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January 12, 2016

CES 2016 3D printer wrap-up

This year at CES, essentially all of last-year’s vendors were back with new or enhanced products and, more importantly, lots of industry application examples. In addition, not just new printer vendors, but a growing ecosystem of material providers and service bureaus showed up.

Extreme Tech reports on some of the most interesting new developments and provided some updates on a few of the vendors from last year.

emily | 9:23 AM | permalink

August 28, 2015

Tiny, 3D-Printed Fish to Swim in Blood Stream, Deliver Drugs

microfish cover.jpgNew 3D-printed fish-shaped microbots — called microfish — could one day transport drugs to specific places in the human body and be able to sense and remove toxins. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgThese microfish, smaller than the width of a human hair, are groundbreaking for two reasons: they’re simple to create, but remarkably high-tech in what they can do, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

... These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish will inspire a new generation of ‘smart’ microrobots with capabilities such as detoxification, sensing and directed drug delivery, according to the researchers.

“Another exciting possibility we could explore is to encapsulate medicines inside the microfish and use them for directed drug delivery,” Jinxing Li, the other co-first author of the study, said in a statement.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:33 PM | permalink

August 4, 2015

The FDA has approved the first drug designed using 3D-printing technology

The FDA has just approved the world’s first 3D-printed medication, SPRITAM. The seizure drug is meant to be customized for high dosage treatments, and was developed with Aprecia’s ZipDose technology. The Next Web reports.

quotemarksright.jpgSPRITAM’s 3D-printed designed makes it water soluble with a minimal amount of liquid, which absorbs into the blood stream in less than 10 seconds.“By combining 3DP technology with a highly-prescribed epilepsy treatment, SPRITAM is designed to fill a need for patients who struggle with their current medication experience,” Don Wetherhold, Aprecia’s Chief Executive Officer of Aprecia, said in a press release.

The use of 3D-printing for medical purposes is not new, but this is the first time the FDA has approved a drug designed by 3D-printing.quotesmarksleft.jpg

emily | 8:48 AM | permalink

July 21, 2015

Smithsonian to Kickstart Museum Preservation, Starting with Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit

3D-scan-Neil-Armstrongs-suit-for-3D-printing-on-Kickstarter.jpgToday, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has launched its first-ever Kickstarter campaign, titled Reboot the Suit, to preserve human history with 3D scanning and more. 3D Printing Industry reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAsking for $500,000, the museum has already raised more than a fifth of its goal to conserve the iconic spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he became the first person to set foot on the Earth’s moon.

As it stands, the 21-layer spacesuit is among the museum’s most fragile artifacts, stored in a climate controlled storage area where, despite every measure to protect it, the suit’s material has slowly begun to decay and its colors fade. On top of that, this storage unit is necessarily restricted to public access. But, with its $500k, the Smithsonian will conduct chemical analysis, CT scans, photogrammetry, 3D scanning, and other processes, along with consultations with the original designers of the suit, to ensure that it is preserved “down to the particles of lunar dust that cling to its surface.”

Once complete, the Smithsonian will display the suit on the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, July 20, 2019, before being transferred to their Destination Moon exhibit, which will open in 2021.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 11:09 AM | permalink

March 5, 2015

3D Printing Offers Insights Into Cancer Development

Understanding of the complexities of tumors and even radiotherapy delivery could soon be revolutionized through the use of 3D printing, claim researchers who are pioneering a number of groundbreaking technologies. Medscape reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA number of research teams around the world exploring the use of 3D printing in a number of different areas pertaining to cancer and its treatment.

One use for 3D printing developed at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust, in London, is to produce models of tumors to help calculate the dosage of radiation delivered to a tumor.

The models accurately replicate the shape of a patient's tumor and the surrounding organs to help clinicians achieve the right balance between killing the cancer cells and preserving the healthy tissue.

The aim is to improve molecular radiotherapy by filling the tumor replicas with the same radioactive liquids administered to patients and estimating the likely effects of the treatment.

Originally, the models were handmade, but 3D printing technology offers the potential to substantially improve dosing accuracy in, for example, thyroid cancer, adult neuroendocrine tumors, childhood neuroblastoma, and prostate cancer bone metastases.

"We've seen reports on how 3D printing is being used for prosthetics and to inform surgery, and this research shows it has the potential to improve cancer treatment too ― by helping us to perform complex radiotherapy calculations more accurately," commented Glenn Flux, PhD, head of radioisotope physics at the Joint Department of Physics, the Institute of Cancer Research, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London in a release.

