The Guardian reports on just-in-time fabbed titanium bone replacements. But that's not what the story is really about.
Siavash Mahdavi faced the problem of producing 3D objects that were both strong and light for robotics applications, where power is limited but robust limbs are also required. Simply making hollow objects was not sufficiently strong, so the engineer needed a way to print objects with a 3D internal structure that would add tremendous strength to the limb but not add weight.
Unfortunately, the mathematical calculations to produce the complex optimal internal structure were not readily available. So he developed an "artificial intelligence optimization engine" that could quickly complete the necessary computations.
However, this strength-light solution is applicable not only to robotic applications, but many other areas, too. Titanium limbs for human bone replacements is but one.
Mahdavi's company, Complex Matters, now exploits this technology to produce lightweight designs for a variety of industries. His technology directly addresses one of the key barriers to large-scale use of 3D technology: robustness.
How can we enable everyone to use this technology?