Scientists together with federal services have been trying to find the best way to detect explosives and drugs at various checkpoints. Now with the new 3-D printer at $228,977 they can produce the best artificial dog noses ever.
As dogs are most distinct sniffers that can recognize smells at a great distance, scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology wanted to find out to what extend the shape of the nose influenced the creature’s skill. They decided to 3D print anatomically precise artificial noses of a female Labrador retriever. Their appliance expels strong airjets from the nose imitating the way real dogs do it, thus they detect the smells from long distances. This can be repeated five times a second.
Senior scientist from Auburn University’ Canine Detection research Institute Paul Waggoner reported that dogs are known to have 50 times as many olfactory receptors as people and a great part of their brain is busy processing the information. Quick snorts also help. If you watch someone who has trained to become a good food taster, you’ll see that they start to take on some of the very same features – numerous inhales.
The new 3D printed noses can be used as part of flow visualization trials in the schlieren optical systems. Their device can cause changes in the air temperature and indicate vapor flows in different colors. The description of the research together with its results was published in a number of specialized magazines informing about the technological developments by the private sector.
The new 3D printer Connex 500 can print numerous substances into a single object, thus designers are able to define the soft and hard parts of the dog’s nose. The printer is developed not only to make dog’s noses. Primarily it was the NIST agency who ordered to Connex 500 printer, but later Stratasys suggested upgrading it for no extra cost.
Actually the 3D printed noses aren’t used at security checkpoints. At present it’s a tool for research in a wider research program.