new age of discovery?