Billionaire investor Peter Thiel's philanthropic foundation plans to announce today a six-figure grant for bioprinted meat, part of an ambitious plan to bring to the world's dinner tables a set of technologies originally developed for creating medical-grade tissues.
We've heard stories about 3D printers being used for both good and evil, but we're not sure how to categorize a company in Japan offering pregnant women a 3D-printed model of their unborn fetuses. Gross. Other stories on today's podcast include a crowdsourced funding site for porn, Amazon accidentally shipping assault rifles, and a sealed first-gen iPhone hitting eBay for $10,000.
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Japanese companies offer a 3D-printed model of your unborn child.
- DC resident orders TV on Amazon, gets assault rifle instead.
- Sealed first-gen iPhone hits eBay for $10,000.
Congratulations, you're expecting! Now, how about turning that great news into something that will fit on a keychain.
Japanese company Fasotec will make a miniature 3D replica of your fetus and hand it off to you in a lovely jewelry box for about $1,280.
Fasotec calls the custom product "Shape of the Angel," an optimistic view that precedes the reality of the tantrums and eventual teenage angst you'll have to contend with as a parent.… Read more
"If you can draw it, you can make it." In the realm of 3D printing, those are the words hobbyists and advocates share with prospectives poking around this young technology.
Easier said than done, but with a little practice, you really can fabricate almost anything on a 3D printer. Accessories, miniature figures, components for a project, smartphone accessories, tools -- these everyday objects can be materialized with 3D printing.
It's about as close to the Star Trek replicator as we'll ever get (at least in my generation).
In the latest episode of Always On, I ventured into the world of 3D printing to attempt to print my own, custom iPhone case. I went into this mission as a complete noob, without the slightest idea of how the printing process works.… Read more
I have to put our Always On supervising producer, Eileen Rivera, on front street a little bit this week: that woman hates the Samsung Galaxy Beam. More accurately, she hates the cheeseball YouTube videos that promote the Beam's signature feature: its built-in pico projector. And I agree ... those ads are bad. Like, bad, bad.
But after spending some time playing with the Beam, I have to confess, I was kind of taken with its little parlor trick! I can't imagine using it often, unless it was for work, but it would certainly thrill the grandparents as a better … Read more
MakerBot is best known for its 3D printers. Would you have predicted an MP3 player for its newest product?
The MixTape is available in two iterations. The $25 MixTape Kit, aimed at those who already own a 3D printer, includes the guts of a basic MP3 player. Simply print out the enclosure using the plans on MakerBot's Thingiverse site, plug in the electronics, and you're ready to upload your music.
For those without a 3D printer, MakerBot will sell you a pre-assembled MixTape for $39.
The actual specs of the MixTape MP3 player are modest. It has 2GB … Read more
Now, the scale of three-dimensional printing could get even bigger.
Forbes reports that over the last two years an Airbus cabin designer, Bastian Schafer, has been working on a concept plane that could be constructed from the ground up -- using an incredibly large 3D printer.
Most 3D printers available today are no larger than your average dining table -- but Schafer aims first to not only print the smaller components of an aircraft, but by 2050, to print the … Read more
Olympic track star Usain Bolt is known for his magical gold shoes. Recently, he's been spotted wearing green kicks. Perhaps his recent losses on the run could be remedied with a new pair of 3D-printed gold trainers.
Designer and engineer Luc Fusaro is developing a pair of 3D-printed running shoes with some unusual features. The athlete-specific performance sprint shoes are named "Design to Win." The most eye-catching features are the gold color and the short spikes for added traction.
Spikes are a hot commodity in the world of 3D-printed footwear. We recently ogled some very pointy high heels from a fashion designer, but you wouldn't want to try them out on a 100-meter sprint.… Read more
High heel shoes terrify me. The few times I've worn them, I've either tipped over or broken the heels. U.K. fashion footwear designer Janina Alleyne has crafted some high heels that will haunt my nightmares for years to come...and I like it.
Alleyne designed a set of three very unusual shoes and had them printed by 3D modeler Inner Leaf.
The first shoe, called the Exoskeleton, looks like what would happen if H.R. Giger designed shoes. It features alien flowing lines, a spiky top, and a row of small and sinister teeth at the toes. This takes the concept of spike high heels very literally. Imagine balancing on that delicate point. Even Tina Turner would find it challenging.… Read more
Vascular systems -- i.e., networks of blood vessels -- are like highways for the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste; without them, cells die quickly. The ability to bioengineer new vasculature is a crucial step toward creating new replacement organs such as livers or kidneys from a patient's own cells.
Bioengineers are already working on creating and assembling single layers of cells that have direct access to nutrients and oxygen -- a process known as "bioprinting." But creating a full-fledged array of new vessels remains a major hurdle. Fluidic pressure coursing through these tiny systems … Read more