Why is 3D printing so cool?

Consumer Guide / Culture / Tech

Besides home and small business printing of toys and parts, why is 3d printing so good?


Watch Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney, on TED, below.


Anthony Atala is the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where his work focuses on growing and regenerating tissues and organs. His team engineered the first lab-grown organ to be implanted into a human — a bladder — and is developing experimental fabrication technology that can “print” human tissue on demand.

In 2007, Atala and a team of Harvard University researchers showed that stem cells can be harvested from the amniotic fluid of pregnant women. This and other breakthroughs in the development of smart bio-materials and tissue fabrication technology promises to revolutionize the practice of medicine.


For the first time now scientists are successfully 3D printing actual, living human organs. Miniature in size but with 90% of the printed cells alive. More on recent developments on 3D printing of transplantable organs here.

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