December 9, 2013
First it was music, movies and novels, but now everything appears to be at risk of piracy. But with a "Spotify for objects" being set up, is it an opportunity for developers to realise their dreams or is there a big risk of their ideas being taken for nothing? The BBC reports.
... To avoid the risk of piracy that increasing numbers of people are fearing, despite the current lack of commercial applications, a company called Authentise has developed a way to protect the work of the creator.
Developed as both a way to protect and a marketplace, it will offer users the chance to "stream" objects to a printer rather than own the plans outright, lowering the chance the design might get shared.
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December 7, 2013
Amanda Ghassaei, a software engineer who works for online DIY-haven Instructables, posted her method for making records on Instructables, garnering international attention. So much so that Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke announced he will use her method to 3D print records of a new song he is releasing next week. GigaOM reports.
... Ghassaei said she isn’t sure that home 3D printers will ever be good enough to make printing records a common activity, but she could see bands following Okereke’s lead and using printed records for promotional records. They could print a unique record for each person that orders one, for example. In the end, she hopes that people who see the Instructables page are inspired or just learn something new. Even if people don’t have personal access to a high-end printer, they can use one of the multitude of online printer services to order their own record design.
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December 4, 2013
Massachusetts design studio Nervous System has developed a method of 3D-printing jewellery and garments with articulated joints so they automatically change shape once removed from the printer. PSFK reports via Dezeen.
The studio’s founders Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg call their Kinematics project as an example of 4D printing, which basically involves 3D-printing objects that automatically change into their intended shapes. What sets apart 4D-printing from 3D-printing is that the product does not need manual assembly.
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December 3, 2013
GE Global Research announced that a winner has been chosen in its Santa Sleigh 3D printing design contest/GRABCAD challenge, a first-time event bringing together the maker community for some holiday fun in advance of tomorrow’s inaugural 3D Printing Day.
As the winning design, “Santa’s New Hyper-Sleigh” will be mass-printed and mailed, free of charge, to about 200 people who take part in 3D Printing Day via Twitter.
Until now, 3D printing has been a polymer affair, with most people in the maker community using the machines to make all manner of plastic consumer goods, from tent stakes to chess sets. A new low-cost 3D printer developed by Michigan Technological University's Joshua Pearce and his team could add hammers to that list. The detailed plans, software and firmware are all freely available and open-source, meaning anyone can use them to make their own metal 3D printer. PhysOrg reports.
Similar to the incredible churn in innovation witnessed with open-sourcing of the first RepRap plastic 3D printers, I anticipate rapid progress when the maker community gets their hands on it," says Pearce, an associate professor of materials science and engineering/electrical and computer engineering. "Within a month, somebody will make one that's better than ours, I guarantee it."
Using under $1,500 worth of materials, including a small commercial MIG welder and an open-source microcontroller, Pearce's team built a 3D metal printer than can lay down thin layers of steel to form complex geometric objects. Commercial metal printers are available, but they cost over half $500.
Read full article. Image Credit: Chenlong Zhang
November 29, 2013
Fripp Design and Research, which is also working on 3D-printed ears and noses for patients with facial disfigurements, has collaborated with Manchester Metropolitan University to develop ocular prosthetics that are 3D-printed in batches, with intricate coloured details including the iris and blood vessels already included.
Currently, prosthetic eyes are moulded in acrylic and painted by hand to match the patient's eye colour. This process is time-consuming and expensive, whereas producing the eyes using a 3D printer enables up to 150 eyes to be made in an hour.
All of the components are printed from powder in full colour using a Z-Corp 510 machine before the resulting form is encased in resin. Compared to the existing handmade production method, this helps to remove any variation in quality and significantly reduces the cost of each eye, which is currently up to £3000 in the UK.
"Because each one is produced from the same system the consistency is the same and the cost is drastically reduced to approximately £100," said Fripp.
November 28, 2013
Swedish photographer Jens Lennartsson had 400 selfies printed to send out with his resumé and a sample of his work.
November 27, 2013
Working alongside colleagues at the University of Manchester, Liverpool researchers are now developing 3D image processing and skin modelling techniques that can copy a person's skin so that it appears natural, whatever light it is shown in.
While it is possible to print synthetic skin in one tone, this does not reflect the diversity of the surface which in real life will be patterned by freckles, veins and wrinkles. People walking between daylight and artificial light also take on a different shade, so any synthetic skin has to produce the same effect.
