THE HOT THREE: Top 3D printing stories of the week

3. Chang-rae Lee’s latest novel On Such a Full Sea’s signed, 3D printed slipcover

3D printed bookWhile already we have seen artists working in music, film and sculpture incorporate additive manufacturing into their endeavours, we never thought it likely that the world of literature would take to 3D printing. Yet, as with everything else in this field, there seems to be plenty of people out there looking to defy our pre-conceptions.

Earlier in the year we saw Tom Burtonwood’s superb ‘sculptural art history book’, Orihon, released on Thingiverse. And, this week, Pulitzer Prize nominated author Chang-rae Lee has picked up the baton for 3D printed writing. 200 copies of his upcoming, highly anticipated novel On Such a Full Sea will be available with a limited edition slipcover, printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2.

The slipcase was designed by Helen Yentus, who has created striking jacket designs for some of the most famous and popular novels of the last ten years. It appealed to Lee’s sense of a book as a piece of art, not just for what is written on its pages but for its physical properties, a concept that has been somewhat lost in the age of the Kindle.

Lee says:

It re-introduces the idea of the book as an art object. Content is what’s important but this is a book with a physical presence too.

On Such a Full Sea will hit the shops on January 7th 2014.

Meanwhile, the list of industries yet to be touched by the hand of 3D printing grows shorter by the day.

2. Surgeons can ‘draw’ implants on damaged bones with BioPen

One field in which 3D printing has already made well documented inroads is that of medicine and, this week, we’ve seen one of the most interesting examples of this phenomenon yet. Researchers at the University of Wollongong, where the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electormaterials Science is headquartered, have developed a potentially revolutionary device called the BioPen.

This pen-shaped piece of equipment allows doctors to repair damaged or diseased bone material by ‘writing’ a customised implant directly on to the patient. Like a 3D printer, the BioPen extrudes layers of material. Unlike a 3D printer, however, it extrudes them on to a bone rather than a build platform.

BioPen 3D printer medical

First, it deposits live cells and growth factors, which accelerates functional bone and cartilage. A second, protective layer of gel is then extruded on top, before a low powered violet light, attached to the top of the pen, solidifies the material. This could be particularly useful for the treatment of injuries caused during sports or motor accidents.

Basically, it’s a bit like a 3Doodler. The only difference, really, is that, while the 3Doodler is good at making miniature models of the Eiffel tower and funny dinosaurs, the BioPen could dramatically change the course of medical science as we know it.

The next step is to pass the prototype over to St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, who will optimise the cell material for use in clinical trials.

1. 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers: spicy and provocative 3D printed art exhibition from Sebastian Errazuriz

Top spot this week goes to a terrific new collection of 3D printed art from Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz. 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers brings together twelve pieces, each designed to represent ladies from the artist’s past and each taking the form of a high heel shoe.

3D printed art

In collaboration with shoe brand Melissa, Errazuriz printed each shoe on a MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental, before sanding, priming and painting the final piece.

3D printed shoes

Brash in design and boasting names like ‘The Hot Bitch’, ‘The Gold Digger’, ‘The Boss’ and ‘The Heart Breaker’, the shoes do what much of the most truly interesting portrait art does, expressing the personalities of both the artist and the subject.

3D printed art shoes

Provocative, beautiful, witty, hip and sexy, this is some of the most compelling 3D printed art we have yet seen.

The exhibition will be staged at Melissa’s Pop Up shop in Miami beach from December 5th to January 5th.

Share This Post On