Lattice October 2023 Newsletter: “Elon Musk”

Nov 10, 2023

“Elon Musk” – 3DHEALS Lattice Newsletter October, 2023

All content of this email is for entertainment purposes and not investment advice. All the news we share via social media can be found here. To subscribe to this email, click here. Alternatively, we also have a LinkedIn version of this newsletter. This edition includes: Insights/Reflection, News, Events, Watchwhile, Open Source, Going Viral, Book Recommendations

“Optimism, pessimism, fuck that,” Musk answered. “We’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.”
― Walter Isaacson, Elon Musk

Elon Musk, War, Pessimism, versus Optimism 

Hello again!

This newsletter aims to bring good and bad news from healthcare 3D printing and bioprinting so that we can re-orient ourselves regularly and focus on our vision for a better future for humanity. 

I typically start putting together this very long newsletter at the beginning of each month. But who would predict another horrific war is now on the horizon only a month later? When Barack Obama says “hard to be hopeful”, you know pessimism is winning at the moment.

I suffered a few days of anxiety and insomnia after the October 7th tragedy and what followed in Gaza, worrying about WW3 and the destruction and loss that humanity will face as a whole. Instead of conquering other existential threats like poverty, disease, and climate crisis together, we once again chose violence against other human beings. 

But I am an optimist because looking the other way is just not an option. I believe our humanity will allow us to find a path out of the current crisis.

Or perhaps, as Elon Musk said during an interview with a WIRED reporter on how he maintained optimism when his rocket launches failed multiple times and SpaceX was on the verge of bankruptcy: 

“Optimism, pessimism, fuck that,” Musk answered. “We’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.”

We are going to make peace and progress happen, and we need that determination to survive this dark period.

I devoted some time in October to reading the latest biography by Walter Isaacson on Elon Musk, which I highly recommend. 

Do I want to be Elon’s friend? 

Probably not. 

But I always love reading about him and am once again inspired and impressed with Elon Musk in this new biography, just like when I read his previous one by Ashlee Vance in 2015.

At darker moments like this, I (and perhaps you, too) need a story with a scrappy, entertaining/crazy, genius visionary, who has a dream that is much larger than most of ours. Reaching the moon “does not defy physics”. 

As Walter Isaacson concluded in his final chapter, while it is not okay for Elon Musk to be an asshole, one can still admire his good traits. We can learn to possess those good traits ourselves. Here are some of my quick takeaways:

  • Take risks. The first risk Elon took was to immigrate to America, correctly positioning himself in a fertile playground for entrepreneurship and capitalism. Needless to say, he took thousands of risks small or larger after that early step. It became a habit.
  • Question requirements to delete, optimize, and speed up processes. There are paragraphs describing how Elon appeared “allergic” to responses such as “requirements”, “rules”, or “regulations” and successfully rid of unnecessary regulations, parts, and processes with critical thinking and fierce determination. One innate power of 3D printing is that it offers new design capabilities. For example, it allows us to reduce parts and material waste in manufacturing. We can surely go around to all existing manufacturers and ask this question, “Are you going to need all that?”
  • Artificial Intelligence will be a lot more powerful when used to interact with the physical world. Perhaps ChatGTP can talk back or generate cool images, but unless we are in a virtual simulation like the “Matrix”, it is robots that can interact with humans and their physical environments that would be truly powerful. That includes 3D printing, very much so. Like Tesla, 3D printing companies should invest in AI. Companies should also consider working together to generate a unique AM design and manufacturing open source dataset and AI engine for all to ignite quicker innovation for the industry. 
  • Stay scrappy. If it does not defy physical laws, then it can be done. 
  • Join the tribe. Throughout the book, many familiar names were repeatedly mentioned, reminding me that Elon Musk’s success today is partly due to the fact that he belongs to a special group of technology pioneers, who shared company-founding paths, went to similar schools (e.g. Stanford), and socialized together (time for me to learn poker). Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever fit into That group. BUT, I already belong to 3DHEALS, and you belong too. Forward this email to your friends or students who will benefit from its content. Find your Tribe, and then start your own adventure along that Yellow Brick Road.

