Liquid-in-liquid 3D printing was first presented in a BMW funded MIT project. Although the project initially seemed limited in scope the possibilities of 3D printing within a liquid medium opens new opportunities in terms of escaping gravitational pull and thus producing parts that require a more volumetric approach, such as biological structures and organs. As reported by ScienceMag, liquid in liquid bioprinting is exactly what a team of researchers from a number of academic and research institutions in Shenzhen demonstrated in a paper titled “Freeform, Reconfigurable Embedded Printing of All-Aqueous 3D Architectures“.
Replicating complicated body parts and blood vessels is a major challenge. That’s because these vascularized tissues are hard to build up in traditional solid layer-by-layer 3D printing without constructing supporting scaffolding that can later prove impossible to remove.