Tag Archives: sugar
There’s a new open-source 3D printer in town, and its name is Pwdr.
In a change from the technique used by MakerBot 3D printers of extruding plastic onto a platform layer by layer, Pwdr operates like the expensive industrial powder printers. This opens new doors for the consumer 3D printing market.
A whole new range of materials become available for experimenting with open-source rapid-prototyping; for example, when using the 3DP process: gypsum, ceramics, concrete, sugar, etc. And when the SLS process is fully supported, plastic materials like ABS, PP, Nylon and metals become available as building material.A Hewlett Packard inkjet cartridge is used for the deposition of binder. The cartridge can be refilled with custom binders using a syringe. A custom binder of 20% alcohol and 80% water has been proven to work.
The Pwdr Model 0.1 consists of chassis, tool head and electronics. The printer entirely consists of off-the-shelf components. It has a simple design and can be built within a couple of hours. The machine is easy and affordable to build and modify. Building a Pwdr Model 0.1 machine costs about €1000.
University researchers have discovered a way to 3D print blood vessels, using sugar as the “ink” and a RepRap 3D printer. UPenn and MIT researchers collaborated on the study.
The research was conducted by a team led by postdoctoral fellow Jordan S. Miller and Christopher S. Chen, the Skirkanich Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering at Penn, along with Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Wilson Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and postdoctoral fellow Kelly R. Stevens in Bhatia’s laboratory.
Rather than trying to print a large volume of tissue and leave hollow channels for vasculature in a layer-by-layer approach, Chen and colleagues focused on the vasculature first and designed free-standing 3D filament networks in the shape of a vascular system that sat inside a mold. As in lost-wax casting, a technique that has been used to make sculptures for thousands of years, the team’s approach allowed for the mold and vascular template to be removed once the cells were added and formed a solid tissue enveloping the filaments.
The formula they settled on — a combination of sucrose and glucose along with dextran for structural reinforcement — is printed with a RepRap, an open-source 3D printer with a custom-designed extruder and controlling software. An important step in stabilizing the sugar after printing, templates are coated in a thin layer of a degradable polymer derived from corn. This coating allows the sugar template to be dissolved and to flow out of the gel through the channels they create without inhibiting the solidification of the gel or damaging the growing cells nearby. Once the sugar is removed, the researchers start flowing fluid through the vascular architecture and cells begin to receive nutrients and oxygen similar to the exchange that naturally happens in the body.
Below is a video showing their amazing discovery.
Read more from the UPenn summary.
Blood vessel photo by shoebappa used under Creative Commons license.
3D Printing is mostly known as a method for additive manufacturing of plastic polymer, used for prototyping, creating small tools, and designing works of art. Consumer-ready printers, like MakerBot, enable anyone to be their own mini manufacturing plant – of plastic goods. This is about to change.
Innovative as well as strange raw materials are starting to emerge in the 3D printing landscape.
Sandstone. D-Shape has a 3D stereolithic printer that can create large-scale structures out of sandstone. ”It prints the structures using artificial sandstone which is sand or mineral dust glued together by an inorganic binder.” More at Fast Company.
Candy. CandyFab4000 from Evil Mad Scientist. “Our three dimensional fabricator is now fully operational and we have used it to print several large, low-resolution, objects out of pure sugar.”
Organs. Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is experimenting with 3D printed organs. While strange, this has huge commercial potential.