Many years ago, around when I founded 3DHEALS, I was invited to visit the SpaceX factory in Los Angeles, a great honor to this day. I was surprised to find that SpaceX already had a fleet of metal 3D printers hard at work to make rocket components. As scrappy and practical as SpaceX is/was, it was a validating statement to 3D printing as a technology. So let’s stop the pessimistic nonsense about the future of the industry, and look only forward to “making it work”!

Who’s pitching next? 


  1. #JoinTheTribe Our gathering on October 19th, 6:00 PM in New York City took place successfully, and photos can be seen here. We are working on a similar event in San Francisco in December. Make sure to subscribe to our email list to stay updated on in-person events. Currently, this kind of event is only open to our Pitch3D startups/investors, and Paid Members due to limited space in most public venues. If you would like to provide space and co-host a gathering with us in the future, we can open up the invitation to more subscribers.    
  2. 3DPrinted Orthotics and Prosthetics: Our virtual event on October 26th was the highlight of October, with an all-star panel that can answer almost all your burning questions about the space. We also had an extremely engaging audience, which unfortunately mirrors a (pending) global crisis as a result of war, poverty, and diseases. You can watch the highlights from our recording here on our YouTube channel. The one consoling aspect is that we as a community remain optimistic and passionate about helping one another to improve others’ lives with 3D printing.
  3. 3DPrinting and Microfluidics: Free live virtual event focusing on how 3D printing is innovating organ-on-a-chip, microfluidics devices, likely one of the most promising applications using 3D printing in the biotechnology sector. Don’t miss it.
  4. AM Medical Days: The 2023 conference will be hosted at the Holiday Inn Conference Center on December 11-12 at BER Berlin Airport, brings together industry leaders, experts, and innovators in the field of Additive Manufacturing (AM) with a focus on the intersection of science and industry in the medical field. Our media partner and event organizer MGA has generously offered a 30% discount to 3DHEALS subscribers. Code: AMD23PREMIUM
  5. Pitch3D Startup Activity: Mogassam will be announcing a new line of automated 3D printing solutions on November 22 at
    Greater New York dental meeting– Booth # 934. Say Hi, please!
  6. Desktop Health Incubator: Desktop Health will be soon opening up an incubator space (Desktop Health “Ink-ubator”) in Boston in 2024. They are currently recruiting interesting companies to join its network. The intention is to provide space/equipment/resources/support to startups, primarily in the biofabrication space, that do not have the capital to set up their own lab space or purchase equipment like the 3D-Bioplotter in their early stages. Renting a spot costs around 2500 per month without any equity commitment according to the company. I believe this is a bargain.
  7. Formnext2023: Are you at Formnext right now? Did you see any cool healthcare-related technologies/companies on the show floor? Tag @3dheals and use hashtag #3dhealspost on social media (links at the bottom of this newsletter) and we will retweet/repost if the content is appropriate.

News & Thoughts

By the way, you can always catch up on news we shared in healthcare 3D printing and bioprinting on this page.

