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This Week in Tech: 3D Printing with Microbes by Neri Oxman at MIT Media Lab | Architect Magazine

Plus, WeWork picks a new CEO, a five-axis 3D printer you didn’t know you needed, California sets its sights on carbon neutrality, and more.

Video and hero image courtesy the Media Lab’s Mediated Matter Group

By Wanda Lau

An interdisciplinary group led by MIT Media Lab associate professor and Mediated Matter research group director Neri Oxman has developed a new method of printing 3D objects with living biological organisms, such as bacteria, to produce hybrid living materials. These HLMs could be used to create biomedical tools, such as braces customized with living cells that then produce painkillers or topical treatments, the researchers tell MIT News. During their proof-of-concept experiments, the team printed objects that precisely incorporated chemicals that would activate a response in biologically engineered microbes. A layer of these living microbes were then spray-coated onto the printed object and displayed specific colors or fluorescence in areas treated with the integrated, 3D printed chemicals. The printing platform can also produce objects with user-specified variability in material properties, such as stiffness and absorption. … [MIT News]

In the mostly unexplored marketplace of five-axis polymer printing devices, Polish manufacturer VShaper has announced its 5AX five-axis hybrid 3D printer will be commercially released in late May. One downfall of conventional 3D printed objects is weakness in the vertical, z-axis because the stacked layers of outputted filament simply melt together; in the horizontal, x-y plane, the filament is chemically bonded. VShaper first debuted a prototype of 5AX in 2017. []

Courtesy TestFit
Courtesy TestFit

TestFit CEO Clifton Harness doesn’t think algorithms will replace architects soon, but he does think “the counting of parking spaces absolutely should be automated.” With $2 million in new seed funding, the Dallas startup offers generative design software that runs test fits of unit mixes in multifamily residential projects and neighborhoods in seconds, with the goal of saving architects from dead-end projects. [ARCHITECT]

Read on >>> Source: Architect This Week in Tech: 3D Printing with Microbes by Neri Oxman at MIT Media Lab | Architect Magazine

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