Yes, you read that right. We’ve now reached a point in modern technology that makes it possible to print a real, cuddly teddy bear in just a few hours.
Specialists at Carnegie Mellon and Disney Research have created a 3D printer that uses soft yarn and a needle to “felt” the object together by entangling the fibres as the object is built.
A research paper by, Scott E. Hudson of CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, details the system and shows how the printer can make almost any shape out of almost any fibrous material. Like plastic 3D printers, the machine lays down the fibre in long threads and connects them by poking the fibre with a barbed needle.
In his paper, Hudson concludes that this printing “opens up many new possibilities for 3D
printed objects and extends the domain of 3D printing from primarily hard and precise objects into a domain which can include soft and imprecise objects”.
Ok, so looking at the video the teddies aren’t exactly up to Build-A-Bear standard, but just look how happy that baby is! And, because the material is so malleable, you could feasibly create things like clothing or quilts too.
All we need now is a printer that can print the ideal man in a few hours.