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3-D Design for the Masses

January 17, 2008

A new technique called collaborative design-space exploration, developed by the Virtual Worlds Group at Stanford University, aims to make it easy for anyone to create 3-D designs for virtual worlds.

The group has prototyped its interface in a program called Dryad, which allows users to design trees, and plans to extend it for use with other types of objects.

3-D Med School, Hold the Cadavers

March 11, 2002

A new virtual reality room at the University of Calgary lets researchers and medical students visualize body structures instead of requiring dissection. Four projectors display representations of the body on the walls of a 2.5-cubic-meter room, allowing scientists to view the images via stereoscopic lenses. They can also program the simulations remotely, using Java3D technology on a PC.

The University of Calgary plans to add the image set of… read more

3-D Modeling Advance: single photo reconstructed into a 3-D scene

March 7, 2008

Stanford University researchers have developed a Web service that lets users turn a single two-dimensional image of an outdoor scene into an immersive 3-D model.

This had been a mathematically complicated problem. To solve it, the researchers developed a machine-learning algorithm that associates visual cues, such as color, texture, and size, with certain depth values, based on what they have learned from studying two-dimensional photos paired with 3-D data.

3-D movie shows what happens in the brain as it loses consciousness

June 13, 2011

Researchers at The University of Manchester (UK) have been able to watch, for the first time, what happens to the brain as it loses consciousness.

Using sophisticated imaging equipment, they constructed a 3-D movie of the brain as it changes while an anesthetic drug takes effect.  The researchers said the real-time 3-D images seemed to show that losing consciousness involves a change in electrical activity deep within… read more

3-D Nano Images

April 23, 2007

IBM researchers have developed a nuclear MRI technique that can see features as small as 90 nanometers.

3-D nanotubes grown

April 5, 2002
3-D nanotubes

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have grown the first three-dimensional nanotubes, which are essential for next-generation computer chips and integrated circuits.

The method is based on a selective growth process that allows the nanotubes to grow perpendicular to the silica-coated substrate. By chiseling the silica into predetermined shapes, researchers can precisely control and direct the nanotube growth.

Nanotubes have properties that make them attractive as active nanoscale electronic… read more

3-D printed ‘building blocks’ of life

Could be used to build tissue structures and eventually micro-organs
November 4, 2015

3D printed cellular model-ft

Chinese and U.S. scientists have developed a 3-D printing method capable of producing embryoid bodies — highly uniform “blocks” of embryonic stem cells. These cells, which are capable of generating all cell types in the body, could be used to build tissue structures and potentially even micro-organs.

The results were published Wednesday Nov. 4 in an open-access paper in the journal Biofabrication. “The embryoid body is… read more

3-D printed food

July 14, 2015

(credit: Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Tod Lipson)

3D printers could revolutionize food processing in the next 10 to 20 years, said Hod Lipson, Ph.D., a professor of engineering at Columbia University, speaking at IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation.

“The technology is getting faster, cheaper, and better by the minute. Food printing could be the killer app for 3D printing.”

Lipson, who is co-author of Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing, said 3D… read more

3-D printing and the replicator economy

August 2, 2011

MakerBot's Thing-O-Matic retails for $2,500 (credit: MakerBot Industries)

3-D printing is being used to make tools and artworks, custom-fitted prosthetics for amputees, components for aviation and medical instruments, solid medical models of bones and organs based on MRI scans, paper-based photovoltaic cells, and the body panels for a lightweight hybrid automobile.

The beginnings of this technology may be making its way into your home within the next five years and sparking an industrial revolution in the process.… read more

3-D Printing Could Make Smartphone Chips Cheaper

November 24, 2010

Eoplex has developed 3D-printing manufacturing techniques for printing sub-micron-size voxels (3D pixels) to mass produce 3D objects. After some simple, but secret, processing, this stuff turns into metal, ceramics, and empty spaces.

The result can be miniature machines with moving parts, metamaterials-enabled multi-function antennas, piezoelectric powered energy harvesters, coin-sized hydrogen fuel cells, pretty much anything.

3-D Printing for the Masses

July 31, 2008

Shapeways, a new online service, aims to bring customized manufacturing to the masses by allowing consumers to submit digital designs of products that are then printed, using 3-D printers, and shipped back, at prices typically between $50 and $150.

While some 3-D printing services already exist, they are geared to professionals familiar with rendering designs in software suitable for 3-D printers. Shapeways makes this process far easier.… read more

3-D printing lightweight, flexible multiple materials in real time, including electronic circuits

Allows for printing materials for wearable devices, flexible electronics, and soft robots
September 22, 2015

multiple materials ft

Harvard researchers have designed new printheads for 3-D printers that can simultaneously handle multiple materials with different properties, allowing for 3-D printing wearable devices, flexible electronics, and soft robots.

To print a flexible device, including the electronics, a 3-D printer must be able to seamlessly transition from a flexible material that moves with the wearer’s joints for wearable applications, to a rigid material that accommodates the electronic components.… read more

3-D Printing on Demand

October 13, 2008
( is beta testing a new service allowing people to print three dimensional models.

Customers can upload designs or use a creation tool hosted at the Shapeways website then order a printed model of their designs for less than $3 per square centimeter. The printed items are shipped to the customer in ten days or less, bringing 3-D printing directly to consumers.

3-D printing tough biogel structures for tissue engineering or soft robots

New stretchable, biocompatible materials with complex patterning could be used for creating a human nose or ear
June 5, 2015

3-D printing tough, biocompatible PEG–alginate–nanoclay hydrogels into ear and nose shapes (credit: Sungmin Hong et al./ Advanced Materials)

Researchers at three universities have developed a new way of making tough — but soft and wet — biocompatible hydrogel materials into complex and intricately patterned shapes. The process might lead to scaffolds for repair or replacement of load-bearing tissues, such as cartilage. It could also allow for tough but flexible actuators for future robots, the researchers say.

The new process is described in a paper in the… read more

3-D Printing’s Great Leap Forward

August 12, 2003

Rapid prototyping machines (3-D printers) — which carve a model of an object out of metal, paper, plastic or starch – can now build moving parts, not just block models. University of California at Berkeley researchers are developing “flextronic” devices — or flexible mechatronics — a small model with flexible joints and electronic parts built in.

In 10 years, you might be able to fax a toy car to… read more

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