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Have you ever heard of the ‘mother of mankind’ Lucy? She or at least her remains are one of the oldest and best-preserved fossils of the ancestors of modern man. There are many hypotheses of how she really died. 3D printing technology now made it possible to finally solve the cold case of Lucy’s death and opens up new perspectives in the study of fossils.

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There are several medications that have to be stored at a certain temperature. Otherwise they might not only become unusable but also dangerous to the patient’s health. Add this to the fact that patients are not constantly adhering to their prescriptions or forget to take their medicine and you see how important smart packaging has become for the pharma industry.

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The Japanese company Casio designed a printing mechanism that falls right in between a regular painting process and new 3D printing technologies. It is aimed to provide education material, especially for the blind, tactile learning and mapping as well as dynamic graphics.

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What if the conviction of a criminal is in jeopardy because a phone protected by fingerprint biometrics can’t get unlocked? It was a scenario like that, which made researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) develop a technique to recreate fingerprints using a common inkjet printer.

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Modern technologies such as 3D printing might help on the journey towards a greener world. Just last year sports brand Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to develop an innovative shoe concept which uses plastic waste from the ocean and 3D technology to tackle the pollution of the oceans.

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According to the FAO about one third of the food produced in the world, which is approximately 1.3 billion tons, is thrown out. A newly invented microchip which can be integrated in the packaging made by the German company Global Innovationspromises to tackle the food waste problem with the help of intelligent packaging.

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Printed electronics is one of the super trends at the moment. A great demand for transparent and highly flexible circuits used for solar panels or touchscreens drives scientists around the world to invent innovative ways of production. Now researchers from INM developed a new printing technique to reach a new level for ultra-thin and ultra-flexible electronics.

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Shapeshifting forms that can be used whenever an external factor like heat, cold or a liquid gets in touch with it – a dream for many material designers. What we can experience in nature every day is now becoming reality through special printing techniques which imitate the plant’s ability to automatically change its form when needed.

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Printing in private contexts becomes more and more a second choice. But sometimes you necessarily have to print out your documents mostly on a quite space consuming printer. For all of those who don’t want a big printer, just print every once in a while or people who have to print on the go, there is a new solution: ZUta Labs’ Mini Robotic Printer.

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With printed electronics the two industries engineering and printing come together. Due to the developments in this sector we are able to print solar cells or flexible electronics. A recent invention might shake the world of printed electronics and take it one step further. The Korean battery scientist Sang-Young Lee from has now turned a normal inkjet printer into a machine that prints electronic circuits and supercapacitors (energy storing devices).