  1. Past and Future Collide: Adidas 3D Printed MC87 4D Golf Shoes Channel ‘80s Vibes
    How can I order a pair? Check out our on-demand recording on 3D printed performance sports
  2. Dental 3D Printing User SmileDirectClub Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; Founders Extend $80M Lifeline
    What went wrong? Also, why is Align not using MJF for aligners? Also here is Chapter 11 bankruptcy in plain English.
  3. Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality: Practical Applications in Dentistry
    (Do the words “artificial intelligence” and “augmented reality” cause you to worry just a bit? Read on to learn how AI and AR are already being used in each of the dental specialties, with a glimpse of what’s to come.) AI is a lot more than ChatGTP when you can interact with the physical world, especially in healthcare, although I hope this article was not written by ChatGTP ;). Check out our webinar on AI and Ai-Driven dental workflow by Ian Mcleod.
  4. 3D Printed Regenerative Bone Graft Used in First Two Surgical Cases 
    DimensionInx deserves a big applause. Check out a previous event focusing on 3D bioprinting bone with DimensionInx co-founder.
  5. Chamlion Partners with GPAINNOVA to Accelerate the Digitization of Dental Industry Check out our latest Expert Corner blog by DLyte.
  6. Ricoh’s Vision for Medical 3D Printing: An Interview with Managing Director Gary Turner
    How does Ricoh 3D’s current anatomical model 3D printing play into the long-term strategy of this Japanese company founded in 1936? 
  7. 3D Printing Veteran Fried Vancrean Retires as Materialise CEO
    Definitely check out Joris Peel’s podcast with Mr. Vancrean, but I hope there is a more in-depth interview about his life journey as an entrepreneur. Meanwhile, Materialise doubling down on the healthcare sector with new CEO Brigitte de Vet-Veithen. I remember years ago Autodesk pivoted 100% away from healthcare…
  8. [Interview] Ivana Llobet, CEO & Co-Founder, ODAPT, 3D Printing to Help Ostomy Bag Users
    Love it. A problem worth solving, and not trying to find an application for an existing technology. 
  9. Lithoz to Premiere Cerafab Multi 2M30 LCM 3D Printer and Next-Generation Multi-Material parts at FormNext 2023 
  10. Frontier Bio’s 3D Printed Blood Vessels Could Replace Animal Testing 
    (The production of the vessels in a variety of complex shapes mimics natural vascular architecture and even disease states) Vascularization of bioprinted tissue is the holy grail of bioprinting. Good step forward.
  11. 3D Systems’ Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Chuck Hull, Awarded National Medal of Technology and Innovation
    The entire industry felt the Kudos from the white house. Hats off to a legend.
  12. Harnessing Micro 3D Printing
    (Rewriting the rules of precision manufacturing to cater to the ever-shrinking demands of modern industries.) Quartisis aiming servicing micro 3D printed medical devices
  13. The Silver Lining on 3D Printing’s Current Market Situation
    Some optimism after pessimism
  14. Accelerating Medical Device Design with Modeling and Simulation
    (A conversation with Visa Suomi of MathWorks on how new technology is affecting the medical design workflow.)
    3D-Printed Skull Used as Evidence in Murder Trial
    (Jurors could visualise the victim’s injuries through the reconstruction created by researchers at the University of Portsmouth.) Not healthcare, but…
  15. Landor & Fitch’s 3D Printed Toothbrushes Help Those With Limited Dexterity
    The magic of small design with huge impact
  16. Batch.Works Secures £300K to Transform Manufacturing with AI and CMAAS
    Not yet in healthcare, but a great vision from this startup.
  17. Breath Powers Paediatric Prosthetic Hand 
    Tesla, Airbender, Matlab, all in one design process.
  18. MSI Bangalore 2023: Trends in the Indian Medical 3D Printing Sector
    Great coverage on the Indian ecosystem and influencers, but trust me there is more. I personally do not believe we should look to regulatory bodies for innovations. The mindsets are so different, even contradictory sometimes.
  19. Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced PEEK Developed for 3D-Printed Medical Implants
    (The high carbon-fiber content delivers strength while PEEK brings ductility to the 3D-printed medical implants. ) Evonik, slowly but surely…
  20. 4WEB Medical Receives 510k Clearance to Market 3D Printed Cervical Plate
    Why could 3D printed cervical implant be better? This article has a better description from Nvision.
  21. Doctors Implant 3D Printed Cranial Device Made with 3D Systems’ Material Extrusion
    How many of us are walking around with a big hole in our skull? A lot and it’s painful.  
  22. The Challenges of 3D Printing in a Regulated Industry
    (Medical 3D printing must reckon with regulatory guidelines, which prioritize consistent, stable processes.) Regulation vs. Innovation. Ask Elon Musk what he thinks.
