3D Printed Hearts are a Scientific Breakthrough

Piggybacking off of a recent 3D printing post of mine, there is a big story in the news today. A university in Israel has officially printed the first biomimetic heart in history. I am not someone who is adept at scientific terminology, so I highly suggest you watch the short video above.

I also came across this very – VERY – in depth academic journal that outlines the process for this technology. If you’re interested in knowing the nitty gritty details, it was a great read. Definitely over my head, but I think it’s extremely interesting trying to understand reading material that is out of your comfort zone.

The scientists in the video said the blood-pumping actions that a normal heart would do itself, is still a few years away for the 3D printed one they created. However, they did elude to the fact that biomedical 3D printing is a largely unmapped territory that could become very successful in the near future. There is amazing stuff on the horizon people!

The Possibilities are Endless

One of the biggest technology upgrades we’ve seen recently is 3D printing. For those of you who may (or may not) live under a rock, 3D printing has been all the rage in the world of product design and engineering especially. I highly recommend looking up a short video on processes. Click here if you want to see a quick time-lapse.

Now, since 3D printing became more accessible and somewhat affordable as of late, we’ve seen people (amateurs or companies) get a little more creative with the possibilities. One of my favorite applications is the adidas 4D shoe concept that utilizes a flexible plastic material, 3D printed with air gaps. So, instead of having a solid sole, the shoe has a membrane-like bottom. I can imagine it would be extremely comfortable, but I don’t know how practical it would be to clean.

Still, the idea is brand new and completely original. I look forward to seeing 3D printing become even more crazy. What if the shoe laces became a flexible membrane over the outside of a normal shoe frame? Would shoes ever become fully printed? Not sure how many materials are used in 3D printing right now, but I’m it’d be interesting to see a mono-material application for something that is usually broken up in its segments by different materials. In the meantime, things like this are more than just eye-candy; they push the boundaries and make more people think.