November 25, 2013
After the release of two 3D-printable firearms was met by warnings from lawmakers, Philadelphia has become the first US city to ban 3D-printed guns. The Philadelphia city council voted unanimously to pass a bill banning the practice on Thursday, reports The Verge.
Philadelphia's response to this new flavor of firearms manufacturing isn't surprising; According to FBI crime statistics, Philly reported 331 murders in 2012, ranking it among the most violent cities in the US.
Action against 3D-printed firearms is also being taken at the national level. It took the State Department only days to get plans for the Liberator pulled offline, and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is currently looking to extend a federal law banning "undetectable' firearms to guns built in 3D printers. But measures like these are largely preemptive right now, since 3D-printed guns are still highly experimental, unreliable, and expensive. At the moment, it's still much easier to buy a small handgun on the street or even build an undetectable AK-47 with the right plans.
Read full article.
November 22, 2013
The Saskatchewan inventor who caused an online firestorm with his redesigned 3D printer says the technology could have huge implications for farmers.
“I wouldn’t say you could fix everything on your farm with one now, but it’s going to be a technology similar to the lathe,” Rylan Grayston said about the machines, which enable users to design objects on a computer and then build them, one tiny layer at a time, into a three-dimensional object. “There’s so much you can do with it.” [via The Western Producer]
The small parts are usually made of melted plastic. Grayston’s device uses a special resin that hardens when exposed to a specific light.
Only a few centimetres in size, Grayston’s novel device is touted as “the first $100 3D printer.” It’s simpler, smaller and far cheaper than anything else available and has created a lot of buzz in the burgeoning 3D printing sector.
Farmers won’t be using 3D printers soon to fill their toolboxes with wrenches and sockets, but Grayston said computer savvy producers could make their own dials, switches and gears.
“There are so many specialized parts that they go out of production and what do you do?” he said.
Read full article.
November 21, 2013
A team of cardiovascular scientists has announced it will be able to 3D print a whole heart from the recipients' own cells within a decade. Stuart K Williams, Executive and Scientific Director of Cardiovascular Innovation Institute spoke with Wired.co.uk.
Williams is heading up the hugely ambitious project as executive and scientific director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute at the University of Louisville.
Williams says he and his team of more than 20 have already bioengineered a coronary artery and printed the smallest blood vessels in the heart used in microcirculation. "These studies have reached the advanced preclinical stage showing printed blood vessels will reconnect with the recipient tissue creating new blood flow in the printed tissue."
The team has also worked on other methods of bioengineering tissue, including electrospinning for the creation of large blood vessel scaffolds that can then be joined with bioprinted microvessels.
But why print the parts, when you can print the whole in one go? We shouldn't just be able to repair the heart using bioengineering, but replace it.
The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute is now developing bespoke 3D printers for the job with a team of engineers and vascular biologists.
... Bioengineers have already 3D printed a tiny functioning liver, but the problem is keeping it alive. The liver, for instance, was just a millimetre thick and four millimetres wide, and survived only five days.
Read full article.
How much practice would you want your brain surgeon to have? Probably a lot -- and the more specific that practice is to your particular brain, the better. [via The Huffington Post]
Now, by combining models of brains made on 3D printers and images of simulated surgery, faculty at the University of Florida (UF) are making sure their surgeons get just this kind of training.
Researchers at the university have developed a unique "mixed reality" surgery simulator that gives doctors-in-training a chance to perform real surgery techniques on 3D-printed models derived from actual patients' brains and skulls. Researchers create the models by feeding MRI and CT scans taken from previous patients into 3D printers. Simulated skin covers the printed skulls.
Surgeons-in-training can then, for example, insert a needle through a "patient's" cheek, into the appropriate part of the brain while watching the needle's progress on an imaging screen, just as they would with a device called a fluoroscope during a real surgery. The UF team developed software and completed modifications to imaging tools to make this simulated fluoroscopy possible.
"We can create a physical model, so the residents learn to put their hands in the right position," said Dr. Frank Bova, head of the university's radiosurgery/biology lab, which produces the training simulators. The simulators help surgeons coordinate their eyes and hands with the images they're watching, he said. "When they get their first patient, they're not learning five different, new skills.
November 20, 2013
A major drawback for 3D printers is how slow they print. A medium-sized cup can take hours, potentially making it faster and more convenient to just run out to the store.
A research team at the University of Southern California said they have taken a previous breakthrough that cut print time down to minute and applied it to printing in multiple materials, an emerging area of 3D printing that could dramatically increase what you can print. GigaOM reports.
