3-D Printing

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Airplanes are expensive to build, and relatively few are made each month. A Boeing press release from January touts the company has a seven-year order backlog for the Boeing 737, and is increasing production of the model to 52 airplanes each month.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and for those who need a transplant, the wait list is long. A Carnegie Mellon University bioengineering lab is on its way to achieveing a lofty goal: 3-D printing the human heart.

Bryanna Johnson / Prototype

Five Pittsburgh nonprofits are banding together for a free workshop series on tech and entrepreneurship skills. The program, called the City as our Makerspace, is specifically aimed at women of color and is a collaboration of Prototype PGH, Black Unicorn Library, A Peace of Mind, Ujamaa Collective and Flower House.

Courtesy Photo

Several Fayette County students are in Washington D.C. this week to showcase projects they have been working on in their school’s “Fab Lab.”

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

It turns out a knitting machine can work a bit like a 3-D printer.

Courtesy of UPMC

Ann Kozak, 15, peered at a three-dimensional printed model of the female reproductive system. Learning about career options in women's health was a great experience, she said.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-area robotics and 3-D printing companies displayed their designs as part of a preview of the Hazelwood Green’s Mill 19 facility.

The former steel mill will soon be the home to the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, a public-private partnership between Carnegie Mellon University, community stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

In a lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Adam Feinberg is using 3-D printing to create human tissue.

The associate professor of materials science & engineering and biomedical engineering said he often downloads 3-D images to print dollhouse furniture and Pokémon characters out of plastic for his children. He said that led him to ask: why not do that with the images made by an MRI or CT scan?

He said making a computer model from a scan is actually pretty easy.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Flickr

Advances in 3-D printing are making prosthetic limbs more affordable and easier to acquire.

A global community called e-Nabling the Future is making low-cost prosthetic hands across the world. A traditional prosthetic limb can cost a person thousands of dollars, but the hands produced by e-Nabling, are free.

Bad Hair Day? Try Printing It Instead

Oct 29, 2015
Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are printing 3-D hair.

The three-dimensional printers, which translate objects from a digital file into hard, typically plastic objects, have been harnessed to make whistles, shoes, automotive parts and medical devices. But hair is a new, softer, more pliable frontier.

CMU's development team says producing 3-D hair is similar to and inspired by the way stringy strands come out in small bits when a glue gun is used.

Two separate University of Pittsburgh research groups have received funding from America Makes to improve design development for three-dimensional printing.

Directed by faculty in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, the two projects will receive more than $1.7 million.

Each group has a different approach to 3-D printing research. One group, led by Albert To, associate professor of mechanical engineering and material science, focuses on the design aspect of 3-D printing. The second group’s focus is on the process of additive manufacturing.