Browsing articles from "May, 2013"
May 24, 2013
Comments Off on Pizza hot off a 3D Printer!

Pizza hot off a 3D Printer!

3D Food Printer

Schematic of SMRC’s Food Printer

It appears that 3D printed food is even closer to science fact than fiction as NASA award a grant of US$125,000 to American manufacturer SMRC (Systems and Materials Research Consultancy), a Texas based company which plans to develop a 3D food printer suitable for use in long-duration manned space flights.

NASA’s senior public affairs officer, David Steitz said that the projects ability to address issues of shelf life, taste and nutrition were key drivers in the decision to fund SMRC’s project.

“NASA is funding this feasibility study on 3D printing of foods to determine the capability of this technology to enable nutrient stability and provide a variety of foods from shelf-stable ingredients, while minimizing crew time and waste”.

The 3D food printing device would mix stored micro and macro-nutrients into a paste (based on a digital recipe) to be “printed” onto a heated plate for cooking. The result a quick, hot, nutritious and flavorful meal for astronauts. Taking for example a pizza a 3D printing component will print a layer of dough (which will provide structure and texture) followed by the ink jet printing a layer of tomato-flavored paste and a layer of pizza topping-flavored protein( which will provide flavor and smell).

The project is currently in its infancy, with funding awarded for the initial 6 months feasibility study. If successful the SMRC will then have to move on to a 24 month development period after which eligibility for commercial manufacture will be reassessed.

Deep Space Pizza

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May 7, 2013
Comments Off on Enter the Cyborgs!

Enter the Cyborgs!

A team of researchers at Princeton University have reportedly create a fully functioning cyborg ear, that can “hear” radio frequencies beyond the range of normal human capability.

The bionic ear was created by merging human tissue with electronics using 3D printing tools including an off-the-shelf 3D printer. The research which Princeton’s research team claims is the first attempt of its kind, to create a fully functioning organ, could someday be used to restore or enhance human hearing.

Using 3D printing technology it was possible to merge small antenna (silver nano-particles  with cartilage  (a hydro-gel and calf cell matrix which develops into cartilage).

Much like a hearing aid electrical signals produced by the ear would be connected to a persons nerve endings, via two wires leading from the base of the ear which are wound around the part that senses sound and connects to electrodes.

Princeton researchers believe that the design and implementation of cybernetics has the potential to generate customized replacement parts for the human body. Ability to combine electronics with human tissue further allows for the creation of organs beyond the traditional capabilities of human biology.