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3D-printing objects containing multiple metals and alloys

July 29, 2014

This is a prototype of a mirror mount that scientists made using a new 3-D printing technique. The part at the top near the glass mirror is made of a metal with low thermal expansion, so that it won't shrink in space as much as most metals do. Using this kind of metal therefore prevents stress in the epoxy adhesive between the mirror and the metal. The bottom part of this mount is stainless steel, and could be connected to a stainless steel component of a spacecraft. (Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech)

Researchers at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, and Pennsylvania State University have developed a 3D printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object.

For example, they created a prototype of an improved telescope mirror mount. The part at the top near the glass mirror is made of a metal with low… read more

3D-printing synthetic tissues

April 9, 2013

Schematic of printing in aqueous solution. Aqueous droplets are ejected into a<br />
drop of oil suspended in bulk aqueous solution.

A custom-built programmable 3D printer can create materials with some the properties of living tissues, Oxford University scientists have demonstrated.

The new type of material consists of tens of thousands of picoliter connected water droplets encapsulated within lipid films, which can perform some of the functions of the cells inside our bodies.

These printed “droplet networks” might be interfaced with tissues, used as tissue… read more

3M and IBM to develop new types of adhesives to create 3D semiconductors

September 8, 2011
3D chips

3M and IBM announced that the two companies plan to jointly develop the first adhesives that can be used to package semiconductors into densely stacked silicon “towers,” making it possible to build, for the first time, commercial microprocessors composed of layers of up to 100 separate chips.

Such stacking would allow for dramatically higher levels of integration for information technology and consumer electronics applications. Processors could… read more

3M Launches first Pocket Projector

September 15, 2008

3M plans to launch its handheld MPro110 mini projector on September 30 for $359, with VGA and composite video inputs.

4 Apps That Turn Your iPhone Into a Canvas

May 29, 2009

New iPhone apps let anyone use an existing photo as the basis for an artistic illustration, with tools like virtual bushes and pencils to apply to your photos, and various paper and canvas textures.

The week’s much-discussed New Yorker cover used the advanced Brushes app:

4 New Breakthrough Medical Devices: Live @ DARPATech

August 13, 2007

Promising medical devices being research presented at the DARPATech conference include the Trauma Pod (goal: stabilize the patient as quickly as possible), Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation (high-intensity focused ultrasound, triggering coagulation in injured blood vessels within 30 seconds), Simplified Automated Ventilator, and the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program.

’4-D printing’ objects that morph based on stimuli like water and heat

"3D printing is so last year --- we're onto 4D printing now," say Australian researchers
April 26, 2015

Another dimension: Professor Marc in het Panhuis and PhD student Shannon Bakarich are building objects using 4-D printing, where time is the fourth dimension (credit: University of Wollongong/Paul Jones)

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) at the University of Wollongong (UOW) are developing 3-D printed materials that morph into new structures under the influence of external stimuli such as water or heat. They refer to this process as “4-D printing,” where the fourth dimension is time.

The researchers are currently exploring a use in manufacturing a valve that actuates… read more

’4-D’ printing technology allows self-folding of complex ‘transformer’ objects, using smart shape-memory materials

Among the wild possibilities: pop-up space structures, deployable medical devices that expand out after shipping, aircraft that morph in air depending on mission, multi-purpose shape-shifting electronic gadgets, magical transformer-type robots and toys ...
September 23, 2015

This image shows the self-folding process of smart shape-memory materials with slightly different responses to heat. Using materials that fold at slightly different rates is important to ensure that the components do not interfere with one another during the process. (Credit: Qi Laboratory)

Using components made from smart shape-memory materials (which can return to their original shape) with slightly different responses to heat, researchers have demonstrated a “four-dimensional” printing technology that allows for creating complex, self-folding structures.

The technology, developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), could be used to create 3-D structures that sequentially fold themselves… read more

40% efficient solar cells to be used for solar electricity

June 4, 2007

Scientists from Spectrolab, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing, have recently published their research on the fabrication of solar cells that surpass the 40% efficiency milestone—the highest efficiency achieved for any photovoltaic device.

4D printed objects ‘make themselves’

March 1, 2013

Cube self-folding strand (credit: Self-Assembly Lab, MIT/Stratasys)

At the TED conference in Los Angeles, architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbits showed how the process allows objects to self-assemble, BBC News reports.

It could be used to install objects in hard-to-reach places such as underground water pipes, he suggested.

It might also herald an age of self-assembling furniture, said experts.

Smart materials

“We’re proposing that the fourth dimension is time… read more

’4D printing’ adaptive materials

October 3, 2013

Photo-morphing of initially flat gel sample into various shapes by illumination (credit: University of Pittsburgh)

Researchers from three universities are proposing to add a dimension to 3D printing by developing “4D” materials that can exhibit behavior that changes over time.

Imagine an automobile coating that changes its structure to adapt to a humid environment or a salt-covered road, better protecting the car from corrosion. Or consider a soldier’s uniform that could alter its camouflage or more effectively protect against poison gas or… read more

4G prototypes reach blistering speeds

September 5, 2005

Cellphones capable of transmitting data at a gigabit per second have been demonstrated by NTT DoCoMo in Japan.

In experiments, prototype phones were used to view 32 high definition video streams, while travelling in an automobile at 20 kilometers per hour.

Multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) multiplexing was also used to send data via various routes across a network to further increase data capacity.

5 Disruptive Technologies To Watch In 2007

January 2, 2007

RFID, Web services, greater use of 3D displays, and the use of graphics processors for computation are among the hot technologies to watch for in 2007.

$5 million grant to study immortality

John Templeton Foundation grant to UC Riverside philosopher John Fischer will fund research
August 3, 2012


The John Templeton Foundation has awarded a three-year, $5 million grant  to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality.

“People have been thinking about immortality throughout history. We have a deep human need to figure out what happens to us after death,”… read more

5 Patents to Watch

April 12, 2001

Growing human organs to ease the deadly shortages facing patients desperate for transplants. Deploying organic molecules to store a million times more data than silicon can. Harnessing the unused processing power on your desktop to attack gigantic computational problems, from genetic analysis to spotting hidden customer trends. Massively expanding the data capacity of optical networks to turbocharge the information superhighway. Modifying plants to grow cheap, lifesaving vaccines.

The editors… read more

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