3D-Printed LEGO Limbs Help Child Amputees Adjust

Longtime readers of this blog know that we're quite fond of LEGOs and fascinated by the use of 3D printing in the field of medicine. So when news broke of these two elements being brought together, it was only a matter of time before we told you folks about it.

A Man with a Plan

Colombian-born designer Carlos Arturo Torres interned for six months at LEGO's Future Lab. Impressed by the company's dedication to social outreach, Torres convinced them to sponsor a trip back to his hometown of Bogotá, wherein he would observe amputees at Cirec, a rehabilitation center. After spending time in the center’s youth ward, Torres came up with an idea to make a medical attachment out of their favorite toys.

Double Trouble for Young Amputees

As Torres discovered, amputee children not only have to function with a missing limb, but also face a greater social stigma amongst their peers. "My friends in psychology used to tell me that when a kid has a disability, he is not really aware of it until he faces society," says Torres. "That's when they have a super rough encounter."

Introducing Personalized Prosthetics

Torres' design, named "Iko", is for amputees aged to 3-12, covering many of the most important developmental years in a child's life. The attachment allows the child to accessorize and customize the prosthetic as they see fit, helping to build the patient's self-esteem as well as providing functional movement.

After successfully testing the prototypes at Cirec, Torres hopes to have 15 more units ready by this December, with a full production line ready by mid-2017.

What Can 3D Printing Really Do?

10. October 2013 16:43 by Calvin Yu in   //  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

3D printing has been featured on virtually even major blog and news organization. Even consumer giant Amazon now offers a 3D printing landing page as they are attempting to bring 3D printers into consumer households. At 247inktoner, we've even featured how this technology impacts medical fields. But what other innovative things can 3D printing do? Why do these innovations matter? And what limitations, if any, are there to this technology? More...

Who Does That Belong To?: Copyright Concerns in 3-D Printing

3-D printing is everywhere these days. Like our recent blog post on the medical applications of 3-D printing points out, new developments in printing have brought us a long way from the inkjet printer. With any new technology, however, comes a slew of unique concerns over what that technology can do. One of the biggest and most recent of these developments is related to copyright laws. More...

When Evernote Benefits Your Business

It's no surprise that we love to use the productivity app Evernote to help organize our day-to-day lives at 247inktoner. While it's clear all of the personal features we talked about (in our previous blog) can be helpful for anyone, we wanted to take some time to highlight Evernote Business. At just 10 dollars per month, this all-in-one organizational tool can keep any small business organized and running more efficiently. Whether it's sharing contact information, important business documents, payment information, or log-in passwords, there are features that everyone can find useful. More...

3D Printing and Medical Applications

3D printing is the most talked about new development in printing technology at the moment, particularly with Amazon's recent opening of a dedicated 3D printing page on their website. While the discussion is focused on the consumer aspect of this technology, we wanted to focus on the more high tech applications, including how these technological developments show promise for the medical field. Though 3D printing is still relatively expensive, rapidly decreasing costs and the development of new types of materials used in printing prosthetics make this technology viable for many larger research-focused hospitals. With the future looking bright for medical applications of 3D printing, there is great hope that medical costs and recovery times can be reduced. More...

High-Resolution Printing Without Ink

Inkless-Printing-image.jpg

One of the most dynamic endeavors in the arena of computer technology has been the quest to build a machine that will offer the sharpest rendition of any given image in the highest resolution possible. Through the years, the technology has advanced and there have been numerous innovations for consumer needs, such as three-dimensional printing, which has enabled people to create anything from artificial skulls to Star Wars figures. Unfortunately, despite the innovations in the realm of computer printing, stumbling blocks have come about, which will make the widespread use of this technology possible only many years in the future.

A Pioneering Discovery in Singapore

In August 2012, a team of scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore have struck upon a method of producing high-definition, full color images at 100,000 dots per inch without using any ink. This resolution is ten times that of top-of-the-line printers, which feature the ability to print images at a mere 10,000 dpi.

A Novel Concept Inspired by an Ancient Idea

Taking their inspiration from the concept of stained glass, which was made by mixing tiny metal fragments into glass, the scientists used nanometer-sized metal disks arranged upon a reflective surface. When the disks come into contact with light, small vibrations their electrons occur, resulting in the adding or subtracting of colors from the visible spectrum, depending upon where the disks are placed. Since the disks are so small, they can be clustered very closely together, yielding a particularly sharp image.

As such, this technique allows coloring to be viewed an idea that has more in common with the concept of etching an image into stone, as opposed to an inking matter. Such a concept could very possibly bring radical change to the notion of how images are printed and further developed.

New Possibilities Abound

It may take a good deal of time before this technology is made widely available for everyday use, especially since the process of 100,000-dpi inkless printing takes hours. However, it bodes well that this innovative method will be particularly useful to industries specializing in high-resolution reflective color displays, anti-counterfeiting measures, high-density optical data storage and perhaps one day might enable more detailed three-dimensional printing. In fact, for months, A*STAR's technology transfer arm, Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, has been shopping this technology around to potential collaborators in the hopes of finding a suitable licensing arrangement.

