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Happy Friday. Click This.

Topic: 3D Printing and Product Innovation

Welcome to the weekend (almost)! We’ve curated a list of links we think you’ll find interesting. Start reading now, or savor through Sunday.

Have you seen this amazing new beehive? An Australian father-son team, Stuart and Cedar Anderson, invented FlowHive and asked for $70,000 in crowdfunding to bring it to production. They’ve received over $12 million. Using 3D printing, the Andersons hacked the design of the honeycomb to make harvesting honey more efficient and less disruptive. Production is underway.

Mosaic Manufacturing recently unveiled The Palette: a system that works with 3D printers to create multi-colored objects. Like Flow Hive, The Palette was funded via crowdsourcing and raised over $135,000 more than the initial ask. Want to make your own Legos? The pre-order edition will be available for shipping early next year and costs $999. (via TechCrunch)

Researchers at the University of Michigan have saved three lives thus far by using 3D printers to create devices that prevent infants’ airways from closing. The experimental splints not only keep airways open, they actually expand as the patients grow and are eventually absorbed into the body.

In related news, researchers at Duke University are using Duke’s Innovation Studio to produce 3D replicas of bones and organs so that they can better understand and anticipate the challenges they may face during surgery, while researchers at Wake Forest University’s Military Research Center have developed a way to use 3D printing to create new skin cells for burn victims. (The FDA has yet to approve many uses of medical 3D printing, but they did recently approve of an innovative facial reconstruction implant.)

And (it keeps getting better!) an international organization of 3D printing volunteers, e-NABLE, is changing lives one helping hand at a time by creating prosthetics free of charge. (via Gizmodo)

combining 3D printing and stop-motion animation

Let’s hope your week didn’t feel like this! Bears on Stairs combines 3D printing and stop-motion animation to create mesmerizing gifs. (via Colossal)

What do you think about 3D printing and the future of product innovation? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!

P.S. LIX, the world’s smallest 3D pen, lets you draw in the air!