November 22, 2014

First 3D LED printer could print heads-up-display contact lenses

Researchers at Princeton University have developed a 3D printer that can print LEDs in layers -- and it could one day print contact lenses that incorporate heads-up displays.

[via C/net]

November 18, 2014

Organovo begins selling 3D printed liver tissue

3D bioprinting company Organovo announced today that its 3D printed liver tissue is now commercially available, and pharmaceutical laboratories can begin using it to test if their early-stage drugs are toxic. [via GigaOM]

quotemarksright.jpgThe tissue is made from three types of cells found in the human liver. Liver cells need to be arranged in a very precise pattern or they don’t work. That means 3D tissue can give clearer results than the 2D collections of cells that labs currently use because the cells interact and mimic a full liver more convincingly. Organovo said it also makes the drug discovery process faster and, as a result, cheaper.

Organovo prints its liver tissue with a machine that isn’t that far removed from the inkjet printers that can be found on a desktop. Needle-like nozzles lay down the cells in a precise pattern. The tissue can survive for up to 42 days while researchers expose it to exploratory drugs.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article and Organovo press release.

Martha Stewart launches 3D printing products with MakerBot


3D printing company MakerBot has enlisted the help of American lifestyle guru Martha Stewart to develop a range of custom printable designs and new filament colours with "artisanal character". Dezeen reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe two companies have developed a range of table accessories, which can be purchased from the MakerBot Digital Store to print on demand, and a set of coloured plastic PLA filaments to print them in. The designs in the Trellis Collection include coasters, napkin rings, LED candle holders and place card holders.

These can be printed at home on a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer in Stewart's first three filament colours for the company – Lemon Drop, Robin's Egg and Jadeite – which join 20 tones that are already available.

"We are thrilled to work with MakerBot to bring our signature colour palette and designs to the world of 3D printing," said Stewart in a statement.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:33 PM | News | permalink

November 12, 2014

Meet the men 3D-printing themselves to find love


What lengths would you go to for a date? When it comes to the over-populated world of online dating, two men have taken matters to the extreme to promote themselves above the crowd. [via The Telegraph] 3D printed life-size mannequins of two of its members in a bid to boost their chances of finding The One. Passing women are encouraged to click through to the pair's dating profiles to find out further information.

The models of Keron Knight, 26, and Michael Catuogno, 33, have been placed in the window of ‘Guy Candy’ in London’s Brick Lane.

The pair's heads were scanned in a booth of over 40 DLSR cameras, before 3D versions were designed using iMakr specialist software. The bodies were pieced together and painted to match the men's skin tones by a team of five people, while each of them chose the clothing they felt represented them best. The total process took over three weeks.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

November 10, 2014

Make your own computer: world's first 3D-printed laptop

The world’s first 3D-printed laptop has gone on sale, allowing anyone to print their own device in their living room for half the price of some of its conventionally manufactured rivals. The Telegraph reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe laptop, called Pi-Top, will not be launched officially until next May and costs £180 ($286), includes a template that “prints” the shell of the laptop by melting rolls of thin plastic about the thickness of a piece of paper and laying them on top of each other.

The pack also contains a screen and a “Raspberry Pi” – a desktop tower the size of a credit card – that are slotted into the shell to form the final laptop.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 6:05 PM | 3D printers | permalink

3D Printing and Knitting Converge

knit-sample-4.jpg Laura McPherson and Mark Beecroft of the Manchester School of Art (Manchester, England) are adding a new dimension to the artful process of knitting, with technical crafting — and 3D printing.

quotemarksright.jpgWe have created a 3D printed knitted sample that has the fineness and flexibility required for textiles, and we have begun to combine this with machine knit,” Mark Beecroft told

The 3D printed works of McPherson and Beecraft were first shown at the Spinexpo in Shanghai this past summer, and their body of work is about to be exhibited at the Knitting Nottingham exhibition.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

November 9, 2014

Make: Magazine Shootout Names Top 10 3D Printers

m42_cover_hr.jpg Make: magazine has come up with a list of 10 standout 3D printers across a few different categories. [via 3DPrint]

It’s certainly been an inventive and exciting year in the 3D printing world, and it looks like it’s still just getting started.

quotemarksright.jpg2014 has been a full-throttle year for 3D printing since January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) introduced us to dozens of new machines. It’s clear that additive fabrication has caught the attention of major brands in all sectors (Adobe, Microsoft, Hasbro, Dremel and even Arduino) and the push for the mainstreaming of this technology has hit new heights,” said Anna Kaziunas France, digital fabrication editor for Make: magazine.

