Showing posts from February, 2017

My 3D printer can bioprint... right? NOT

By Mayasari Lim, Ph.D.When the r3bEL from SE3D is on display at CES, NSTA or other educational events focused on STEM, the first impression is that it’s another 3D printer like those manufactured by MakerBot or Dremel. As you move in closer and notice that there is no spool for filament, one becomes a bit puzzled and asks the question, “Dr. Lim, this is a 3D printer right?” In some ways but its features and applications are very different than the 3D printers most educators are familiar with. While the r3bEL may have the basic physical structure and platform resembling a 3D printer, it has certain distinct features that cannot be produced in 3D printers typically found in schools. The r3bEL is actually classified as a “bioprinter” for the following; FACT #1 – It does not print plastic! Most desktop 3D printers like MakerBot are based on fused deposition modeling (FDM). It takes in plastic filament and extrudes plastic in a molten form to create 3D objects. It’s commonly used in c…