The EU is investing in research to help European manufacturers remain competitive in a growing market for personalised medical products. Two projects are developing ways to use 3D printing to make tailor-made components for the benefit of patients.
Researchers have come up with an interactive prototyping system that prints what you are designing as you design it; the designer can pause anywhere in the process to test, measure and, if necessary, make changes that will be added to the physical model still in the printer.
Researchers have used metamaterials and 3-D printing to develop a novel lens that works with terahertz frequencies. Not only does it have better imaging capabilities than common lenses, but it opens the door for more advances in the mysterious realm of the terahertz.
A team of NASA technologists has begun investigating the use of a technique called aerosol jet printing or direct-write manufacturing to produce new detector assemblies that are not possible with traditional assembly processes.
With findings that could have been taken from the pages of a spy novel, researchers have demonstrated that they can purloin intellectual property by recording and processing sounds emitted by a 3-D printer.
Researchers have designed and tested an open-source system that uses a laser to melt powdered plastics and biomaterials into intricate 3-D designs. The OpenSLS selective laser sintering system costs about 40 times less than its commercial counterparts and allows researchers to work with their own specialized powdered materials.