The field of 3D metal printing continues to expand. Metal 3D printers are becoming more affordable, and the range of available materials is widening as researchers discover new ways to work with and combine metals. The latest news in metal printing comes out of Europe: French company Z3Dlab has created a new metal composite material that they have dubbed ZTi-Powder.
Regular readers will have doubtlessly seen that industrial 3D printing is making headlines in the aerospace world, but that doesn’t mean that regular astronomy hobbyists can’t also benefit from the advantages of 3D printing. While a good quality telescope can quickly be very expensive, a far more affordable 3D printed astro-cam has just appeared on Indiegogo: the British-made PiKon, that simply relies on a Raspberry Pi and some 3D printed parts to capture gorgeous images of space.
Bioprinting is widely considered to be an integral part of the future of medical science. We have taken some incredible strides forward in developing applicable bioprinting technologies, but we are still in the very early stages of creating real, usable bioprinted material. While researchers are currently testing the viability of bioprinted objects like human ears, soft structures that have little to no internal support are still difficult if not impossible to print. Specifically small cellular structures like organs and human venous systems tend to collapse under their own weight before they can become viable.
There has been a lot of talk of buzz in Hollywood about Matt Damon’s latest blockbuster, The Martian, based on a novel about a lone astronaut who must survive the harsh realities life on Mars. Well, it turns out that storyline may not being science fiction for long. NASA and America Makes recently announced their 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, inviting scientists, researchers and engineers to develop a safe, secure, and sustainable housing on Earth and beyond, and Foster + Partners New York’s modular design has just been selected as one of 30 finalists.
Israeli architect David Mussaffi is more than just a 3D print enthusiast, he’s a dedicated 3D print designer with an expert eye for fashion. Last year, he won second place in the Thingiverse #TrexRemix Challenge for his T-Rex High Heel which has the wearer placing her foot in the gaping maw of the carnivore as an intimidating set of teeth bristle threateningly from the surrounding jaw bone.
Engineering with robotics and electronics has gained a lot of traction, thanks to the 3D printing revolution, but one facet that the technology has yet to greatly improve is the ability to efficiently print in multiple different materials at once. Most approaches to 3D printing with mixed materials have been passive processes, often limited to mixing thinner materials with lower viscosities and leaving thicker printing materials to mingle on their own. A new development from the Harvard lab of Jennifer Lewis, also the CEO of Voxel8, has managed to solve this issue by creating an active mixing multimaterial printhead.
Formlabs has big news on the 3D printing reinvention front. In an industry that barely has its feet off the ground when you consider the timeline–and the future– numerous manufacturers are making improvements and offering new releases and editions at lightning speed, accommodating users with new features and functions and often putting new options at their fingertips before they were even quite aware how much they were going to need–and appreciate–them. While the popular Form 1 and Form 1+ 3D printers are still on the ground and running, Formlabs has wasted no time, busy in R&D with the Form 2, which is just being released today.
You never know what a Monday morning will bring–as in the case last week when one rather precocious kid took his basement-built clock into a Texas classroom to impress a teacher. His ‘reward’ was to end up in hot water with both the principal and the police.
I’ve never taken an official poll of children, but I’d be willing to bet that, if you asked a group of children to list their ten favorite things, Legos and chocolate would be way up there on the list for a majority of kids. I know I was a big fan of both (oh, I still am, who am I kidding), but I never would have thought to combine the two. Other than eating chocolate while playing with Legos, which sounds like a pretty great Saturday afternoon.
The Japanese term of ‘poka-yoke’ refers to a particular, lean-manufacturing process that helps operators avoid product defects or oversights that could lead to unnecessary mistakes. In short, it means to mistake-proof a process—a sort of built-in function that would prevent us from ever scrambling to hit ‘control Z.’ In a video released today by Graphics/Systems, social enterprise Beyond Vision shows how they are combining the ‘poka-yoke’ philosophy with 3D printing to assist their blind employees.
Over the weekend, at World Maker Faire NYC, I had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of ZMorph, Przemek Jaworski, and check out their awesome desktop fabricating platform. Their ZMorph 2.0 S Fabricator represents an all-in-one solution for someone looking for a hybrid 3D printer. With 12 interchangeable tool heads, combined with their Voxelizer software to navigate between them, the ZMorph could turn into a revolutionary product. Jaworski is so confident, in fact, that ZMorph plans to significantly increase their presence in the US.
Remember those “driveable” toy cars everyone had when they were kids? Some of them were the Flintstones-style kind that required you to sit with your feet through the open floor in order to push yourself along, which is the kind I remember the most. My cousins had one, and whenever I was dropped off at their house I would immediately run to the basement so I could try to jump into the driver’s seat before my cousin, who insisted for the longest time that only boys were allowed to drive cars, ever. But the really cool kids, the rich kids, had the kind with actual pedals. You could drive, steer, and curse at other drivers just like a grown-up. Oh, how I wanted one of those. It would have been the highlight of my plastic-filled 1990s American childhood.
