December 16, 2014

3D-printed Christmas trees promise greener festive future

prof.jpgJust in time for Christmas,researchers have developed a new algorithm that can create 3D-printed X-mas trees with zero material waste. The Deccan Chronicle reports.

quotemarksright.jpgRichard Zhang, computing science professor at the Simon Fraser University in Canada has shown how to print a 3D Christmas tree efficiently and with zero material waste, using the world's first algorithm for automatically decomposing a 3D object into what are called pyramidal parts.

A pyramidal shape is optimal for 3D printing because it incurs no material waste and saves print time.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more in Science Daily.

December 15, 2014

MoMA adds '4D' printed dress to its permanent collection

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 09.08.58.png

The Kinematics dress created by design studio Nervous System using a 3D printer has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe Kinematics dress created by Nervous System. Created by design studio Kinematics, the dress has fluidity and movement, adapted directly to the wearer's body. The studio calls the process used "4D printing", a term typically used to describe 3D printed objects that change over time in response to their environment.

The Kinematics dress is created from 2,279 rigid, interlocking triangles, connected by 3,316 hinges, printed in a single piece. These hinges allow the dress, adapted to perfectly conform to the wearer's body, to swing and move.

The app -- which has also joined the MoMA collection -- allows anyone to design a Kinematics garment from an uploaded 3D body scan, selecting the size and shape of the modules and "painting" them onto the dress or skirt in real-time. Designers can then order their design from Nervous System, to be printed by Shapeways.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

December 8, 2014

Royal Mail to offer 3D printing

imgres-1.jpgUK's Royal Mail has partnered with 3D printing specialist iMakr so that businesses and consumers can have their own designs produced at a central London delivery office.[via The Telegraph]

quotemarksright.jpgAlternatively, a range of existing designs that can be personalised to customers’ requirements is being offered.

The products can then be either collected from the delivery centre near Oxford Street or posted to clients.

Royal Mail is running the scheme as it looks for new areas to move into that dovetail with its current business.

Royal Mail hopes it can tap into demand from smaller companies unable to afford the capital investment required for a 3D printer, as well interest from consumers looking for a unique product.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

December 3, 2014

Smithsonian Creates the First-ever 3D Presidential Portrait

The first presidential portraits created from 3-D scan data are now on display in the Smithsonian Castle. [via Smithsonian Institution]

quotemarksright.jpgA new video released today by the White House (and shown below) details the behind-the-scenes process of scanning, creating and printing the historic portraits. The portraits will be on view in the Commons gallery of the Castle starting today, Dec. 2, through Dec. 31. The portraits were previously displayed at the White House Maker Faire in June.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

November 26, 2014

The First Object Has Been 3D Printed In Space

Screensmall.png The International Space Station’s newly-installed 3D printer made history on Tuesday by manufacturing the first object ever 3D printed in space. Forbes reports.

quotemarksright.jpgNASA’s 3D printer was developed under a contract with the startup Made In Space, which was founded in 2010. The purpose of the 3D printer is to experiment with the possibility of manufacturing crucial replacement parts on on the station, foregoing the expense of shipping them via rocket.

“This first print is the initial step toward providing an on-demand machine shop capability away from Earth,” said NASA’s Niki Werkheiser, project manager for the International Space Station 3-D Printer, in a press release.

The printer was delivered to the space station in September via a Space X Dragon capsule. It was installed on the station on November 17, and the first in a series of calibration prints was made. More calibration prints followed over the next few days.

On Tuesday, November 25, the first actual part was manufactured by the 3D-printer – a faceplate for a printhead extruder on the printer itself. The teams at NASA and Made In Space are currently looking at the data from the part to see how it conforms to expectations.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:37 AM | 3D printing in space, News | permalink

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.