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Chuck Hull of 3D Systems invented the first-ever 3D printer in the early 1980s. The first thing he printed? A tiny cup that could serve as an eye wash, according to a CNN interview. The printer worked similarly to its descendants today: a laser seals together particles of material to build an object layer by layer.

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For $20 a month, startup pharmacy PillPack will deliver your drug prescriptions by mail. The service relies on a team of robots that dispense and inspect packets filled with patients’ daily doses. The packets are designed to make it simple for patients to keep track of if they have taken their pills.

In Brief

Five months after Kickstarter backers awarded 3D scanner maker Fuel3D with more than $325,000, private investors have chipped in with an additional $2.6 million in early stage financing. Fuel3D said the money will go toward development of its scanner. The company will also pursue another financing round before the summer and potentially file for an IPO as soon as next year.

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Just two months after landing on the moon, China’s first moon rover has been declared permanently broken. Jade Rabbit began having problems late last month, and operators were unable to restore it to working order. New Scientist reports that the failure is likely due to a mechanical fault that led to the rover exposing its sensitive equipment to cold nighttime temperatures. The fault may have been caused by lunar dust, which can quickly scratch up equipment.

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Images sent back to Earth by NASA’s Mars orbiters show a curious feature: long black lines that scientists believe could have been created by flowing liquid water. While Mars is too cold for the fresh and salt water that fills Earth’s oceans and lakes, water on Mars could contain chemicals that act as an antifreeze, allowing it to stay liquid. Scientists have noticed that the flows happen seasonally. It’s possible that there is no water involved at all, but they aren’t yet sure how that could be explained.

NASA Mars water flow

In Brief

After 3D Systems lowered its expectations for earnings per share for the last quarter of 2013 this morning, its stocks took a dive, bringing fellow 3D printing companies like Stratasys and Voxeljet down as well. 3D Systems was down 27.4 percent this morning and has since bounced back a little bit to being down 15.07 percent, closing at $64.34. The company lowered its expectations after higher than expected spending on research and development, sales and marketing expenses and acquisition concentration costs.

In Brief

Can’t wait until mid-February to buy a 3D printer from Dell? ATT is now selling Cube 2 3D printers in its online store for $1,229. While MakerBot has been the main printer company pursuing sales in mainstream outlets, the Cube 2, which is made by 3D Systems, has long had a place in schools and other learning spaces. It’s regarded as an easy-to-use entry level 3D printer.

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Cyclists have been some of the earliest people to benefit from 3D printing, which makes it ultra-easy to customize bike parts. 3Ders reports that the U.K.’s Empire Cycles has paired with metal 3D printing expert Renishaw to 3D print mountain bike frames. Made of titanium alloy, the bikes are both strong and lightweight.

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In response to Los Angeles County’s  attempt to tax Hawthorne, Calif.-based space firm SpaceX, a bill is now working its way through the state Legislature that would exempt  private space companies from paying property taxes on space stations or rockets. The bill passed the Assembly 64-5 and is now on its way to the Senate.

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Beginning February 20, MakerBot 3D printers will be available through Dell’s online shop. Dell will stock the full MakerBot printer lineup, including the three new models released at CES and the Replicator 2. Dell will also sell the MakerBot Digitizer 3D scanner and filament. This is the first time Dell has sold a 3D printer in the U.S. MakerBot has slowly been expanding where you can buy its printers, which are also available through Microsoft and Amazon.

In Brief

The Roswell, New Mexico, police department just dropped $86,000 on 3D scanners that can capture 3D images of a crime scene, which can be used as evidence in court. The images are accurate down to a few millimeters. That’s a much higher resolution than the relatively cheap handheld and desktop scanners that have hit the market lately. Maybe someday the police department will even 3D print a crime scene. Watch the full report from KRQE below.

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