Everyday our society becomes more and more advanced by designing and constructing complex technological innovations that improve everyday life. Smartphones, self-driving cars, virtual reality, it’s all amazing. 3D printing in particular has seen some tremendous improvements throughout its 30 year history. And while 3D printing has a wide variety of applications, from manufacturing to construction, one of its more intriguing uses is in creating consumables; more specifically, pills.
For those that do not know, 3D printing is the creation of three dimensional objects through the use of a specifically designed printer. Users can design a three dimensional blueprint and plug them into a computer that controls the printer. Afterwards the printer will print whatever three dimensional object before their very eyes. Depending on the object, the process can take minutes to hours, or even days. A variety of objects have been created in the past through the use of 3D printing technology, including firearms, cars and even small buildings.
Now, a new company is looking to harness the power of 3D printing in order to create pills. Startup Multiply Labs is looking to change the face of supplements. Essentially, the company allows users to create and build their own personalized supplement. Instead of taking multiple vitamins a day, patients can get their own recommended dosage of supplements packaged into one single pill. The company offers a multitude of supplements, from caffeine to iron to omega 3.
According to an article from Smithsonian Magazine, the pills are created using a 3D printer with a custom built extruder than can create edible compartments. The compartments vary in size and thickness depending on the individual user’s needs. This is where the pills become even more impressive. Because the printer can create compartments of varying thickness, the pill can release different supplements at different times throughout the day. For example, a thin compartment filled with omega 3 will release earlier in the day, whereas a thicker compartment containing caffeine will release later in the day in order to provide a midday boost.
The mass production of pills and supplements has, obviously, made the industry incredibly impersonal. Multiply Labs is adding a much needed personal touch to the pharmaceutical industry.
And the company even has bigger dreams for the future. According to the article, CEO and co-founder of Multiply Labs, Fred Parietti shed some light on where he would like the company to eventually move.
“Another very exciting area would be orphan drugs, for those illnesses that only a few people have…If the problem is personalization, we’d love to just create a machine and just leave it there to produce drugs for the small group of people, because for us the machine is not very expensive, and if the molecule exists, for us it wouldn’t be even a loss,” Parietti said.
If you are interested in making a personalized vitamin pill, visit Multiply Labs’ official website here.