May 24, 2013
Wired reports that according to the Wohlers report, the overall market for 3-D printing products and services hit $2.2 billion in 2012, a compounded annual growth rate of almost 29 percent compared to the $1.7 billion the industry recorded in 2011. Over the 25 years that Wohlers has been tracking 3-D printing the compounded annual growth rate has been about 25 percent.
Of the 3-D printing machines sold, the low-cost category (those priced under $5,000 and where most of the DIY crowd is concentrated) accounted for almost $40 million in sales. That translates to 6.5 percent of the $617.5 million in 3-D printers sold.
Yes, the hobbyist market is a very new one, but the growth curve it has been riding for the past few years has slowed dramatically. From 2008 to 2011 the market in low-cost 3-D printers grew 346 percent a year, according to Wohlers. In 2012, growth slowed to 46 percent.
Desktop 3-D printers are about to become available with higher-definition capabilities, with a new startup shipping its first model this month.
At $3,299, The Form 1 could expand the market for 3-D printing technology. It can produce much higher-fidelity plastic objects than the consumer desktop printers available today. But it is still cheap enough to be affordable to a wide swath of professional designers, engineers, and dedicated tinkerers. The Form 1 can, for example, create detailed functioning prototypes with mechanical parts, such as precise screw threads.
.. The company could face a big roadblock, however. Formlabs is in the middle of a court fight with 3-D Systems, which has accused it of patent infringement (Formlabs says that at least some of the patents have expired.
May 23, 2013
A new 3D printer does away with SLS layering, and is able to print gravity-defying cables in three dimensions. C/net reports.
This is the sort of thing that has to be seen to be believed. The current crop of 3D printers on the market require a printing bed, and the objects produced thereon are printed in fine layers. As there is a waiting period before the material dries, the object can only be built from the ground up.
Mataerial (a portmanteau of "material" and "aerial") is different. Using a special thermosetting plastic that dries instantaneously, it is able to print on surfaces of pretty much any inclination. It was designed by students Petr Novikov and Saša Jokić from Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, during an internship at Joris Laarman Lab.
... Called "Anti-Gravity Object Modelling", the technique and device are awaiting patent.
Read full article.
Current prosthetic technology is highly complicated and expensive, and can cost up to $10,000 for a basic prosthetic finger. Imagine if instead of having to rely on complex and costly products and equipment, we could simply print out a full prosthetic device from the convenience of home.
Robohand is a mechanical 3D-printed hand that can be created using a MakerBot 3D printer.
The design files and assembly instructions for Robohand can be found on Thingiverse.
Read full article in PSFK.
A baby’s life has been saved in the US by using a device to help him breathe created by a 3D printer. The Independent reports.
Doctors working with Professor Scott Hollister, a biomedical engineer at the University of Michigan, used a 3D printer to make a device like a vacuum cleaner hose which was implanted into Kaiba’s chest to act as splint to hold his airway open.
Three weeks after the operation in February 2012 – which has only now been reported, in The New England Journal of Medicine – he was taken off the ventilator and has not had trouble breathing since.
Researchers at Australia's Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) — a collaboration between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Melbourne, Monash University and industry partners — have successfully printed an A3 sheet of photovoltaic cells.
On Sunday, 48-year-old industrial technician Jeff Heeszel uploaded a video of his friend shooting a 3D-printed bullet from a shotgun. The bullet worked. Not as well as a regular bullet, but, remember, it was made at home on a machine. The Huffington Post reports.
These bullets are fairly simple and fast to make. In the video, Heeszel says it took about an hour to print the first slug he shoots. He made it on his friend Tony Griffy's $800 3D printer, Heeszel told Wired.
... Griffy doesn't plan to go into production of 3D weapons or sell them. "It’s really, honestly, just for fun.
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.
Read full article.
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.
Read full article.
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.