Skip to main content

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

Aether 3D Bioprinter - Bioprinting Bone with Graphene and Stem Cells - Electronics Printing
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.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Huawei Watch D to launch on December 23
Huawei Watch GT 3 colors.Credits: Huawei Official.

Huawei took great strides in the smartwatch market this year with the launch of the Huawei Watch 3 and 3 Pro, as well as the relatively recent Huawei GT 3. Now, as a part of the year-end holiday season, they will soon reveal their latest smartwatch. The Huawei Watch D launches on December 23.As a part of their latest launch event, the company would unveil the Huawei P50 Pocket, which goes by the name of "Huawei Mate V" in China. The Chinese company will also share further details of the Matebook X Pro laptop. A new product, HarmonyOS powered smart glasses, could also be released at the event.
Huawei has made several smartwatch launches this year, including the Huawei Watch GT 3 (in pic). Image used with permission by copyright holder
High-resolution renders of the official product have now been revealed. The watch has an all-black look with a smooth finish, along with a broad-rectangular watch face. It would also have dedicated buttons for health as well as home screen functions. Sources have suggested that the wearable would be equipped with a medical-grade ECG (Electrocardiogram), which detects a person's heart rhythms for any irregularities. What sets this product apart from regular smartwatches is that it is equipped with a blood pressure monitoring feature. GSM Arena has shared a leaked user guide, which explains how blood pressure can be checked using the device. According to the leaked video, a separate strap needs to be attached to the inside of the watch band to take a blood pressure measurement.The Watch D would have 32MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage. It is expected to be priced at CNY 2,998 ($470), which is decent given some of its unique features. While the December launch would be limited to China, it could be presented to the rest of the world by the first quarter of 2022. The product could give stiff competition to the Samsung Watch 3, which also has blood-pressure measurement capability.

Read more
Need a last-minute Halloween costume? Check out these 3D-printable getups
3D printed Halloween costumes

Still not sure what to dress up as for Halloween this year? Well, instead of frantically scrambling around town looking for the right shop with the right stuff, have you considered 3D printing your Halloween costume? Check out our list of 3D-printable masks and costume pieces to get all geared up for this year's spooking, then fire up that printer.

If you've already finished your costume and want to get started on your scary movie watchlist, we've put together a list of the best horror movies on Netflix.
Squid Game soldier mask

Read more
NASA is testing a 3D printer that uses moon dust to print in space
The Redwire Regolith Print facility suite, consisting of Redwire's Additive Manufacturing Facility, and the print heads, plates and lunar regolith simulant feedstock that launches to the International Space Station.

The Redwire Regolith Print facility suite, consisting of Redwire's Additive Manufacturing Facility and the print heads, plates, and lunar regolith simulant feedstock that launches to the International Space Station. Redwire Space

When a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) this week, it carried a very special piece of equipment from Earth: A 3D printer that uses moon dust to make solid material.

Read more