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3D Printing News Briefs: December 30 2018

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In this week’s abbreviated 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ve got a story on a new type of 3D printing that makes it easy to 3D print small objects, and a distinguished professor gives a TEDx talk about the importance of interdisciplinary research. Wrapping things up, we’ve got a video about an amazing 3D printed 1/6 scale vehicle model.

Shrinking 3D Printer

A schematic of the Alice in Wonderland image that was etched and shrunk in the 3D shrinking printer. [Image: Ed Boyden et al.]

A team of researchers from MIT, Harvard, and the  Pfizer Internal Medicine Research Unit in Cambridge, Massachusetts recently published a paper, titled “3D nanofabrication by volumetric deposition and controlled shrinkage of patterned scaffolds,” in the Science journal about their innovative new method of shrinking 3D printing, which makes it easy to 3D print very small objects. A technique called implosion fabrication 3D prints an object, then shrinks it down to the required size. The shrinking 3D printer can work with different materials, such as quantum dots, metals, and DNA, and can also fabricate complicated shapes like microscopic linked chains as well.

MIT researcher Ed Boyden, one of the co-authors of the paper, developed the shrinking 3D printing method by thinking of reversing a process where brain tissue is expanded so it’s possible to see its finer structure. The team found that they could shrink a structure by about 8,000 times in multiple tests, and proved its viability by etching  a structure of Alice in Wonderland and shrinking it down to 50 nanometers from 1 cubic millimeter. The research team believes that their shrinking 3D printers could be used to make  small, high resolution optical lenses for driving cars, though the possibilities for this technology are practically endless.

TEDx on Interdisciplinary Research

Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher, the director of  the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and the Australian Research Council Training Centre in Additive Biomanufacturing at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), is an inventor, educator, biomedical engineer, and intellectual property creator, and  has  been responsible  for multiple  breakthroughs in bioprinting. He recently gave a talk  at a TEDx event  about the importance of interdisciplinary research as it applies to regenerative medicine, which works to help patients with damaged tissues due to disease or accident. Prof Hutmacher himself  has converted a bone tissue engineering concept all the way from the lab to clinical application involving in vitro experiments, preclinical studies, and clinical trials, and in the TEDx talk discussed how “one walks the talk to orchestrate an interdisciplinary team” where everyone can share knowledge and naturally learn the important required  competencies. He presented a patient case of a young father’s long bone defect, where his interdisciplinary research team was made up of clinicians, engineers, material scientists, molecular and cell biologists, polymer chemists, and veterinary surgeons.

“In regenerative medicine there is a great move to introduce interdisciplinarity in the research programs, as well as in the scholarships,”  DProf Hutmacher said in the YouTube video. “However, most of the teams are rather doing multidisciplinary research, which does not lead to what we have done in the past moving a bone tissue engineering concept into the clinic.”

To see the rest of  DProf Hutmacher’s TEDx talk, check out the video below:

1/6 Scale Model of 1961  Dodge D100

Over the years, we’ve seen some pretty cool 3D printed vehicle models that have been both scaled up and scaled down, but I think this one takes the cake: a highly detailed, 1/6 scale model of a 1961 Dodge D100 truck, created by maker Konstantin Bogdanov. Including filming, the project took him a year to complete, and Bogdanov writes that the YouTube video he created is more of a project diary, though it can also be used as a tutorial.

Using a blueprint of the Dodge, Bogdanov modeled the cab of the truck in Blender and 3D printed it out of  polyamide; additional materials used to build the model include aluminum foil,  Styrene rods, plywood, artificial leather, and acrylic paint. His 44 minute YouTube video shows some of the modeling work, and then moves on to the nitty gritty details of building all the separate pieces of the truck model, from the doors and fenders to the chassis and grille, and finally assembling everything before painting and weathering the model. Plus, at about the 2:06 minute mark,  Bogdanov’s adorable cat makes its first of multiple appearances in the video! If you’re interested in making your own 1/6 scale model of the 1961 Dodge D100 truck, you can download the STL files for both the four motor mount and the tractor wheels. Check out the video for more details.

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