Jun.19, 2013

Australian scientists have created the world's first 3D printed super-sized titanium bugs, up to 50 times their original size.

The project, led by CSIRO researchers, will enable scientists to study features of these creatures, especially those which can barely be seen with the naked eye.

CSIRO researchers believe this technology will soon enable them to determine characteristics, such as gender, and examine surface characteristics which are otherwise difficult due to the minute size.

The bug was taken from Canberra's Australian National Insect Collection. To create the 3D printed bug, scientists first scanned the insect to generate a 3D model and then sent the CAD file to a 3D printer.

The 3D printer adds layer upon layer of titanium to build up each bug and up to 12 bugs can be produced at a time. About 10 hours later the bugs were re-created, up to 50 times their original size.

3D printing is highly efficient and environmentally friendly, said Chad Henry, CSIRO's Additive Manufacturing Operations Manager. ""The process is perfect for building fine scale features to capture all of the intricate details of the bugs."

CSIRO researcher Chad Henry with the 3D printed titanium bugs. | Images: CSIRO

At the moment, the bugs are being 3D printed in basic detail. But CSIRO hopes to replicate the creatures' anatomy down to the most minute feature in the coming months.

The benefits are obvious for scientists.

"A doctor once said that having 3D images on a computer to plan a surgery is great, but to print the parts, to handle and examine them in clear detail is invaluable," Mr. Henry told AAP.

He believes it is only a matter of time before 3D printing is able to make living tissue.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive