Not satisfied with printing in plastic? Why not print ACTUAL LIVING CELLS? You can today if you can execute the Instructable created by BioCurious, which you can build for the incredibly low cost of USD$150. Simply acquire the necessary parts and follow all the assembly steps.
This hack involves combining parts from a leftover inkjet printer, used CD drive, inkShield and an Arduino to control the device. After completion, you'll be able to print living cells in 2D patterns, as you can see above.
Unfortunately there is no Z-axis on this machine, but we imagine that would introduce spectacular complexities beyond the machine itself: What 3D living structures would you print? How do you model them? How do you store and deliver multiple kinds of cells required for complex living structures? Should scaffolding be used? What is the scaffolding made of? And so on.
Nevertheless, it's a real BioPrinter and you can have one on your desk. Be the first.