At the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Vancouver, Canada this week, researchers from the University of Minnesota are presenting a system that 3D prints objects directly onto a moving human body.
It’s intended to put down layers of biomaterials that have been developed in the recent years, but which have been limited due to having to be made on a printer and then somehow transferred to the skin. As seen in the video below, the U of Minnesota system continuously tracks the hand while it’s under the printer, and adjusts the position of the nozzle to guarantee the correct position of every drop of bio-ink.
This paper establishes the feasibility of robotically 3D printing biomaterials such as alginate hydrogels onto moving human anatomy and a stationary plane. The alginate hydrogels used are in-vivo compatible.