“What’s That Mean?”: 3-D Printing

Photo Credit: http://www.core77.com/blog/digital_fabrication
Photo Credit: http://www.core77.com/blog/digital_fabrication

I would like to continue the “What’s that Mean?” series by exploring the concept of 3-D Printing. To start with, let’s define the term by sharing the definition from the Oxford dictionary. “A process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material”.

Originally 3-D printing referred to processes that “sequentially deposited material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads” (wikipedia).  Now 3-d printing contains processes like  Photopolymerization, Bioprinting, and Nanoscale 3D printing. 

What this means for someone like me, who doesn’t actually know the definition of Nanoscale 3D printing, is that we are now entering an age where 3-D printing will allow incredible, almost miraculous achievements. In future articles, I will cover such creations as a 3-D printed jaw, a 3-D printed skull, elegant printed 3-D printed prostheses, and 3-d printed casts.


e-Liiso Mobile Eye Checkup


To combat preventable blindness (in the form of trachoma) in Uganda, IT student Moses Rurangwa formed Sight for Everyone, a company which has developed an eye checkup app called e-Liiso. In March 2014, they took third place in the BigIdeas@Berkeley contest.

From Berkeley.edu site: “Doctors and optometrists using e-liiso will be able to check patients’ abilities by just taking a flash picture from a phone camera to see color, test for long and short-sightedness, and also detect the presence of cataracts and other eye conditions. The app uses smartphones’ cameras, flashlights and display to check how the eyes react to stimuli, while doctors can also track the progress of individual patients and easily keep a record of their geo-location.” Read more at: http://bigideas.berkeley.edu/2014/09/17/a-ugandan-health-app-created-by-and-for-ugandans/

Super Sprowtz


Super Sprowtz is an innovative story-driven nutrition program, which uses entertainment and puppetry to educate kids about healthy eating habits. It currently reaches over one million families through multi-media channels, live shows, museum exhibits, a mobile app, educational products and also through school, grocery store and hospital programs. – See more at: http://supersprowtz.com/

Sleepio: Sleep Improvement App


Sleepio is a clinically tested app for helping to improve people’s sleep/sleeping patterns. Using a four-step formula of sleep testing, virtual guidance,  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, and assorted tools, this app aims to improve your sleep, helping you to be more healthy, feel more energized, and be more productive. Check it out at www.sleepio.com.

Sign Language Translation Devices


The MotionSavvy team from Rochester Institute of Technology / National Technical Institute for the Deaf have developed a product that facilitates communication between spoken and sign language speakers. The device, called UNI, is a two-way communication tool for the deaf and hearing.

Read more here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/motionsavvy-uni-1st-sign-language-to-voice-system

MOCAHeart Handheld Heart Monitor


MOCAHeart is a two-fingered handheld heart monitor that connects to a smartphone. It features the ability to monitor heart-rate/rhythm, changes in blood flow, and blood oxygen levels. With this device and app the company says a person could feel more secure in deciding if they need to seek medical help. Read here for more info…. http://mocacare.com/index.html

Skeletal Prosthetic Arm

Armprotesen-690-x-330Prostheses have emerged as one of the areas where innovation has shown the greatest short-term potential. This article is about a prosthetic arm created by Chalmers University in Sweden. This prosthetic is unique because it truly integrates with the human mind.

From Company Website: “Mind-controlled prosthetic arms that work in daily life are now a reality.

For the first time, robotic prostheses controlled via implanted neuromuscular interfaces have become a clinical reality. A novel osseointegrated (bone-anchored) implant system gives patients new opportunities in their daily life and professional activities.”

Read more at: http://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Mind-controlled-prosthetic-arms-that-work-in-daily-life-are-now-a-reality.aspx