May 23, 2013
Clone Factory, a Japanese start-up that specializes in 3D printing human faces, will print your face and put it on a doll's body, or it will capture the likeness of a cherished pet. For a a mere $1,300. The Huffington Post reports.
How does it work? As Culture Japan's Danny Choo discovered, the "cloning" process is fairly straightforward. Basically, the subject sits in a chair surrounded by digital SLR cameras and has his or her picture taken in a sequence. A digital map of the subject's head is rendered together by a technician, then printed into plaster.
May 21, 2013
Anjan Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing, envisions a much more mundane—and ultimately more important—use for the technology.
He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth’s 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor’s vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.
... Contractor's initial grant from NASA, under its Small Business Innovation Research program, is for a system that can print food for astronauts on very long space missions. For example, all the way to Mars.
... Pizza is an obvious candidate for 3D printing because it can be printed in distinct layers, so it only requires the print head to extrude one substance at a time. Contractor’s “pizza printer” is still at the conceptual stage, and he will begin building it within two weeks. It works by first “printing” a layer of dough, which is baked at the same time it’s printed, by a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. Then it lays down a tomato base, “which is also stored in a powdered form, and then mixed with water and oil,” says Contractor.
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May 20, 2013
Looking for a 3D printing domain name? Check out 3dvertical.com's list of 300 + domains related to 3D printing and 3D scanning.
For Enabled By Design, a nonprofit specializing in “good design [that] can support people to live as independently as possible,” 3-D printing is a game-changer. Instead of buying mass-produced products, people with disabilities can manufacture exactly what they need to suit their individual needs. FastCoDesign reports.
Late last year, the organization held a designathon in London, below are some of the projects that came out of it:
-- For Paul Carter who co-directs a television production company , born without lower arms and legs, and is a heavy coffee drinker, using a 3-D printer, competitors created a prototype water-heating device that could be operated without hands and which could be manipulated using upper arms.
-- fingertip cacti are tabletop dining utensils that slip on users’ fingers. The cacti are designed for eaters with motor impairments and make handling food significantly easier. In the case of the finger cacti, a 3-D printer was used to quickly produce prototypes that users could test out at the designathon.
-- Playsettings, which are spill-resistant tea cups, were fabricated on 3-D printers and have already made it to market.
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May 18, 2013
According to Lt. Cmdr. Michael Llenza, who sketched out a scenario of American forces printing out drones from the field in the latest Armed Forces Journal, 3-D printing could arguably “upend the way we think about supply chains, sea basing and even maritime strategy.” And by we, Llenza doesn’t just mean Americans. The Chinese military is already bragging about how they are printing parts for their next-gen aircraft. Wired reports.
Aside from drones — which have already been printed — ammunition could potentially be produced with the machines, as the casings would be “relatively easy,” he writes. (The Pentagon would just have to find a way to produce the propellants.) Additive manufacturing also “offers a new way to think about building shelters or other structures on a beachhead or forward operating base.” The hope, as the theory goes, is that large-scale investments in 3-D printing could take a lot of strain off the supply lines modern military forces depend on to survive.
May 17, 2013
3D printing company MakersFactory, based in Santa Cruz, offers ongoing classes, clubs and summer camp for kids of all ages.
May 16, 2013
In the 3D-printed future, politicians who oppose the NRA might do best by aligning themselves with the RIAA if the YouTube takedown of a video of Defense Distributed's Cody Wilson successfully firing the first all-3D-printed gun is a harbinger. PCMag reports.
The visual evidence of Wilson's triumph, the greatest marketing tool he has, has been pulled by a claim from Warner Chappell, copyright holder for Patrick Cassidy's "Funeral March," which played over footage of him firing the Liberator.
... Wilson feels that the commotion caused by the Liberator and the YouTube takedown that's related to RIAA-related regulations shows the hand of politicians. "[T]hey're demonstrating to some of the people that know that they're reactionaries and that they would like to control and manage the future, and that's not what this technology means," he said specifically about 3D printing but which applies to his views regarding all technology.
... And that's the biggest effect technology, including 3D printing, may have on society. It's not in what it creates but in what it destroys: the false dichotomies propagated in U.S. politics. First Amendment versus Second Amendment, blue state versus red state, RIAA artists versus NRA members, all blown apart with a single-shot, 3D-printed gun.