All-New Photo-Sharing App Takes A Roadtrip

29. April 2013 07:06 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments

Divvy

Divvy, a dynamic photo-sharing application available for Mac OS and Microsoft Windows that takes its name from the abbreviated form of the verb divide, is ready to hit the road.

Reaching out to new users across the nation

Jeremy Greenfield and Keyvon Olomi, who founded Divvy, have set out on a cross-country road trip to promote and market the app, which enables users to view and save photos from all of their favorite social media outlets, like Facebook and Instagram, and also to share the images with individuals, groups, people nearby, and their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter.

After leaving Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 1, the two, as of this writing, are touring the Northeast with plans to visit colleges in the greater Boston metropolitan area before heading to Denver in the next three weeks.

A new and easier way to share photos via social media

Olomi, who founded AppTank in late 2010, devised Divvy to alleviate the tedious hassle of moving between Facebook and Instagram to share photos with friends, as well as the inconvenience of Instagram's lack of zoom and save features. In addition, he designed Divvy so that its users could share photos more privately than on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even better, a user can snap a picture and use the “Around Me” feature to instantly share the image with whomever he or she wants!

Yet another neat thing about Divvy is that a user can take a printout from any printer, be it a conventional inkjet or laser model or the Little Printer, the Circle Printer, and the PocketJet printer, snap a photo with Divvy and share it with all of his or her friends, family and followers.

However, the feature that Greenfield and Olomi are touting as Divvy's main selling point is its photo aggregation capabilities, which entails linking with users' Facebook and Instagram accounts, displaying images from the respective feeds and enabling Divvy users to share photos with nearby Divvy users, individuals, groups and all their followers. 

Although at this time, Facebook and Instagram are the only two social media platforms that link with Divvy, there are immediate plans to support the capability to link with users' Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Dropbox accounts. Nonetheless, the reviews on Divvy's page on iTunes' App Store website are indeed glowing.

Sunshine and Smartphones Meet: Essential Warm Weather Apps

18. April 2013 07:38 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments

Temperatures are finally rising, at least in most places across the United States, which means you're probably beginning to plan your favorite outdoor activities for the first time in months. Whether hiking, beach volleyball, summer concerts, or sunbathing are your preferred hobbies, there are specific apps you can use to help improve your outdoor experience. From video apps to GPS location devices to plant encyclopedias, there are limitless possibilities to stay connected, even when you're basking in the sunshine.

vine appShare life's precious moments with Vine.

Vine, created by social media website Twitter, allows you to take 6 second video clips with audio. Available only for iPhone or iPad, the app allows for video content to be shared more easily over the internet. How many times have you taken video only to realize it's too long to send through email or attach on a social media website? Vine takes the hassle out of this. Whether you're looking to capture a candid family moment or some incredible vista during a hike, there are limitless options available.

Landscaper's Companion for that green thumb.

If you've got a garden, plan on starting one, or love to identify plants on hikes, Landscaper's Companion is the perfect app for you. Rather than carrying that bulky encyclopedia with you, you can carry a fully searchable database of over 26,000 plants and 21,000 images. Not only can you access data online but you can also make notes on specific plants. Have you noticed they only like a certain amount of sunshine or water? It takes the hassle out of trying to remember little details that are generally easy to forget or confuse. Better yet: it's available on both iOS and Android devices.

zLocation appNever get meeting points confused again with zLocation.

Have you ever gone on a hike with multiple people or tried to find your friends at a specific point on a beach that goes on for miles without avail? zLocation takes the hassle out of planning meeting points. You can create a meeting location point using GPS, provide a name and add specific location details if you're doing something like planning a beach volleyball excursion. Even if your friends don't have the app or an iOS, they'll be able to access the specific event through a mobile optimized browser.

These are just 3 suggestions to help make those outdoor plans easier. When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, you don't want to be too connected to your phone, but you also want to be able to plan the activities you love wihout having to worry about all of the small details. Feel free to share some other outdoor or spring/summer related app below. Otherwise enjoy the sunshine!

Month List

Recent Tweets

Twitter June 7, 15:02
While we might love printing, maybe our feline friends aren't such big fans! Or are they? http://t.co/xvPdeclZeU #printing #cats

Twitter June 6, 17:05
"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." -Dieter Uchtdorf (RT if you agree!)

Twitter June 4, 17:02
There's a new development every day in #3Dprinting! A company just introduced a printable flexible plastic. http://t.co/btTbJQrSxn #tech

Twitter June 2, 15:07
"Inspiration grows in even the tiniest places." What is inspiring you this Sunday? #quotes http://t.co/UX7AUhWYu5

Twitter May 31, 15:03
Ever wondered about artist M.C. Escher? We've got a new blog up explaining his life and work! http://t.co/0pos4y52zZ #art

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