NASA is trying to figure out how to 3D print biomaterials like wood and enamel

NASA is trying to figure out how to 3D print biomaterials like wood and enamel

February 12, 2014 6:53 pm Comments are Disabled

Emelie Rutherford writes for TechCrunch:

Lynn Rothschild has short brown hair and smiley eyes. She cracks jokes about biology and microscopes with ease. Diana Gentry, her decades-younger Ph.D. student, loves classic video games and vegetarian cooking. She lives near Silicon Valley. The two colleagues have a funny banter, and have spent holidays together. But they share one unique goal.

They’re trying to 3D-print wood in space.

The Stanford University researchers have been working long hours honing a three-dimensional printing process to make biomaterials like wood and enamel out of mere clumps of cells. Pundits say such 3D bioprinting has vast potential, and could one day be widely used to transform specially engineered cells into structural beams, food, and human tissue. Rothschild and Gentry don’t only see these laboratory-created materials helping only doctors and Mars voyagers. They also envision their specific research – into so-called “synthetic biomaterials” – changing the way products like good-old-fashioned wooden two-by-fours are made and used by consumers.

Full Story: TechCrunch: How NASA Prints Trees

See also:

3D printers that print human tissue

Researchers building a pharmaceutical printer

My short story about pharamceutical printing

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