  23. Healing Tools: 3D Printing for Medicine Led by CI MED Students
    Future leaders. 
  24. NVIDIA Backs Seurat in $99M Series C
    Not healthcare, but could be.
  25. MB Therapeutics Uses 3D Printing to Create Personalized Medicine for Children
    Compound medicine is much needed for children, animals, and rare diseases.
  26. Chinese 3D Printed Medicine Company Triastek Lands $20.4M in Pre-C Round
    Triastek is the leader in volume production of 3D printed pills. Hands down.
  27. CurifyLabs Launches 3D Printing Solution for Personalised Medicine
    (There is a significant need for scalable and practical methods to produce customized drugs that precisely match a patient’s needs.) Good idea on how to incorporate new technology in existing workflow of pharmacists
  28. 3D Printing Financials: 3D Systems Restructuring to Save ~$50M by Q4 2024
    You may still be able to register for the on-demand version of the AM Investment Strategy webinar when you receive this newsletter, it’s worth a watch.
  29. Hannover Medical School Implants First Bioprinted Ear Implant with Drug Release Nenefits
    (Received by an adult patient and produced on the Desktop Health 3D-Bioplotter Manufacturer Series)
    A great step forward. I remember the days when people were having a hard time figuring out how to use Organovo’s printer. Now they are in the clinic, delivering medical devices. 
  30. Diabetes Treatment Gets Sci-Fi Upgrade with 3D Printed Microdevice Eye Implant
    A Fascinating concept of treating diabetes, and yes, you can put a lot of different devices into the anterior chamber of the eye for a variety of diseases, including diabetes. Here is the publication itself. An earlier version of this therapy may be here.
  31. Totally Tubular: YouTuber Develops Rotational 3D Printer
    Doesn’t this remind you of a vascular stent? Its video is on our WatchWhile list.
  32. 3D Printing Crafts Cerebral Cortex Tissues: A Breakthrough for Brain Injury Treatment 
  33. Integration of 3D-Printed Cerebral Cortical Tissue into an Ex Vivo Lesioned Brain Slice
    Amazing progress, maybe brain regeneration is possible.  
  34. Can Bioprinted Skin Substitutes Replace Traditional Grafts for Treating Burn Injuries and Other Serious Skin Wounds?
    I predict skin and bone are two organ systems that will be successfully bioprinted for clinical use first. The original scientific publication is here. 3DHEALS also has hosted an event and a guide on bioprinting skin.
  35. Human Tissue-Based Materials for 3D Bioprinting
    (Currently, the majority of bioinks are animal-based, and do not accurately resemble human tissue.) Human-based bioinks from the placenta could be interesting.
  36. Voxejet Pursuing Potential Merger as Part of “Strategic Alternatives” Review
    Yes, it’s a problem when a company cannot be profitable after 20-30 years, and it’s not just Voxeljet. 
  37. Caltech Researchers Develop Technique for 150 Nanometer 3D Printing
    (Using a laser to build a 3D scaffold within a hydrogel, and leveraging disordered atomic arrangements for increased strength) Original paper is here.
  38. 3D Systems Partners with Klarity to Expand Access to Patient-Matched Radiotherapy Innovations
    (Klarity now offers Klarity Prints powered by 3D Systems and adds VSP Bolus to range of radiotherapy solutions.) Much needed innovation, but questionable profitability.
  39. Formlabs 3D Printing Used by Restor3D to Create the ‘Next Generation’ of 3D Printed Surgical Instruments
    (The company has over 25 Formlabs 3D printers in its production line.) Restor3D’s innovative approach to case-specific surgical tools is worth a look.
  40. Georgia Tech Invents New Process to 3D Print Glass Microstructures
    (By converting a photoresin to glass using deep UV light instead of extremely high temperatures) Original paper is here. Potential game changer and disruptor. Also check out Nabula3D.
  41. Design and Fabrication of 3D-Printed Patient-Specific Soft Tissue and Bone Phantoms for CT Imaging
    One step foward towards a true digital twin. UPenn page on PixelPrint here.
  42. EOS Launches Digital Foam Architects Network for 3D Printed Foam Applications
    (The Digital Foam Architects network is another chapter in the maturation of this approach by coalescing the required AM expertise.) Curious about EOS application focus.
  43. Incus Launches New Hammer PRO40 LMM 3D Printer for Mass Manufacturing: Technical Specifications and Pricing
    I have to give Incus credit for naming its printers after inner ear structures.
  44. Sunrise Medical Completes Strategic Acquisition of Ride Designs
    Personalized wheelchairs are great, but affordable personalized office chairs are long overdue 
  45. 3D Printing in India: Tracing the Journey and Envisioning the Future
    Great short overview on Indian 3D printing ecosystem.
  46. FDA’s CDRH Releases List of Proposed Guidances for FY 2024
    Spoiler alert: we are B-listed
  47. The Complete Guide to Silicone 3D Printing 
    Good intro article, not sure about “complete”.

