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3-D printing

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Reuters

VulcanForms, an MIT startup co-founded by Prof. John Hart, is a 3D printing company that aims to provide cutting edge, clean and futuristic manufacturing, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. “VulcanForms builds metal parts by layering on and fusing together materials bit by bit – rather than cutting them out of blocks of metal or stamping them out in metal foundries,” writes Aeppel.

New York Times

VulcanForms, an MIT startup, has developed a 3-D printer that can “generate 100 times the laser energy of most 3-D printers, and can produce parts many times faster,” reports Steve Lohr for The New York Times. “Additive manufacturing lets us rethink how we build things,” explains Martin Feldmann MEng ’14, co-founder, president and CEO of VulcanForms. “That’s where we are now, and that’s a big change.”

Popular Mechanics

Researchers at MIT have developed a wood-like plant material which could eventually serve as a viable wood substitute in various construction projects, reports Tim Newcomb for Popular Mechanics. Researchers adjust “chemicals in the growth process to precisely control the physical and mechanical properties, such as stiffness and density,” explains Newcomb.

Popular Mechanics

Researchers at MIT have created a 3D-printable Oreometer that uses twisting force to determine if it is possible to evenly split an Oreo cookie, reports Juandre for Popular Mechanics. “While studying the twisting motion, the engineers also discovered the torque required to successfully open an Oreo is about the same as what’s needed to turn a doorknob—a tenth of the torque required to open a bottle cap,” writes Juandre.

USA Today

A group of MIT scientists led by PhD candidate Crystal Owens has developed an Oreometer, a device used to determine if it is possible to evenly split an Oreo cookie every time, reports Maria Jimenez Moya for USA Today. “One day, just doing experiments, and, all of a sudden we realized that this machine would be perfect for opening Oreos because it already has … the fluid in the center, and then these two discs are like the same geometry as an Oreo,” says Owens.

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have developed an “Oreometer” to test the optimal way to split an Oreo cookie, an exercise in rheology, or the study of how matter flows, reports Isaac Shultz for Gizmodo. "Our favorite twist was rotating while pulling Oreos apart from one side, as a kind of peel-and-twist, which was the most reliable for getting a very clean break,” explains graduate student Crystal Owens.

CNN

CNN reporter Madeline Holcombe spotlights a new study by MIT researchers exploring why the cream on Oreo cookies always sticks to one side when twisted open. Graduate student Crystal Owens explains that she hopes the research will inspire people "to investigate other puzzles in the kitchen in scientific ways. The best scientific research, even at MIT, is driven by curiosity to understand the world around us, when someone sees something weird or unknown and takes the time to think 'I wonder why that happens like that?'"

Popular Science

Graduate student Crystal Owens speaks with Popular Science reporter Philip Kiefer about her work exploring why the cream filling of an Oreo cookie always sticks to one side. “It turns out there’s not really a trick to it,” Owens says. “Everything you try to do will get mostly a clean break.”

VICE

Graduate student Crystal Owens and her colleagues tested the possibility of separating the two wafers of an Oreo in a way that evenly splits the cream filling using a rheometer, an instrument that measures torque and viscosity of various substances, reports Becky Ferreira for Vice. “After twisting Oreos apart with the instruments, the team visually inspected the ratio of creme on each wafer and logged the findings. A number of variations on the experiment were also introduced, such as dipping the cookies in milk, changing the rotation rate of the rheometer, and testing different Oreo flavors and filling quantities,” writes Ferreira.

The Wall Street Journal

Neri Oxman, founder and former director of the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, speaks with Wall Street Journal about how the work she started at MIT can impact the future of urban architecture. “As part of our research at MIT, we 3D-printed glass augmented with synthetically engineered microorganisms to produce energy [from the sun],” said Oxman. “This allows us to develop solar-harnessing glass façades that can act as a skin for pre-existing buildings.”

Science

Using cellulose nanocrystals found in trees, MIT researchers have developed a new material that is both tough and strong, reports Kathryn Hulick for Science News for Students. Abhinav Rao PhD ’18 explains that he was inspired to create the material “by looking at what nature has to teach us.”

TechCrunch

OPT Industries, an MIT spinoff, has created InstaSwab, a nasal swab “up to 20 times more effective in bacterial sample elution,” reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “With the ability to print around the clock, the firm also believes it can play a pivotal role in addressing supply chain concerns — a long-time goal for additive manufacturing,” writes Heater.

TechCrunch

Yuanming Hu SM’19, PhD ’21 and Ye Kuang co-founded startup Taichi Graphics, a cloud-based platform which aims to make 3D content creation easier to develop, share and collaborate on, reports Rita Liao for TechCrunch. “Undergirding the platform is its open-source programming language Taichi, which offers a high-performance computation on spatially sparse data structures like those from 3D visual graphics,” writes Liao.

Popular Science

A team of scientists from MIT and Facebook have created a new object tagging system called InfraredTags, reports Charlotte Hu for Popular Science. “InfraredTags uses infrared light-based barcodes and QR codes that embedded permanently into the bodies of 3D printed objects,” reports Hu.  

TechCrunch

MIT startup Formlabs has announced a new pair of 3D printers featuring an exposure and printing speed increase that is up to 40% faster than previous models, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “The Form 3+ is the next iteration designed to help users go from idea to part in hand as quickly and easily as possible,” says CEO Max Lobovsky MS ’11.