Cars, guitars, and tracheal implants: Is there anything that 3-D printers can't make?
6 of 11
The prognosis was bleak for Kaiba Gionfriddo, an infant suffering from tracheobronchomalacia, a condition that can cause weak airway walls to collapse during breathing or coughing. Kaiba's doctors sought help from University of Michigan scientists, who used 3-D printing techniques to design and implant a custom-made tracheal splint for Kaiba.
The researchers created the splint from a CT scan of Kaiba's trachea/bronchus. They used a 3-D biomaterial printing process to construct the device, which was made from a biopolymer called polycaprolactone. In February 2012, doctors sewed the splint around Kaiba's airway to expand his bronchus and provide a skeleton for growth. Over a period of three years, the boy's body will absorb the splint. The University of Michigan says this image-based design and 3-D printing method can be used to build and reconstruct various tissue and bone structures.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.