Going Viral: 

This Reel from Professor Diego Garcia Cuevas, CEO of Controlmad Advanced Design Center captured our audience’s eyes and imagination with more than half a million views and nearly 3500 likes.

This video is actually a preview of his upcoming course focusing on Grasshopper G-Code for 3D Printing, which you can register online here.

“Learn how to create a path that could be non-planar, and transform it into a G-code suitable to be 3D printed with almost any 3D printer. I will use for the course a standard Ender 3 from Creality. But you can use your own machine. With some experience, it can also be suitable for other CNC machines such as milling, draw bots, etc”

Want to go viral with us? Post @3dheals and using hashtag #3dhealspost on Instagram.


While there is certainly no Swiftie in 3D printing, 3DHEALS curates a growing list of videos uniquely interesting to 3DHEALS audiences.

We feature third-party Youtube videos under “WatchWhile” playlist, featuring new technologies and applications in the space. The videos are frequently selected based on our monthly news selection (see “News” section below).

Additionally, we frequently livestream interviews and virtual events on our YouTube channel. So subscribe to our channel if you have not yet done so. 

Among a list of added videos, I found this video in particular compelling albeit potentially controversial. This was recorded during the September 2023 ALL-IN Summit featuring Bill Gurley on his view on government regulation and the technology sector, and even the COVID nasal swabs. I think it’s good to be aware of perspectives, even if you don’t have a stand on things. The rest of All-in Summit recordings are pretty good too.

Open Source

During our 3D Printing for Prosthetics event in October, one important open-source website was mentioned by our speakers, which was the e-NABLE collection hosted by NIH.

“e-NABLE is a network of passionate volunteers using 3D printing to give the World a “Helping Hand.” They support the Maker Movement by bringing together designers, engineers, physicians, 3D printing enthusiasts, families, and amputees, to create, innovate, re-design, and share 3D-printable assistive technology designs.

The goal of this collection is to provide a central repository for all open-source assistive technology designs from e-NABLE and our partner organizations. Connect with the community and find out how you can contribute by joining the e-NABLE Hub .

Be sure to read the e-NABLE Device Safety Guidelines Statement before you use an e-NABLE prosthetic device.”


One of the best books I read in October. In addition to learning more about Elon Musk, I also learned a little more about the author Walter Isaacson, who also wrote my other favorite biographies on Steve Jobs, and Leonardo da Vinci, among others. He is also the CEO of the Aspen Institute and was the former CEO of CNN (!!). The list of interviews and sources he used for the biography is massive, and not something regular folks like myself could have access to. I hope one day to read Walter Isaacson’s biography itself. Perhaps an autobiography. 

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