April 2nd, 2012
04:21 PM ET

How you can 'print' 3-D objects at home

If you hate waiting for days to get an item that you bought on the Internet, here's some good news. Now you may be able to print the object yourself, at home.

Here’s how it works: You design an object, and then a 3-D printer applies small strands of plastic in thin layers until it’s built your product. These machines have been available for professional use for years, but have only recently become (relatively) affordable for personal use.

“It’s about as close as you can get to teleportation,” says Bre Pettis, the inventor of MakerBot, one of the most popular 3-D printers. “It’s like physical objects over the Internet.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Design • Innovation • Internet • Tech
April 2nd, 2012
03:22 PM ET

How we help health workers invent medical devices

Editor's note: Anna Young is a researcher at MIT’s Little Devices group. She works with Jose Gomez-Marquez, Founder of the Little Devices group. CNN’s The Next List profiled Jose and his work hacking toys to make affordable medical devices.

By Anna Young, Special to CNN

"For this trip to Nicaragua, you should measure success not by the number of temperature and pressure data points you guys collect from the device. What really matters is the number of design modifications from Nicaraguans that you can bring back to Boston.”

This was Jose Gomez-Marquez’s advice as our team packed and planned for a two-week trip to Ocotal, Nicaragua, to test our medical-instrument sterilization device for use in rural clinics. This solar-powered technology will ensure that even the most remote clinics have access to clean, sterile instruments to perform simple surgical procedures. FULL POST

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Filed under: Science • The Next List • Thinkers • Video