3D printing: liver and silver
I am guessing we have all heard of the exciting new technology and research were it is possible to print organs. To me this is mind-blowing on so many levels: ponder the implications. We could print entire organ systems, repair damage, replace tissue, digitally mould external and internal organs. Just thinking about what this could mean for burn victims.
I had this gorgeous little horned lizard printed as an experiment. It is basically printed in plaster and then covered with cyanoacrylate (superglue); it was such a delight to open the printer and hovering it out, so to speak.
The University of Texas has a site containing a large amount of CTscans of all sorts of creatures. You can explore 3D renderings and download some 3D files directly from DigiMorph.
Anyway, my tech positivism aside here is a look at what you can do yourself pretty cheaply. Design your own cutlery, objects, jewellery, implements. Send the 3D file to a printer, and receive your stuff in the mail. You can also make it available to the public, the company will print-on-demand and you get some money for it. Nifty, eh?
The technology has come a long way in a very short time, so it is not all that easy to keep up. Following are images found on the printing company Shapeways site. They offer a selection of materials and seem to expand on this regularly. They do stainless steel, ceramics, brass, silver, in addition to a range of polymers.
I personally am thinking of making a replica of my own brain. But the options are almost endless.