3D printing technology is taking off in the medical science community, especially in emerging methods known as "bioprinting." Instead of inks, plastics and other artificial materials, science and medical labs use a patient's actual living human cells to replicate organs that the body can recognize and accept.

3D bioprinting has tremendous promise for medical professionals, but it could also forever change areas such as cosmetic surgery and food engineering (not to mention counterfeiting or spy disguises). Here are some of the latest innovations happening in 3D printing and 3D bioprinting.

03_meat
Modern Meadow is a 3D bioprinting startup that aims to develop cell-based products to replace beef and leather. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is investing $350,000 in the company. Modern Meadow
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Scientists at Cornell Creative Machines Lab are testing bioprinting products that are edible such as cakes that can include printed letters and logos inside. Cornell Creative Machines Lab
05_noodles
Cornell scientists are also cooking up edible noodles from their printing technology. Cornell Creative Machines Lab
06_ear_replacement
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have developed tissue aimed at replicating the outer ear using bioprinting. Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
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The scientists at Wake Forest IRM are also using bioprinting to develop a replacement bladder. Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
08_nano_objects
Scientists at Vienna University of Technology took these photos with an electron microscope to show their nano-scale model of an F1 racing car model and London's Tower Bridge, examples created by their 3D printing technique for nano structures Reuters
09_3d_dress
Dancer Dita Von Teese models a 3D printed dress by designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti. They used laser infused nylon powder in a technique called selective laser sintering (SLS) to build up layers into a spiral design and netted structure to give it flexibility. Shapeways
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Connecticut-based Oxford Performance Materials used 3D printing to replace bone and insert the material into an American patient's skull in March 2013. Oxford Performance Materials
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Eric Moger survived the removal of a large tumor under his face but lived for a period with an unsightly hole. Doctors used 3D printing to produce a fleshy prosthetic. Pictured also is a life-size model of a similar complex anaplastology case created by anaplastologist Jan De Cubber at the Belgian company Materialise, the biggest 3D printer in Europe. Yves Herman / Geoff Pugh
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