“The field of printers we tested this year represent a departure from last year with a number of new entries from across the globe. We’ve seen 3D printers from Asia and New Zealand, and at Rome Maker Faire in October, there were dozens of 3D printers introduced.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:29 AM | 3D printers | permalink

November 6, 2014

The Bullet That Could Make 3-D Printed Guns Practical Deadly Weapons

3d-gun-02-660x495.jpg As 3-D printed guns have evolved over the past 18 months from a science-fictional experiment into a subculture, they’ve faced a fundamental limitation: Cheap plastic isn’t the best material to contain an explosive blast. Now an amateur gunsmith has instead found a way to transfer that stress to a component that’s actually made of metal—the ammunition. Wired reports.

quotemarksright.jpgMichael Crumling, a 25-year-old machinist from York, Pennsylvania, has developed a round designed specifically to be fired from 3-D printed guns. His ammunition uses a thicker steel shell with a lead bullet inserted an inch inside, deep enough that the shell can contain the explosion of the round’s gunpowder instead of transferring that force to the plastic body or barrel of the gun. Crumling says that allows a home-printed firearm made from even the cheapest materials to be fired again and again without cracking or deformation. And while his design isn’t easily replicated because the rounds must be individually machined for now, it may represent another step towards durable, practical, printed guns—even semi-automatic ones.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:32 PM | 3D printed guns | permalink

November 1, 2014

British Museum now lets you 3D print artifact replicas


The British Museum now lets you 3D print artifact replicas thanks to a new collection of downloadable 3D models the museum has made available through Sketchfab, which is the first service to host the collection.

quotemarksright.jpgIt looks like the British Museum plans to make more 3D models available in the future, but for now there are 14 available to download, included among being: the marble portrait of Julius Caesar, the Colossal marble bust of Zeus, giant scarab beetle, Horus falcon statue, Hoa Hakananai'a, and more.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article in Slashgear.

Bioprinting enters university mainstream with 3D body part printing degree

Australian students will soon be learning how to use 3D printing to churn out living replacement body parts, as universities team with their European counterparts to offer a world-first degree course. [via nanowerk]

quotemarksright.jpgQueensland University of Technology (QUT) and the University of Wollongong will partner with the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands and the University of Würzburg in Germany next year to offer the world's first international masters degree in 3D body part printing.

The two years Masters course in biofabrication looks at how to use 3D printing to create living artificial tissues and biological tissue substitutes.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 11:50 AM | News | permalink

3D Printed Insoles that Podiatrists Can Customize and Print

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 08.06.27.png3D Print has written numerous stories on a man named Steve Wood in the past. His most notable creation was probably the Flexy-Hand 2, which is a prosthetic hand made of flexible Filaflex filament. Now, Steve Wood, and his companyGyrobot, have teamed with Recreus, the makers of Filaflex, to create 3D printed customizable insoles. 3DPrint reports.

3D printed insoles are not new, but these are the first that virtually anyone could create and 3D print at home or in a doctor’s office.

quotemarksright.jpgWhat 3D printing has brought is the ability to become increasingly de-centralised and take some of that manufacturing in house close to the source (or destination),” Wood explained. “Podiatrists now armed with their own low cost 3D printer will be able to manufacture their own custom models themselves, supplied with Filaflex of course.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

The World's Smallest 3D Printer Costs Less Than $300

Starting life on Kickstarter with a $300,000 fundraising campaign that's two-thirds the way to its goal, the iBox Nano takes the road less traveled when it comes to 3D printing technology to keep it small and affordable.

quotemarksright.jpgInstead of the plastic microfilament that most consumer-level 3D printers melt and extrude to slowly build up a model, the iBox Nano uses a small pool of liquid resin that's hardened, layer by layer, using ultra-violet LEDs. So the printer doesn't need noisy cooling fans, doesn't produce that awful melted plastic smell, and can actually run on battery power when needed.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Gizmodo]

emily | 8:57 AM | 3D printers | permalink

October 31, 2014

White House Launches 3D-Printed Ornament Challenge

boflake_cork.jpg The White House is inviting makers and innovators around the country to participate in the White House 3D-Printed Ornament Challenge.

The Challenge, in partnership with the Smithsonian, invites makers, artists, designers, engineers, and anyone interested in 3D modeling and 3D printing to design a winter holiday-inspired ornament. Starting today and running until November 10, 2014, people can head over to Instructables to submit their design and for more details about the Challenge.

A selection of the winning ornament designs will be 3D printed and displayed in the White House during the holiday season; featured on the Smithsonian’s state-of-the-art 3D data platform,; and will join a small collection of White House ornaments in the political history division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Image above: A "Bo-flake" ornament from 2012, featuring the likeness of Bo, the Obama family dog.

[via White House press release]

emily | 8:41 AM | Fun | permalink

October 24, 2014

3D-Printed Mistakes Are Inspiring a New Kind of Glitch Art

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 09.36.22.png A growing movement of hobbyists is bestowing these apparent mistakes with their own sense of beauty. Flickr group “The Art of 3D Print Failure” has been around since 2011, back when desktop printers were really riding the wave of hype. [via motherboard]

quotemarksright.jpgIn the group, contributors show off their failures-turned-art, which range from nearly-finished models with slight defects to total plastic spaghetti. Somewhere between those are glitched prints that carry a real aura of artistry.

