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MIT Unveils Impressive Biological Silkworm 3D Printer

mit-silkworm-3d-printer-innovation

Technology has come a long way since the first technological device was invented. But when we look at the wonders of our world and how nature itself handles innovation, there is simply no comparison. Nature’s own processing power far exceeds that of technology, and we see that when we compare the complexity of our own brains with a computer’s ability to process things. In order to narrow the gap, researchers at MIT have combined nature with technology and created a biological silkworm 3D printer.

Innovating usually involves taking what’s present and creating something entirely new with it. That is exactly what the people over at MIT have been able to do with their silkworm 3D printer. Alright, it’s not a 3D printer per say, but it is in the sense that it will use silkworms to silk print predefined areas. The procedure is quite impressive and uses thousands of silkworms, 6,500 to be exact, in order to complete the final printed product.

Using these worms as the “printing head” of their innovation is a genius approach since the animal has endless printing material, if you know what I mean. I can’t say I know very much about the worm itself, but the video showcasing MIT’s silkworm 3D printer in action says it all. Think of the dome-like shape they use and put the silkworms on as a guide, sort of like the software used in real 3D printing. By threading the metal frame with silk string, it makes it easier for the silkworms to crawl and do their work.



What’s really impressive is that the researchers have created a software that uses an algorithm to accurately thread the metal frame with string in the exact pattern the silkworms would. This further adds to the look and feel of the final 3D printed object. There’s no doubt this process is infinitely longer than that of a real 3D printer, but I think the result is way more natural and impressive. So, anyone want to buy a biological silkworm 3D printer? Just make sure you have somewhere to store the 6,500 worms when they are not working for free for you.

MIT’s Biological Silkworm 3D Printer Innovation

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mit-silkworm-3d-printer

mit-silkworm-3d-printer

mit-silkworm-3d-printer

mit-silkworm-3d-printer

Via: [psfk]

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Author: Richard Darell

Richard Darell is the founder and CEO of Bit Rebels, a multifaceted online news outlet that reports daily on the latest developments in technology, social media, design and everything geek. Today this media entity welcomes more than 2.5 million unique visitors per month and is considered the go to place for people in constant motion. As an Internet entrepreneur, he is dedicated to constantly trying to develop new ways to bring content faster and closer to the end user in a more streamlined way. His excitement for statistics has allowed him to further develop systems that continuously produce accurate and fast-paced analytics to better optimize the approach by which Bit Rebels presents news and content. His graphic design background has proven to be an important tool when designing new systems and features for Bit Rebels since the development of solid and stable code depends entirely on their structure and implemented procedures. Richard currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden and directs the Bit Rebels offices in both Stockholm and Atlanta. You can reach Richard at richard@bitrebels.com

One Comment

John Vons

June 1st, 2013

To use the term “printer” when describing this project or a similar process is very misleading and inaccurate. Terms such as weave, sculpt, spin or fabricate would be far more appropriate than the hyped trending term “3D Printer”.

[Reply]

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