Their work utilizes a resin printer, which doesn’t lay down melted plastic like most consumer printers do. Instead, it relies on a pool of liquid resin. Generally, a laser shines on one layer of the liquid at a time, causing it to harden. The finished object slowly rises out of the pool of resin.
November 16, 2013
Just a few months ago, Windows 8.1 became the first OS to support 3-D printing natively. That essentially meant Microsoft was building an infrastructure so that printing a 3-D object could become as simple clicking “print”. Today, Microsoft revealed its next step: its first ever 3-D printing application called 3D Builder, which is available now for free. [via FastCompany]
We wanted to do something that was simple--that didn't require any design expertise, CAD experience, or animation experience,” explains Shanen Boettcher, general manager at Microsoft’s Startup Business Group. “Anyone can walk up to the app and be successful in 3-D printing.
Read full article.
November 15, 2013
It's available for $320 on Kickstarter, having previously lead a successful funding round on Indiegogo and already smashed its $8,000 funding target on Kickstarter.
The Rubicon 3D is powered by a arduino and takes about three minutes to complete a full scan of an object.
The Rubicon 3D can only scan objects up to 160mm in diameter and 250mm tall, which means larger objects can’t be scanned easily by the current set up. It also requires that you provide your own webcam, which can affect the resolution and therefore quality of the scan.
Compared to most other 3D scanners on the market, including the MakerBot Digitizer, the Rubicon 3D is one-quarter of the cost, while operating faster and with a similar accuracy. It is also compact and simple to use, making 3D object scanning quick and easy.
Read full article.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) this week released videos of tests of plastic guns made with 3D printers that show some exploding on the first shot. The explosions could injure users, the testing found. ComputerWorld reports.
The ATF has been testing guns made with 3D printers using two commonly used thermoplastic materials over the past year to determine how safe the weapons are.
Guns made using one of the two thermoplastics tested, a polymer from VisiJet, never lasted more than one shot before exploding. The other material, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), could produce a gun that fired 8 times without incident.
The agents stopped shooting after 8 bullets, an ATF spokesperson said.
The spokesperson wouldn't identify 3D printers used or which computer-assisted drawing (CAD) files were downloaded to create the weapons.
The ATF also released a list of answers to commonly asked questions about 3D printed firearms.
Read full article.
November 14, 2013
Not only was the costume made to fit model Lindsay Ellingson perfectly using a 3D scan of her figure, it was then encrusted with millions of Swarovski crystals to really make it shine.
For a behind-the-scenes look at how the 3D printed outfit came into existence, be sure to watch the video.
For decades, the only way to see artifacts like these has been to visit the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC. And even if you have the time and money to make the trip, you only get to view the item’s front, from behind a glass case. ReadWriteWeb reports.
Today, 3D design software company Autodesk revealed an advance in technology that will let us get up close to our culture’s our rarest relics. With the Smithsonian X 3D Explorer, anyone with an Internet connection can examine, manipulate, and even print exact 3D models of a few of the Smithsonian’s most precious items.
3D scanning has made the Cosmic Buddha's faded markings sharp again.3D scanning has made the Cosmic Buddha's faded markings sharp again.
"Seven billion people visit the Smithsonian museums every year, but that's only one tenth of one percent of the global population," said Brian Mathews, Vice President of the Information Modeling Platform Group and Group CTO at Autodesk. "We’re making the collection more accessible than ever before.
November 13, 2013
Thanks to the power and versatility of 3D textile printing, the Tamicare company has created a biodegradable and completely customizable fabric that comes in any desired shape, with no fabric waste. DVICE reports.
By using a spray technique, latex, cotton or other fibers are seamlessly extruded to form layers of a breathable fabric, ideal for usage in sportswear, bandages and undergarments. The machine can churn out a pair of briefs in under three seconds, meaning 10 million can be made in a year.
The density of the outputted fabric is easily controlled by preset, so both mesh-like, delicate fabrics and heavier, thick ones are equally possible.
November 12, 2013
In order to accomplish this sizeable task, MakerBot has partnered with 3D design software corporation AutoDesk, 3D printing institute America Makes and classroom crowdfunder DonorsChoose.org.
Beginning Tuesday, any person or business interested in getting MakerBot Academy into schools can visit DonorsChoose. Teachers can register their classroom to request a MakerBot Academy bundle. So far, a handful of classrooms, mostly in highly impoverished areas, have already requested the 3D printer.
MakerBot will begin by funding the first few classrooms, at schools in the company’s hometown of Brooklyn, New York, on it's own.