As well as the Flickr page, there’s a Pinterest board dedicated to “3D Printer Beautiful Errors,” and no shortage of enthusiasts proffering images of their not-quite-there prints on forums and subreddits. Often, they’re looking for advice on how to fix things rather than appraisal of their disfigured results—but it’s often the fact that these works are unintended that imbues them with glitch art charm.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image credit Flickr.

Previously: - When 3D printers fail, the results are beautiful

emily | 9:33 AM | News | permalink

October 21, 2014

The Government Is 3D-Printing Bomb-Sniffing Dog Noses

6a00d8341c630a53ef01287632b562970c-600wi.jpg The feds spent $228,977 to reproduce canine snouts for research purposes. BetaBeat reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe U.S. federal government has been 3D-printing mechanically engineered dog noses that replicate the sniffing patterns of bomb-sniffing dogs, Nextgov reports. The noses are modeled off of female labrador retrievers, a historically favored breed of police dog.

Public documents reveal that the budget for the 3D printer was a whopping $228,977 for a Stratasys Connex 350, which was later upgraded at no extra cost for a Connex 500. The Connexes are heavy duty printers that use dozens of different materials at once to create the many textures needed in replicating dog noses.

The goal isn’t necessarily to create robot dogs for airports and security checkpoints. Rather, the project is meant to generate a host of scientific research that the private sector can use to develop vapor-sensing devices.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Image credit.

October 20, 2014

Iron Man-Inspired Prosthetic Hand Now Available

445423-iron-man-prosthetic-hand-credit-pat-starace-r-d.jpgProsthetic hands inspired by the armored gauntlet of Marvel's Iron Man and designed to be fashioned by 3D printers are now available to children, in lieu of more expensive alternatives which can cost tens of thousands of dollars—and don't look nearly as cool. PCMag reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA tinkerer named Pat Starace has released his designs for his "Iron Man Child Prosthetic Hand."

... "The hand is a container for all modern technology," the inventor told "It can incorporate microcontrollers, wireless devices, smart watches, sensors, accelerometers, NFC, RFID, and almost any technology. reported this week.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:11 AM | 3D printed prosthetics | permalink

Japanese man jailed for 3D printing guns

0009a564-642.jpg A Japanese court this morning jailed a man for two years for making guns with a 3D printer in what is believed to be a first in a nation with strict gun controls. [via RTE News]

quotemarksright.jpgYoshitomo Imura, 28, was found guilty of making two guns at his home and publishing a video online detailing the process, said the Yokohama District Court.

"The criminal responsibility for this act is serious" as it could encourage others to replicate the act, said presiding judge Koji Inaba.

Imura, a former employee of the Shonan Institute of Technology, used internet-based information to build the two functional guns, according to the ruling.

He then posted a video online detailing how he built them.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:41 AM | 3D printed guns | permalink

October 16, 2014

This 3D-printed DIY gadget can crack a safe in minutes


The world's top safe-cracking machines cost $10,000 or more, and are typically only sold for military use. These guys built one that's just as good for a fraction of the price. C/net reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA security duo out of Melbourne, Australia, has developed a cheap gadget that they say can crack most safes in no time, sometimes within minutes.

Luke Jahnke and Jay Davis built the device using 3D-printed parts and the Arduino open-source computing platform popular among makers, along with salvaged electronics that let the device spin through all the lock's possible combinations.

You can watch the prototype in action in this video report by The Register. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

October 15, 2014

Australian scientists develop 3D printed synthetic bone substitute

A team of Australian scientists from the University of Sydney are taking 3D printing to a whole new level of medical usefulness. For the past few years this team, led by professor Hala Zreiqat, have been working on a 3D printed substitute for bones, whose exact characteristics have so far been impossible to reproduce synthetically.

quotemarksright.jpgProfessor Hala Zreiqat and a team of scientists have succeeded in developing a printable material that is a hundred times stronger than current synthetic materials used to copy bone structures. The Australian researchers, in a collaborative effort with Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, can now print a material that can recreate the exact skeletal structure of any patient.quotesmarksleft.jpg


October 6, 2014

Making 3D printed ears for disfigured children

bionicear_9245_preferred-by-mcm_400.jpg Scientists at University College London are using 3D printing to create ears to be implanted onto children with severe disfigurements. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe scientific team has been testing the process by implanting a 3D ear on a rat. The operation filmed by BBC Inside Out is a major medical breakthrough and could radically change organ transplants.

The next stage is to trial the operation in India where there are already a dozen children ready to undergo the surgery in Mumbai. There is a desperate need for this type of facial reconstruction in India.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


-- 3D-Printed Ears Are Now a Reality in China

-- Printable 'bionic' ear melds electronics and biology