As you would expect from a company that prides itself on selling 3D printers based on open source technology, Aleph Objects feels the same way about the software that they use to run them. They recommend that owners of their LulzBot 3D printers operate them and convert their 3D models into GCODE using their customized Cura LulzBot Edition software. Not only is Cura widely considered one of the best slicers available, but the LulzBot Edition was developed specifically for their entire line of 3D printers. The LulzBot team has even created pre-set Cura print profiles so no matter which of their 3D printers their users have, the Cura software has been optimized for that specific 3D printer.
Laser pointers have a lot of specific purposes: they can be used in classrooms or presentations, during star gazing, or to signal for help in an emergency. Despite all of that, the number one thing most of us do with a laser pointer? Use it to annoy cats, babies, or even co-workers, of course. A new creation by JJRobots allows you to build a portable laser pointer robot with 3D printed parts that can be controlled from up to 60 meters away with your smartphone or tablet device, and provide hours of fun.
Just days ago it was announced that a 3D printed guide developed by researchers in Minnesota could help facilitate the regrowth of damaged nerves within the human body. In the wake of this exciting breakthrough, is another progressive use for 3D printing within the medical world, as the same researchers have found a way to release biomolecules into the body through a 3D printed scaffold with more precision than ever before.
Amazon UK has today launched a European business, industrial and scientific supplies store featuring more than half a million products including Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) products from 3D Systems and XYZprinting.
If you’re an avid maker or even just a budding genius with a head filled with great ideas but you don’t have access to the tools required to materialize those ideas, then there’s hope. Thanks to the dedication and foresight of organizations like Velocity, a non-profit organization based in Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky, and TechShop, the California-based fabrication labs inspired by the DIY and Maker movement, aspiring makers in that area can hop on board the shiny new MakerMobile and access the guidance and tools they need to turn their bright ideas into fully realized objects.
Just weeks ago it was announced that a new species was discovered that is likely a part of the human family tree. The so-named Homo naledi's bones were found in a cave not far from Johannesburg in South Africa, specifically in the Rising Star cave system, which scientists date back to about 3 million years.
Israel-based 3D printing technology group Nano Dimension will now be able to trade its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) on the OTCQXmarket. Today’s announcement, which came from Open, Transparent and Connected (OTC) financial markets, will help the innovative high-tech company increase their trading and visibility with U.S. investors, potentially leading to increased revenue and funding for R&D.
Whether they are going to make it as a mainstream product anytime soon or not, 3D printers are evolving fast in many different directions. Delta FFF 3D printers, for example, are becoming faster, more precise, and capable of printing multiple and multi-material objects at the same time, like the Cybot 330 PRO, which has just been announced by the company by the same name.
While not top secret or highly classified, there are some highly surprising figures when it comes to projections for revenues from space and defense aerospace spending for 2022. Looking at today, analysts now see the figures at $140 million for next year. By 2022, however, those figures should rise to a staggering $600 million.
It’s rather ironic that 3D printing is often seen as a key educational tool for future generations, while the fast majority of 3D printed toys hardly interest the kids of today. That’s exactly why we are very intrigued by a particularly successful ongoing Kickstarter campaign for an educational toy. Called Cannybot, this is a British-made concept for smart racing cars for children that will help them understand the basics of programming and 3D modeling. It is also remarkably successful, having reached its crowdfunding goal of $40,000 almost immediately.
While crowdfunding launches can be challenging, hard work, and a total crapshoot for many, we see a lot of really successful and downright impressive campaigns happening for innovative 3D printing companies today. It would be hard to compare any, however, with the staggering success of the M3D Micro, which was made available on Kickstarter last year, and can now be seen at the annual world Maker Faire going on in New York.
Since 3D printing’s inception it has gone hand in hand with design, as the two terms are almost inextricable these days. It is no wonder then that young designers keep coming up with impressive design models that incorporate 3D printing technology.
Materialise announced today that they will be launching new metal 3D printing production services in Bremen aimed at industrial customers in the aerospace, automotive and industrial manufacturing industries.
There were a couple of big releases from 3D design and printing companyAutodesk this week. First and perhaps the most notable was full open source release of the electronics and firmware for Ember, their new SLS 3D printer. When the company announced Ember at last year’s Inside 3D printing Santa Clara, they committed to making both it and their Spark software completely open source. There was a bit of doubt as to their actual willingness to do so, but Autodesk has slowly been living up to their promise. First when they made their standard clearPR48 resinopen source and again when they released Ember’smechanical designspecs.
Zortrax, the leading Polish 3D printer manufacturer and one of the leading companies worldwide in low cost FFF 3D printing, has released its own online 3D model library. The makers of the highly appreciated M200 desktop 3D printer, is thus following in the footsteps of the other two industry leaders, MakerBot, with Thingiverse, and Ultimaker, with the Youmagine network.
Euromold is upon us and the news start slowly pouring out from some of the industry biggest innovators. One of them is Sharebot, the young Italian company that just seems unable to stop tinkering with every possible 3D printing technology available today.
3D printing has already proved itself time and again as an excellent and affordable technology for manufacturing basic prosthetics, but even in that field there are few limitations. For one, typical materials as ABS and PLA aren’t exactly suitable for manufacturing leg prosthetics, while makers have struggled to add more than a simple gripping function to most prosthetics. That’s just a few of the reasons why are so impressed by the creation of the limbU, a prosthetic smart leg developed by student Troy Baverstock that is absolutely packed with sensors for personal activities and for medical rehabilitation.