"We're really excited about this technology and the potential it has for personalizing cancer treatment with highly targeted radiation," he said.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Registration required.

emily | 10:31 AM | permalink

February 26, 2015

Amazon Files Patent for Mobile 3D Printing Delivery Trucks

p24.pngLate last week United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent filing by Amazon Technologies, Inc. which outlines a method of 3D printing on-demand within mobile manufacturing hubs. According to Amazon, such a setup could save the company time and money on several fronts. reports.

quotemarksright.jpgBy utilizing ‘mobile manufacturing apparatuses Amazon would be able to send an STL file to a mobile unit that’s closest to a customer, providing it with instructions to print out an item which was ordered. When the item has been completed, it could then be within miles of the customer who ordered it and quickly delivered or picked up.

The mobile hubs, according to the patent filing, would include a means to both additively and subtractively manufacture an item. This could include a number of different 3D printing technologies as well as CNC machining tools, which would ultimately reduce Amazon’s reliance on warehouse space as well as the robots and employees needed to sort through these stored items.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:54 PM | permalink

Australia creates 'world first' 3D-printed jet engines

aust_3212452b.jpg Australian researchers say they have created two jet engines using 3D printing in what is described a world-first that has attracted the interest of major manufacturers and engineering firms. [via The Telegraph]

quotemarksright.jpgThe machines - produced using the template of a gas turbine engine from French aircraft engine maker Safran, which supplies Airbus and Boeing - demonstrated the potential 3D printing had to produce high-quality products, researchers from Melbourne's Monash University said.

"The significance... is the recognition by major manufacturers and engineering companies like Safran and Airbus that the material you can print using 3D metal printing is of aircraft quality and I think that's hugely significant," the university's Ian Smith told AFP.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:21 AM | permalink

January 2, 2015

3Dprinted Smart Band-Aid

BioScope-small.jpg A team of students at the National Taiwan University have developed a “smart bandage” they call the BioScope which amps up the functionality of the Band-Aid to unheard of levels. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgA new entry into the field of what many are calling “wearable technology,” the BioScope takes care of much more than simply patching over a cut or a burn – it monitors a patient’s vital signs in real time.

The BioScope is 3D printed from soft, flexible NinjaFlex material, and can transmit data to doctors and nurses via a smartphone or tablet.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 3:13 PM | permalink

December 22, 2014

Artist is 3D Printing a 26 Foot Long Boat in 100,000 Separate Pieces on 30 3D Printers

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 17.10.59.png Hung-Chih Peng is a Taiwanese artist who thinks outside of the box. His latest project involves printing a 26 foot long boat in 100,000 separate pieces on 30 3D printers. reports.

quotemarksright.jpgPeng’s latest work is The Deluge – Noah’s Ark, which is currently an exhibition that can be seen at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. It takes a model of a boat, and twists and turns its body in a way that isn’t physically possible in the real world. The work is meant as a metaphor for showing the battle being waged by Mother Nature on the accelerated development of industrialized civilization.

As part of the exhibition that features Peng’s 2 meter long “Noah’s Ark,” he has also turned his exhibition space into what he terms “an artist’s studio,” and is currently 3D printing a HUGE 26-foot-long model of the same boat, using 30 UP 2 FDM-based 3D printers. In all, there will be about 100,000 separate 3D printed pieces that will go into assembling this giant boat.

Visitors to the exhibit can see first hand as 30 3D printers are constantly working, printing different parts of the boat. When finished, they are assembled onto the larger model, which also is currently on display.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 5:07 PM | permalink

3D Printing Enhances the Effectiveness of Radiotherapy

Researchers have used 3D printing to produce replica models of tumours and organs of patients with cancer, to help calculate precisely how much radiation has been delivered to the cancer. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgPreliminary studies show the models can accurately replicate the shape of a patient’s tumour and the surrounding organs – and could mimic the exact position of the tumour within the patient’s body.

Initial tests at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust found the models allowed the dose of radiation a patient has received to be calculated more accurately – allowing subsequent doses to be adjusted accordingly.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:31 AM | permalink

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 | permalink

November 18, 2014

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 | permalink

November 1, 2014

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 | 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.

emily | 9:00 AM | 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 | 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.

emily | 9:46 AM | permalink

September 23, 2014

Researchers recreate historic golf clubs in 3D printer

_77748893_photo.jpg Members of Dundee University's mechanical and electrical engineering division teamed up with the St Andrews Golf Company to make metal copies of historic clubs. [via the BBC]

quotemarksright.jpgThe team replicated two historic irons loaned to them by the British Golf Museum in St Andrews. It is hoped the project will help protect rare and ancient golf clubs.

In a cross-European effort, the head of a 125-year-old rake iron was scanned in Dundee, printed in Germany and drilled in Glasgow before being finished in St Andrews.

