Watch synthetic bones being 3D-printed in this amazing demo

When it comes to affordable, low-cost 3D bioprinting it’s safe to say that we’re still a few years away from being able to print out fully-functioning kidneys from the comfort of our own homes.

The Aether 1, however, hopes to represent a step in the direction of increased affordability. A sub-$9,000 3D bioprinter set to make its debut later this year, the Aether 1 makes some very bold claims for itself — including its ability to outperform rivals with price tags in excess of $250,000.

To demonstrate its promise, Aether 1’s creators recently debuted a gorgeous 22x speed video showing a proof-of-concept of how the 3D printing of bones will look on the upcoming bioprinter.

“The video shows two bones printed with a synthetic bone material, similar to something called hydroxyapatite,” Ryan Franks, Aether 1’s CEO, told Digital Trends. “They are connected by a tendon of silicone. Each bone is wrapped in a band of graphene. Then we also printed in 6 electroconductive wires, and attached them to an integrated circuit chip. We did seeding with two different stem cell types, as well, which are the blue and dark red liquids you see. It was mostly an example print to give some idea what Aether 1’s basic functionality is like.”

The main advantage Aether 1 boasts over similarly low-cost bioprinters is its ability to print more than two materials at once. Being able to do this is about more than just saving time: printing only two materials at once is very restrictive, and makes it impossible to create very complex structures.

“Aether 1 allows you to use up to 8 syringe extruders at once,” Franks continues. “That’s double the number you see in our video, which means you can use eight syringe-extruded biomaterials at once — four times the amount of syringe extruders compared to other $10k bioprinters, and twice the amount of syringes of some $250k bioprinters.” He adds that it will even be possible to combine 24 extruders together, which would mean people could actually print with 24 different materials at once. “It would be eight syringes, two FDM extruders, and 14 droplet jets,” he says. “Even the quarter-million-dollar bioprinters don’t come anywhere close to that.”

While we’ll definitely have to wait until Aether 1’s release to see proof that it works quite as well as Franks says, this is a gorgeous demonstration of how the dream of affordable 3D bioprinting is getting ever closer. We can’t wait.

Movies & TV

Oscar-winning FX master explains why ‘First Man’ is a giant leap for filmmaking

Paul Lambert, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on First Man, reveals the innovative techniques that blended old footage with modern movie magic to make the Apollo 11 mission to the moon resonate with audiences 50 years later.

Snooze soundly anywhere you lay your head with the best sleeping bags

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.
Home Theater

Sonos teases Google Assistant integration once again at CES 2019

It's been a very long road for Sonos customers who have been patiently waiting for the company to make good on its promise to integrate Google Assistant into its platform. With a working demo at CES, it's now closer than ever.

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.