In April, Horizon learns about devices that can print liquefied food, machines to make personalised spectacles, and the research that is paving the way for the printing of implants using live cells.
We look at the role of 3D printing in personalised healthcare, including made-to-measure spectacles and insoles that fit a patient’s feet, and technology that could one day enable doctors to 3D print implants using the body’s own cells.
Consultant Dr Phil Reeves gives his views on how Europe can build the momentum required to turn 3D printing into mass-scale personalised production, and lawyer Joren De Wachter explains why 3D printing has new implications for copyright and intellectual property laws.
Horizon has also produced an interactive timeline, based on the EU’s first 3D printing roadmap, which looks into the far future of 3D printing. To find out whether that future includes a Star Trek-style replicator, we recorded an interview with Marcel Slot, the man who coordinated the roadmap project.
3D printing is poised to transform the world as we know it. Consumer goods will be personalised and produced on demand, while manufacturers will be able to use 3D printing to come up with radical new designs for everyday objects. But how will this happen, and when?
Copyright law will struggle to be relevant for 3D-printed material, according to Joren De Wachter, an intellectual property strategist who advises companies and investors on the best way to use, understand and value the intellectual property of 3D-printed goods.
Made-to-measure glasses would be more comfortable than normal ones, look better and work more effectively, according to one of a group of research projects that are developing ways to 3D print healthcare products on demand.
Dr Phil Reeves, managing director of Econolyst, a global 3D printing consultancy, believes research needs to be coordinated across the EU to push forward 3D printing and give us mass-personalised goods made locally, on demand.
Dumped waste, from used nappies to industrial by-products, have long wound up in landfills and can take hundreds of years to decay. In October we speak to the scientists figuring out how to keep such items in use to reduce rubbish and create a so-called circular economy. We learn about new efforts to mine industrial waste for the rare metals that go into making aircraft parts, pacemakers and bicycle gears, and find out about the culture shift needed to develop a zero-waste society. We also speak to the researchers building a biorefinery to turn soiled nappies into fertilisers and raw materials, and look at whether seaweed could become the next plastic.
The model of our universe as expanding at an accelerated rate has given rise to theoretical constructs such as dark energy and dark matter, which scientists believe could make up 95% of the universe. In September, Horizon takes a deeper look at what we really know about the expanding universe. We speak to Prof. Subir Sarkar, who believes that the Nobel-winning discovery that universe expansion acceleration could be a fluke, and the scientists who are trying to answer the question by allowing us to better measure the expansion rate. We also look at the significance of accurately measuring gravity in deep space, and what dark matter haloes can tell us about the existence of dark energy.
Bill Gates and the European Commission have launched a €100 million investment fund designed to bring radical clean energy technologies more quickly to market in order to promote energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Hydrogen can be used to power cars, supply electricity and heat homes, all with zero carbon emissions. The snag is that the vast majority of hydrogen itself is derived from fossil fuels – a fact that scientists are now hoping to change. They plan to clean up production to kickstart a dedicated economy – something that has already found small-scale success in Scotland’s Orkney Islands.
Europe's leadership 'more important than ever', says Gates.
The goal is to remove reliance on fossil fuels.
A circular economy needs new business models and reusable products, says Felipe Maya.