3D printed cartilage ear

3D printed cartilage ear

Questions for your students’

            Where will 3D printing take us in manufacturing?

            What are the limits of 3D printing?


One of the fasted growing industries in America is advanced additive manufacturing also known as 3D printing. Three-dimensional printing has been around for a few decades with the mainstream printing being mainly ABS or PLA plastic. There are also a handful of polymer and metal printers on the market as well.

However, there are now biomedical printers that can print human cartilage. Unlike fuse deposition modeling printers, biomedical printers use ink that is more gelatinous. This gelatinous ink, known as bioink, is a mixture of polysaccharides, cellulose fibrils, and human chondrocytes (cartilage-producing cells).

Theses bioinks are currently being tested by creating cartilage based human parts like noses and ears. Eventually you will be able to repair cartilage and tissue by 3D printing the human body part.