People can now download, share and edit files for use in 3D printers from the National Institutes of Health.
People can now download, share and edit files for use in 3D printers from a new government website. The site has files that can be used to create models of anything from a human brain to deadly viruses.
The website, launched by the National Institutes of Health, is called theNIH 3D Print Exchange, and contains a library of files that a 3D printer can read and print. The files all relate to health and science; the available files include models of a human femur bone, theWest Nile virusand a white matter section of the brain.
Users can also share their own files, edit exiting ones or create files using a tool that converts scientific data into ready-to-print 3D files. [How 3D Printers Work (Infographic)]
We created this website as kind of a way to have a YouTube-like experience, but instead of exchanging and sharing and commenting on and remixing videos, instead we are doing all of those same things with 3D-print files, said Darrell Hurt, a researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who helped develop the 3D Print Exchange, speaking in avideo from the NIHabout the new site.
A3D printercreates three-dimensional objects from digital models by printing material (such as plastic or metal) one layer at a time.
The NIH already uses 3D printing for a number of purposes, including making special lab equipment and creating anatomy models that doctors can then use to plan medical procedures. Scientists who study very small things, such as proteins, bacteria or viruses, can also enhance their understanding by creating 3D models.
A researcher whos been using a computer model of this for 15 years learns something as soon as they put their hands on a real, tangible model, Hurtsaid in the video, referring to a 3D-printed representation of a protein.
All of the files on the site are free, and the site also features a tutorial for new users.
The library is not intended only for professional scientists. We want this to be a place where people from all different walks of life can come together and download and share [files], Hurtsaid. Who knows what some kid somewhere might come up with in using some of the 3D-modeling software, and then share that model out, and someone half a world away may learn something.
Follow Rachael Rettner@RachaelRettner.FollowLive Science@livescience,Facebook&Google+. Original article onLive Science.
The 10 Weirdest Things Created By 3D Printing
7 Cool Uses of 3D Printing in Medicine
5 Crazy Technologies That Are Revolutionizing Biotech
Copyright 2014LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Cyberattacks are more prevalent than ever, and reformed hackers are often the only people who can stop their own kind
Instagram wants to make itself the kindest corner of the internet, but can social science and technology beat the trolls?
The American scientist whos seen North Koreas nuclear secrets
RTs editor-in-chief on election meddling, being labeled Russian propaganda
Combat veterans coming home with CTE
60 Minutes Presents: Making a Difference
Video shows hospital guards dumping patient in freezing cold
Why are teens putting detergent pods in their mouth?
Tearful superintendent on teachers controversial arrest: Im to blame
Dolores ORiordan, singer of The Cranberries, is dead at 46
False alarm warns Hawaiians of ballistic missile threat
2018 Critics Choice Awards red carpet