Well-financed corporations are no strangers to research, with nearly every large company even housing their own research and development departments. And seeing such businesses partner with research institutions is common, too. For instance, Organovo, the only publicly traded bioprinting company, is founded on R&D as it explores the possibilities of 3D printing human tissues. Consequently, Organovo has partnered with schools like Yale to take its research further. But what if a service or retail shop were to do the same thing?
As I was speaking to Justin Finesilver, Operations Manager and part owner of The 3D Printing Store, I kept thinking to myself, “This has to be a first.” The 3D Printing Store, one of the first and largest 3D printing service chains in the US, is accustomed to providing 3D printing, scanning, and consultancy services, but bioprinting would seem like the last thing that a brick-n-mortar 3D printing shop would get into. Yet, this is what Justin was telling me they’d done.
“As soon as we learned about BioBots’ beta testing phase – I think it was from an article on 3DPI – we called them up to get on their beta tester list,” he explained. “We originally contacted them in February, placed the order in March and, it took about six to eight weeks to arrive before we got the printer in May.” In its beta testing period, the machine had a price tag of only $5,000, which – even compared to high-end desktop 3D printers, let alone industrial bioprinters – is extremely low. And, though it is now being sold, out of beta, at $10,000, the BioBot 1 is one of the most accessible bioprinting systems in the industry.Read more