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Scientists Build Artificial Ear with 3D printer

An artificial - and very lifelike - ear has been built by scientists using a 3D printer and cartilage from sheep.

The ears were built by Thomas Cervantes, from Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues. A 3D digital model of the organ was created and designed with help from a facial plastic surgeon to make sure the shape and proportions were correct allowing the design to look as lifelike as possible. 

The resulting model was printed and cast in polydimethylsiloxane, a special silicone compound, to create a mould which was then split along the outer contour, resulting in two pieces. These cells were implanted under the skin of lab rats.

Researchers from Massachusetts then grew the required number of cartilage cells to fit custom models under the skin of lab rats to replace the cow collagen used in the moulds.. Wire was added to the moulds to give the implants their shape and make them bend and flex like human ears. 

The researchers said that the modelled ear had enough definition in the curves and lines to be recognisable even once a layer of skin had been applied to it.

Scientists are now preparing the ear for clinical trials in the hope they could be used in transplant operations. As the technology is customisable, the scientists claim they could eventually use the process to produce realistic looking ears for individual patients on a ‘rapid timescale.’

The findings feature in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Keyring makes medical records portable and secure


The MedicalKeyring could be the difference between life and death in the case of an emergency, giving responders immediate access to any information they may need. 

The keyring available from is priced at $89.95. It helps anyone to carry their medical records wherever they go, protected by biometric security. It takes the form of a 8GB USB stick is embedded with what the company calls the world’s smallest fingerprint scanner.

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PINHOLE - 3D Printed camera


Pinhole - a 3D printed camera is one of the latest Kickstarter projects to catch my eye. Clint O’Connor is the Austin, TX based brains behind the project. With a career based in computer hardware design, programming, and technology and a passion for photography he has merged his two passions to create “Pinhole, Printed”.

“Pinhole, Printed” is a modern take on an old photographic technique. Pinholes offer a unique perspective on the world you just can’t get with lenses or digital cameras. Using a pinhole camera unlocks a tremendous wellspring of creativity and experimentation.” Clint O’Connor

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‘Mirror, mirror on the floor, who in this land is the greediest of them all?’ ‘You, my old friend are the greediest of them all’ replied the mirror with a sharp, reflective tone. So with a long and satisfied yawn the city returned to its slumber, safe in the knowledge that the mirror speaks only the truth.”

2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the first publication of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales.

To celebrate this occasion FleaFollyArchitects, over the space of 5 weeks, ran a small summer atelier on the outskirts of the Black Forest in Germany. As a group of young architects and designers they planned and built the ‘Grimm City’ a miniature Cityscape based on the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm.

This miniature universe, brought to the Design Museum Tank, translates the Brothers Grimm characters into an architectonic cityscape that is meticulously hand crafted from only the finest Black Forest timbers.

Banksy sells original prints for $60 in NY pop up/

Original signed canvasses by British street artist Banksy have been sold from a stall in New York’s Central Park for $60 (£38) each. Just eight of the canvasses, estimated to be worth £20,000 each, were snapped up by passers by. Many of the pieces, estimated to be worth up to £20,000 each, remained unsold at the end of the day. The day’s takings came to a grand total of $420 (£263).

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One field that’s ready for an infusion of innovation? Higher education. Give this Time Magazine cover story a read and tell us: What do you think colleges will be teaching in 2025? What should they be teaching?

Interesting read.

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3D Printed Terminator Arm

Not the next terminator arm, this is a glimpse at the future of prosthetics. This exquisite model of a prosthetic arm is a brilliant example of 3D printing’s ability to show in unprecedented detail the inner workings 

The arm designed by Richard Hague, director of the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group at the University of Nottingham, UK and his students, is one of the highlights at the London Science Museum’s 3D printing exhibition.

By rendering the item in clear plastic the arm shows how the printers can create strong structure, mobile joints and delicate sensors – like spiral-shaped metal touch-detectors – all in one process.

