This $10,000 Desktop 3-D Printer Makes Human Tissue and Bone

Philadelphia-based BioBots has brought bioprinting to a smaller, more affordable scale.

June 6, 2016 | Inc Magazine by Kevin J. Ryan

Inc.’s 11th annual 30 Under 30 list features the young founders taking on some of the world’s biggest challenges. Here, meet BioBots.

Danny Cabrera has been defying the odds all his life. When he was a 10-year-old living in Cuba, Cabrera’s family had dreams of immigrating to America. His father won a visa lottery to travel to the U.S., and the Cabreras set sail for Miami and soon settled in.

As an 18-year-old at Miami Dade College, he had Ivy League ambitions. So he applied to the University of Pennsylvania and was accepted as a double major in computer science and biology.

At Penn, he wanted to find a way to manipulate biology and build living things from scratch. He soon met Ricardo Solorzano, another biology major from Miami, and the two got to work building a 3-D bioprinter.

Now, Cabrera and Solorzano are the co-founders of BioBots, a startup that creates desktop 3-D printers that can produce living tissue. The entrepreneurs used existing 3-D printing components that were primarily meant for manufacturing plastics and metals and used them to build a bioprinter. The result is a bioprinter far less expensive than most of its competitors: At $10,000, BioBots products are accessible to labs that can’t afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars 3-D printers usually cost. And while most bioprinters can take up entire rooms and have many moving parts, BioBots builds machines about the size of a microwave.

“Imagine a world where scientists could design living things with their laptops and print them on their desktops,” says Cabrera. “That’s what got us really going.” …

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