Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

In June 2018, researchers at the Dynamical Systems Laboratory of New York University’s Tandon School Of Engineering (Tandon) of Brooklyn unveiled their 3D printed robotic zebra fish. These were made for several purposes, including researching the behaviour of real fish and experimenting with the concept of using robot fish to save real fish from hazardous environments like oil spills. Tandon mechanical engineer Roni Barak Ventura argues that the better robot fish mimic the physical appearance and behaviour of real fish, the more robot fish can begin replacing real fish in laboratory experiments.

To avoid the robot fish being built too exotically, simple actuators like step motors or servo motors were used. For what Ventura referred to as “sensing,” simple web cameras powered by computer software like MATLAB were used. The robot fishes’ movement can be controlled via one of two methods. One is to move the robot fish independently of the real fish based on mathematical models of how fish swim. The other is to follow the real fish via the robot fish’s camera and the software that powers it. Ventura presented the capabilities of Tandon’s robot fish at New York City’s Atlantic Design and Manufacturing Show on June 12th 2018, having a tank of them on show.

An even older example of 3D printed fish traces back to August 2015 at the University of San Diego in California, where researchers 3D printed so-called “microfish” powered by chemical reactions and steered via magnetism. The researchers hoped that they could be used for sensing and removing toxins, as well as targeted drug delivery, which refers to delivering drugs to the patient such that they target specific parts of the body.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “Carp with Wisteria LACMA M.84.31.543a-c” is in the public domain because it has been released by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with its “Public Domain High Resolution Image Available” mark. LACMA is unaware of any current copyright restrictions on content so designated, either because (i) the term of copyright has expired, (ii) no evidence has been found that copyright restrictions apply, or (iii) because LACMA owns copyright but would like to share this content with the public without exercising control as part of its mission to engage and educate its communities. LACMA does not warrant that the sharing of this content will not infringe upon the rights of third parties holding rights to these works.