Jun 30, 2016 | By Andre

At first glace, it’s a simple little video with some beautiful music and sped up 3D print footage. Nothing we haven’t seen done ad nauseum since videos promoting the technology started revealing theselves and inspiring imaginations around the globe. But then, upon further inspection you realize those aren’t typical extruders, and there are four of them; and what’s with the occasional burst of UV light that keeps rearing its head anyway?

After a few moments, it becomes obvious the Aether 3D’s newly revealed 3D bio printer time-lapse footage is something more than your typical FDM 3D printer video and if you have 8 minutes to spare I do recommend taking a look.

As reported a few months back, the Aether 1 is a sub-$9,000 3D bio-printer that claims to drastically outperform the top-of-the-line $250,000+ completion currently on the market today.

It really doesn’t take long to realize a lot is going on in the sped up clip. There are 6 materials being deposited from start to finish. And although it remains more of a proof of concept video than anything overly practical (we're still not quite at the functional 3D printed kidney everyone has been raving about since Anthony Atala’s now famous TED talk) it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.

What it does show is the hypothetical 3D printing of bones wrapped in bands of graphene connected by a tendon followed by an integrated circuit chip which is connected by electroconductive wires. From there, a UV LED is used to photocross link things together.

While this may sound Latin to some and eureka moment to others, it is without a doubt an impressive demonstration of how far Aether 3D has come since we last reported on it. At 22x the actual speed, the four syringe and droplet jet stem cell placing contraption demonstrates that the theory and promise of bio-printing on a relatively affordable level is quite possible with today’s technology.

Even still, Aether CEO Ryan Franks is the first to admit that there is still a long and uncharted road ahead. He suggests that “what you see here is just a basic prototype. Aether will be putting out more videos soon where you'll see dramatically improved looks and performance. For example, here we show a groundbreaking six material bioprint. Six materials is far more complex than any other bioprinting video out there, but it's only a fraction of Aether 1's full capacity. We're really trying to push the limits of bioprinting technology in order to empower researchers to reach their goals, and we're excited to share more in the very near future.”

To me, as someone that follows the technological advancements of 3D printing fairly closely, the low-price point and impressive demonstration have me rather excited. Sure, the planned beta testing phase for the summer of 2016 isn’t for everyone (it is a niche corner of what remains a somewhat niche industry to begin with), it is a further glimpse of what’s to come as 3D printing matures. Heck, at the very very least, the video will provide you with your daily dose of Beethoven.

AETHER 1 SPECIFICATIONS

Fabrication System:

10+ Extruders on 1 Printhead
8 Pneumatic Syringe Extruders with Retraction System
2 FFF Hot End Filament Extruders
Heated Glass Syringe Extruder
4,000Hz Droplet Jet Extruders
UV Photo Cross-linking LED
CNC Milling
Laser Engraving
Universal Tool Mounts – Use Syringes or Tools of Virtually Any Kind

Minimum Resolution:

Standard Motor Z axis – 43 nanometers (0.000043mm)
Standard Motor X/Y axis – 1 micron (0.001mm)

High Resolution Motor Z axis – 0.4 nanometers (0.0000004mm)
High Resolution Motor X/Y axis – 10 nanometers (0.00001mm)

Resolution of all motors may be decreased to increase printing speed

Layer Height – 50 microns (0.05mm)

Display:

7 inch 480p Touchscreen

Exterior:

Anodized Aluminum and Glass Sealed Exterior

Printer Dimensions:

24” x 17 “ x 15” (610mm x 432mm x 381mm)
Max Build Size 12.4” x 9” x 5.2”  (315mm x 229mm x 132mm)
Max Build Volume 580.32” (14,732mm)
Weight 33 pounds
Built for Desktop Use

Processors:

Raspberry Pi 3

Arduino Mega 2560

Software:

Combine Multi Material and Multi Fabrication Method Prints into Single 3D File
Simplifies Printing Process

Features:

Automatic Air Pressure Calibration – Highly Accurate Machine Vision System
Automatic Nozzle Cleaning and Unclogging
Automatic Stage Leveling
Built for Your Own Materials – No Expensive Proprietary Inks
Interior Multi Color LED Lighting System
Interior UV Blacklight LED Lighting System
Interior Temperature Control
Heated Printing Surface
All-Metal Chain and Sprocket Gantry System
Single or Dual Air Sterility Filtration System – Sterile Printing Environment
Wi-fi Internet
Mobile App – Monitor and Control Your Print from Anywhere
Attachable UV Microscope – Machine Vision Options

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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Jennyfromtheblock wrote at 7/1/2016 5:08:20 PM:

This is a Makerbot Relicator with four syringes attached to it. How can you possibly achieve 0.4nm resolution, what absolute rubbish.



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