The hackerspace Hive-76 in Philly did this a couple of years ago with a medical researcher to print blood vessels in sugar as prototypes to work on 3D printing kidneys.
The same can be used to create blood systems for replacemen hearts. There is a current technique to take a heart, disolve away the heart tissue, leaving the blood vessels, and regrow the heart tissue with the patient's stem cells. Still requires a doner heart. This method can create the blood vessels from scratch.
Taking a 3D printer and adapting the concept to a fundamentally different materil, (sugar) is certainly innovation, as is printing out one-off medical implants made withtitanium powder. Both are innovation. Building electronic assemblies as parts of a 3D printed item will also be quite an innovation. And it is probably just a matter of time before somebody figures out how to use 3D printing with explosives, so as to do things like explosive welding, which were invented many years back but very seldom proved useful.
But printing with sugar has got to be a real acievement because of the properties of the material: it absorbs moisture and it has chemical changes at lower temperatures. Metals and plastics are much simpler to work with. So while the range of product applications may be smaller, it is certainly an interesting innovation.
Guess I'm too darn old, and NOT hip to the modern jargon. Plus, my typewriter doesn't have any of those aforementioned keys specifically identified. And, I didn't see any on my slide rule either. When I get home, I'll look at the wif'e abacus to see if it has any of these terms, but I'm fairly certain it doesn't either.
The tone has definitely shifted a bit. Thanks for calling me out specifically to disagree although many others have expressed the same opinion.
One definition of innovation is taking existing technology and using it in new ways. Many so called inventors and companies have made their fortunes doing that. Historically, Elias Singer and Apple.
This is cute and fun but not innovation in any form. 3D printing is still in its infancy. Most of what's touted as innovation is just new material with limited end use (sugar) or just for shock (guns).
The limitations are why I say it's not innovation and it's wasteful. Cute and fun. Not new and not interesting.
Thanks William for making this clear . 3D printing with sugar can be the future technology for bakeries as well it can be used in the places or by the people who dont have ovens . Initially 3D printing was used to develop physical objects but now they are being used to creat cake ,biscuits , pasteries and other bakery items and there toppings.
I also disagree with Nadine. Innovation is taking technology and finding innovative ways that it has not been used before. Far from wasteful, this could open up another unique, useful innovation that even you might find very useful. sugar could be used as a dissolvable raft that helps Build more complex geometries with other extruded solids that wasn't previously possible. Bravo for these and other people who think far outside the box and capitalizing on it. Don't stifle innovation, support it!
I beg to differ with you on this one Nadine. My wife owned and ran a catering company for 17 years to help with our three son's tuition. One of the hardest things to bring about was innovation to baked goods, specifically wedding cakes. You have to be extremely creative to meet the ever-changing needs of brides (and their mom's) when designing these cakes. Same-o-same-o just won't do. I definitely wish 3D printing had been available during those years. Maybe we could have really made the news. Excellent article Cabe.
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