May 12, 2013
The exact title of the Daily Mail's article is in fact: "How Mail On Sunday 'printed' first plastic gun in UK using a 3D printer- and then took it on board Eurostar without being stopped in security scandal".
Good grief. Anything for a scoop. In their own words:
We built the weapon, which is capable of firing a live round, from blueprints available on the internet – then smuggled it on to a packed Eurostar train. Two reporters passed completely unchallenged through strict airport-style security to carry the gun on to a London to Paris service in the weekend rush-hour, alongside hundreds of unsuspecting travellers.
A Tweet from Defense Distributed on the subject:
Daily Mail - The DM has engaged in an act of terrorism to show us that Eurostar trains will now only be safe... tmblr.co/ZanHLuko9Ljb— Defense Distributed (@DefDist) May 12, 2013
May 11, 2013
While much of the talk on Defense Distributed focuses on firearms, Cody Wilson says the effort is about so much more. ”This project is a way for me to do everything I was ever interested in all at the same time. I want to represent this position in a very pure, forceful way, and I think we did it,” he said. VentureBeat reports.
To understand that position, you first have to understand the idea of “crypto-anarchy,” which holds that the most effective route to political freedom is a combination of unhindered access to information protected by the hard math of cryptography. Wilson, a crypto-anarchist himself, argues that everyone has a right to download their own firearms regardless of how many governmental bodies say they shouldn’t.
That’s where 3D printers come in. Because the technology enables us to digitize and replicate physical objects, 3D printers give crypto-anarchists (or even just gun enthusiasts) a powerful new tool to circumvent governmental control:
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom says he has removed all public links to the blueprints for a 3D printed gun from his new file-sharing website. The Pirate Bay has picked up the slack.
May 10, 2013
As described on their website:
3D printing is changing the world. Unfortunately, the only thing many people know about 3D printing is that it can be used to make guns. We want to celebrate designs that will make lives better, not snuff them out.
What is the Printers for Peace Contest?
We are challenging the 3D printing community to design things that advance the cause of peace. This is an open-ended contest, but if you’d like some ideas, ask yourself what Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, or Ghandi would make if they’d had access to 3D printing.
-- low-cost medical devices
-- tools to help pull people out of poverty
-- designs that can reduce racial conflict
-- objects to improve energy efficiency or renewable energy sources to reduce wars over oil
-- tools that would reduce military conflict and spending while making us all safer and more secure
-- things that boost sustainable economic development (e.g. designs for appropriate technology in the developing world to reduce scarcity)
1st Prize is a fully assembled, open-source Type A Machines Series 1 3D Printer
2nd Prize is Michigan Tech’s MOST version of the RepRap Prusa Mendel open-source 3D printer kit
Though the U.S. government ordered that the files for the 3D Printed gun be taken down for fear of international arms proliferation, the designs are out there, accessible through sites such as The Pirate Bay and the "Makers" are presumably still free to print it and whatever else they want with their own 3D printers (such as the MakerBot Replicator 2 or 3DSystems CubeX9). TechNewsDaily reports.
But makers without their own equipment also have the option of ordering various objects from 3D printing services such as i.materialise, Sculpteo and Shapeways. Each service offers users the opportunity to shop existing designs as well as create and use their own.
... This puts manufacturers of 3D-printed materials in a gray area from a legal standpoint. Questions arise – could 3D printers and print manufacturers be bound to turn suspicious customers over to authorities? And what are the liability repercussions if, say, a car component is manufactured and then fails? When you consider that smokers have successfully sued tobacco companies, these questions don’t seem so far-fetched.
Read full article.
Because Japanese students have numerous writing exercises that force them to scribble the same kanji characters over and over again, one student figured out a way to make it go faster.
With the help of a 3D printer, a Japanese student created a tri-pencil holder with a 3D printer, making it easier and faster to repeatedly write a sentence.
The White House is looking to 3D printing as a model to revitalize the American manufacturing industry and to help design new weapons and equipement for the military. The Verge reports.
That's the basis of a new $200 million public-private initiative announced by the White House Thursday morning, which will create three new advanced manufacturing centers around the country.
