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Printing the Future

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of all the crazy things that 3D Printers can do.  There’s the normal stuff we see at NYSCI like printing small figurines or busts of our Maker Space crew.  There’s the criminally insane stuff, like printing guns, or turning the printer into an at home tattooing machine.  And then there’s the big stuff like printing artificial limbs or bioprinting kidneys using cells.  But placed in the right hands, 3D printers can be used to solve tons of real problems.

The latest development in 3D printing involves a little origami, and some very little life.  Dr. Manu Prakash is on a mission to equip the world with his Foldscope, a microscope assembled simply by folding the paper cutouts made with a 3D printer.  They cost less than a dollar, fit in your pocket, don’t require any external power, can project the slide’s image on the wall and have the potential to change the world.

With a cost efficient, go anywhere microscope, a local clinic in Africa can better diagnose bacterial diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. A farmer in Mongolia can show his community why they should pasteurize their milk.  Or a rural beekeeper in America can find out what microorganisms cause disease in her bees. 

This may sound like a cool new toy for science, but it’s much more.  For some, research equipment like a 3D printed microscope was only a dream, until now.

Source: New York Times

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    3D printed cut-n-assemble microscope!
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