3D Printers Aren’t Just Little Toys Anymore

It’s astounding what they can do with them these days.

You think that’s wild?

Watch this.


Shared via a recent post on Design Boom, Russian 3D printing company Apis Cor debuted their first successful on-site 3D print of an entire house using a rotating printer that can be set up in about an hour for each build. The printer itself runs similarly to the desktop plastic ones we’re familiar with except that, instead of printing things in PVC, the Apis Cor printer uses a special concrete mix to build up layers. The company claims that minimal human interaction is needed with each build. However things like placing the fiberglass supports (similar to rebar) during the print at set intervals, installing the roof, and putting the finishing touches on it still need the gentle non-robotic finesse of a human being.

That was from 2017!

What can they do now?

Blow your mind.

Breakthrough in Esophageal Cancer treatment thanks to 3D printed stents

Researchers from the University of South Australia have developed 3D printed esophageal stents that could revolutionise the delivery of chemotherapy drugs for patients with esophageal cancer. 3D printing has become of increasing importance in the medical field as it allows for more accurate, effective and personalized treatment of patients. In this specific case,  by using fused deposition modeling (FDM), the researchers were able to create a stent that could diffuse the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), over a sustained, longer period of time. As esophageal cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the world, while being the sixth highest cause of all cancer deaths worldwide, this stent could prove to be a breakthrough in treatment of the disease.

I have even heard talk of them trying to print things like kidneys.

I can remember when they were still having trouble doing heart valve replacements.

Lots of trouble.

That is almost like VooDoo compared to what they can do now.

They can print you out a new valve for your heart and have a robot do the surgery.

Actually, they can 3D print FIVE different body parts so far!

It is just incredible.

10 thoughts on “3D Printers Aren’t Just Little Toys Anymore

  1. Holy shit, Phil! Do they make one that can print me a top-heavy redhead girl? If they’re Russian machines, she might come out as a blond Slavic girl, but I’ll get her some hair dye to suit. It’d be faster than waiting for your mate Herr Unfuck to ship one of his Romanian ‘virgins’. Hey, Cederq can order a couple of new kidneys!


  2. On second thought, you could print out a workshop extension with one of those Russian jobs. Cederq could get himself a mini fabricator dedicated to making 10mm sockets!


  3. Yea, amazing stuff, especially the body parts. I remember reading a while back about GE 3D printing fuel delivery parts for jet engines that they say couldn’t possibly be made using any other method, that saved some fuel mileage.


  4. Check out Relativity Space. They are printing an entire rocket! Their printer is 3 stories tall, and they are within a few weeks of testing their first 3d printed rocket engine. Baaaaad ass!


  5. Unfortunately no one is printing replacement heart valves. I know some of the people at the Henry Ford center cited in the linked article and have worked with one of the main companies that make the 3D medical printing technology. The 3D models are for purposes including: 1) to help the surgeon/interventional cardiologist better understand the individual patient’s anatomy; 2) for simulation for the actual procedure (i.e. a physical-model “dry run” prior to the real surgery or intervention), 3) the models are sometimes used for hemodynamic simulations.

    But replacing heart valves is getting better all the time, that’s true. Three decades ago it was all open surgery (general anesthesia, cut your sternum in half, heart-lung bypass machine). Then they started doing TAVR (aortic valve inserted via catheter through the femoral artery) 10+ years ago. TAVR is now well established, and we (as a field) are hard at work on minimially invasive mitral valves. The mitral valve is much more challenging than the aortic to replace, for multiple technical reasons. And over the last few years, there is work in the tricuspid valve space. But except for TAVR, these are all still experimental research devices. (Mitra-Clip is FDA approved and widely used, but it is a repair device, not a replacement, and not every person with a leaky mitral valve has anatomy that is “fixable” by Mitra-clip.)


  6. I got started early, about 25 years ago. The first 3D printer used a bed of powder, the “build tank” had a moveable bottom that would drop .007″, then a new layer of powder was scraped over it, then a modified Epson inkjet printer (wet head) would lay down the powder fixative. When it was done, you pulled/dumped/blew out the powder and there was your part. Various fixer compositions would determine how flexible the printed part was…
    It’s made great leaps since then. Extrusion, laser fixing or (in the case of sintering) melting metal powder, who knows what else we’ve come up with!

    We live in interesting times.


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