The White House is opening a competitive bidding process to universities and companies to host these centers, but all three will be modeled after a 3D printing institute launched in Ohio late last year, also funded by the government.
White House Press release: Obama Administration Launches Competition for Three New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes
May 9, 2013
On Thursday, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanding that he take down the online blueprints for the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun along with nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on the group’s website Defcad.org, while it reviews the files for compliance with export control laws for weapons known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR.
By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.
“We have to comply,” Wilson says. “All such data should be removed from public access, the letter says. That might be an impossible standard. But we’ll do our part to remove it from our servers.”
... Cody Wilson doesn’t see the government's takedown demand of the Liberator’s blueprints as a defeat. 'This is the conversation I want."... "Can there be defense trade control in the era of the Internet and 3D printing?”
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Red banner above is a screen capture from Defcad.org website. It reads:
"DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information."
The full cease-and-desist letter from the State Department has been posted on on VentureBeat.
Below: Tweet from Defense Distributed.
Senator Leland Yee plans to introduce legislation to ban 3D-printed gun technology in order to "ensure that it is not used for the wrong purpose with potentially deadly consequences." C/net reports.
California Senator Leland Yee announced Tuesday his plan to propose a law that would ban the technology used to create 3D-printed guns.
"While I am as impressed as anyone with 3-D printing technology and I believe it has amazing possibilities, we must ensure that it is not used for the wrong purpose with potentially deadly consequences," Yee said in a statement. "I plan to introduce legislation that will ensure public safety and stop the manufacturing of guns that are invisible to metal detectors and that can be easily made without a background check.
Read full article.
The gun’s CAD files have been ten times more popular than any component the group has previously made available.
The controversial gun-printing group is hosting those files, which include everything from the gun’s trigger to its body to its barrel, on a service that has attracted some controversy of its own: Kim Dotcom’s Mega storage site. Although the blueprint is only publicly visible on Defense Distributed’s own website Defcad.org, users who click on it are prompted to download the collection of CAD files from Mega.co.nz, which advertises that it encrypts all users’ information and has a reputation for resisting government surveillance.
Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed’s 25-year-old founder, says that the group chose to use Mega mostly because it was fast and free. But he also says he feels a degree of common cause with Kim Dotcom. “We’re sympathetic to Kim Dotcom,” says Wilson. “There are plenty of services we could have used, but we chose this one. He’s down for the struggle.
Read full article.
May 8, 2013
BBC News spoke to designer Alan Nguyen of Freedom of Creation in Amsterdam, and Bart Veldhuizen an online community manager at Shapeways in Eindhoven. Mr Nguyen showed off one of his favourite creations, a shoe which holds an iPhone. He designed it to test copyright principles, he told the BBC.
We are like DJs," he said, "because they take other people's things and make something completely new." The iPhone shoe is a "mash up", he explained, as it contains other designers' case designs along the base of the heel.
The book explains the world of 3D printing in all its technologies, design tools, and downstream implications, covering corporate R&D labs to the DIY initiatives we see in the DIY and Maker communities.
FABRICATED does a great job in explaining how the technology has gained traction in industries including electronics, automotive, aerospace and the medical community. It also dedicates a good portion of the book to explaining more conceptual areas such as 3D printed food.
Read full article.
James Coleman of 3DPrintingIndustry picks up on an important fact amidst the media storm surrounding the news of the first entirely 3D Printed Gun. Here in Europe, journalists and TV channels such as BFMTV have made headlines stating that the blueprint available on defcad is for an undetectable firearm — which as Coleman points out, is not the case.
Opinions are divided on the work that Defense Distributed is doing, but it appears that Cody Wilson and his team share the Congressman’s concern for the technology. This concern is revealed by the group’s (oft overlooked) decision to include a 6 oz. piece of steel in their plans for the “Liberator.” This design decision makes the handgun a “detectable” firearm. Aside from helping the group to comply with existing US law, it indicates that their personal aim is not to use 3D printing to produce the sort of undetectable weapon that the Congressman is concerned with.
The “Read Me” instructions that come with the CAD files give very explicit instructions about how to comply with existing law when assembling the “Liberator”. They refer to the steel as an “integral” part of the frame.
Read full article.