"It’s a mock-up but it shows circuits that sense temperature, feel objects and control the arm’s movement. 3D printing gives us the freedom to make complex, optimised shapes, and our research aim is focused on printing-in electrical, optical or even biological functions." Richard Hague

Be sure to head down to London’s Science Museum for the 3D printing exhibition which explores more than 600 printed objects.

3D: Printing the Future


3D: printing the future is a new exhibition in the Antenna – science news gallery at the Science Museum London which will showcase the creative fruition of recent 3D printing projects.. The exhibition which launches on the 9 October, features 3D-printed replacement body organs, aeroplane parts, space probes and a music box in the 600 objects slated to be on display.

3D printing, once the reserve of large aerospace companies, is now opening up a host of opportunities for amateur designers working in the bedrooms, basements and garages.

Explore this exhibition to discover how innovators are using 3D printers to turn computer data into physical objects that could change your life. The stories we’ve uncovered focus on the future of industry, medicine and whether 3D printing will change your shopping experience.

I’ll be attending this week and will post a photo set of my favourite pieces. Be sure to head down and explore how 3D printing will shape ‘your’ future.

3D Printed gun on display at the V&A Museum


The V&A has acquired two Liberator prototypes, one disassembled gun and a number of archive items to enhance its collection of 3D printed objects and represent a turning point in debates around digital manufacturing. The 3D-printed guns developed and successfully fired by Texan law student Cody Wilson has sparked intense debate and upended discussions about the benefits of new manufacturing technologies and the unregulated sharing of designs online. 

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Handheld scanner reproduces any object in digital form

Chile-based ThinkerThing has already made 3D modelling easy by using an EEG headband to turn their thoughts into shapes. Now Fuel3D is a handheld scanner that can produce a high-resolution 3D model of any object. READ MORE…


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'Eyewire' game trains computers to map the Brain

Solving the mysteries of the connectome requires something more powerful than a supercomputer - YOU. EyeWire is a game to map the brain from Sebastian Seung’s Computational Neuroscience Lab at MIT. Over 70,000 people from 130+ countries play. Join the community and be a part of a revolution in neuroscience.

Swarm! casts Glass wearers as members of an ant colony who complete tasks while they go about their daily lives. Designed by Daniel Estrada, a philosophy professor at Illinois State University, and Jonathan Lawhead of Columbia University, Swarm! grew out of a fusion of the pair’s academic and gaming interests.

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum are currently holding ‘Club to Catwalk’ – an exhibition that explores the creative explosion of the London fashion scene in the 1980s. Through more than 85 outfits the exhibition showcases the bold and exciting new looks by the most experimental young designers of the decade, including Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett, Wendy Dagworthy and John Galliano.

The exhibition traces the emerging theatricality in British fashion as the capital’s vibrant and eclectic club scene influenced a new generation of designers. Also celebrating iconic styles such as New Romantic and High Camp, and featuring outfits worn by Adam Ant and Leigh Bowery, the exhibition explores how the creative relationship between catwalk and club wear helped reinvent fashion, as reflected in magazines such as i-D and Blitz and venues including Heaven and Taboo.

A highlight of the exhibition is a small club-like area within the space that streams music and film footage of clubs from the 1980s, all compiled by DJ Jeffrey Hinton.

The exhibition is a great retrospective of the decade that is remembered fondly for its fun, colourful and at times silly looks but whose fashion influences always seem to be being referenced.

Entrance costs £5 and the exhibition runs until February 16th 2014. For more information head over to the Victoria and Albert Museum website.

Google has bought technology patents from Foxconn, the maker of its futuristic Glass eyeware, in an apparent attempt to consolidate its head start in wearable gadgets.

Neuro-Technology… The Future?


The past two years proved to be very fruitful in the world of neuroscience, exposing new secrets of the mind and unveiling yet more awe-inspiring gadgets. The year has delivered incredible breakthroughs in neuroprosthetics, visual stimulation and mind-reading.

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