This is the first time a metal club-head has been created using a 3D printer.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 3:58 PM | permalink

September 16, 2014

(3D) Print the Legend - a Netflix documentary

Print the Legend, the newest Netflix Original Documentary, on 3D Printing. A story of innovation and technology, of controversy and change. Watch the trailer above.

emily | 8:31 AM | permalink

July 11, 2014

MIT 3D printed finger device reads to the blind

1404942050115.jpg Scientists at MIT are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

quotemarksright.jpg The FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like a ring on the user's finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A synthesised voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home or office.

Reading is as easy as pointing the finger at text. Special software tracks the finger movement, identifies words and processes the information. The device has vibration motors that alert readers when they stray from the script, said Roy Shilkrot, who is developing the device at the MIT Media Lab.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:47 AM | permalink

July 8, 2014

3-D Printing Enables Visually Impaired Children to Experience the World of Literary Classics

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 9.16.57 PM.png 3-D printing is being pioneered to help visually impaired children understand the fantastical worlds depicted in classic literary works such as Goodnight Moon and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Newsweek reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA project at the University of Colorado is hoping to jump-start the commercial development of tactile books, allowing children to follow along text read aloud by tracing the corresponding raised illustrations with their fingers. The technology converts the images in original titles into pictures you can feel with a 3-D printer. Researchers at the Tactile Picture Book Project are working in conjunction with Denver’s Anchor Center—a nonprofit specializing in helping visually impaired children achieve educational success—on the project.

Tactile books are currently pricey to produce, but affordable 3-D printing is projected to be available within the next two to three years.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:07 PM | permalink

June 23, 2014

Custom 3D Printed Bracelets To Spark Young Girls’ Interest In Programming

00a3c89b-8304-47ca-9638-7f73985b7a41-700x428.jpgThe first project from Google’s Made With Code initiative aims to inspire the next generation of women in tech. PSFK reports.

quotemarksright.jpgMade With Code is a campaign designed to to inspire and celebrate women and girls who use programming to do amazing things, to produce projects and resources that will encourage girls to try coding, and to provide alliances and community support that will keep girls interested in coding.

For their premiere project, Made With Code has teamed up with Shapeways to launch ‘Code a bracelet.’ Girls 13 or older can go online and create a custom-messaged bracelet that will be printed in New York and shipped to their houses for free.

Though the bracelets will only be free for a limited time, Made With Code has several additional projects available, including Accessorizer, where girls can accessorize a selfie, Avatar, where girls can create their own 2D characters, and Beats, where they can compose their own soundtracks.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:44 PM | permalink

June 20, 2014

NIH launches 3D print Exchange for Researchers, Students

The National Institutes of Health has launched the NIH 3D Print Exchange, a public website that enables users to share, download and edit 3D print files related to health and science. These files can be used, for example, to print custom laboratory equipment and models of bacteria and human anatomy. Today’s launch coincides with the first White House Maker Faire, an event designed to celebrate U.S. innovation in science, technology, engineering and math.

The 3D Print Exchange is a collaborative effort led by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy< and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).


emily | 11:28 PM | permalink

June 11, 2014

Nike Debuts 3D Printed Duffel Bag For The World Cup


Sports brand Nike has recently unveiled the Nike Football Rebento duffel bag, a 3D-printed sports bag that’s designed for selected players who are taking part in this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. [via PSFK]

quotemarksright.jpgThe 3D-printed Rebento bag, whose name comes from the Portuguese word for “explode,” is designed as a sports equipment holder for some of the best football players playing in the World Cup. Nike will be presenting the bag to selected players, including Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

In a press release, Martin Lotti, Creative Director for Nike Football, said: We wanted to create something that was truly special for the game’s greatest players. We did this by utilizing one of the most cutting-edge technologies – 3D printing – to make a bag that is unlike anything else.

Aside from the 3D-printed duffel bag, Nike also developed 3D-printed shin guards that were designed to be more aerodynamic.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 10:31 PM | permalink

May 1, 2014

Egypt 3D-Prints an Exact Replica of Tut’s Tomb


Yesterday, the Egyptian government opened their latest masterpiece: a precise recreation of the tomb, art, and fixtures of King Tutankhamen’s tomb.

A project that took five years to complete - thanks to Factum Arte, a team of artists, conservators and technicians devoted to creating precise replicas by combining laser scanning and hi-definition photography with 3D printing.

In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpgThe facsimile of Tutankhamun´s burial chamber is now complete and can be seen here for the first time. The painted walls are reflected in the glass cover to the sarcophagus - exactly as in the original.

The quality of silence and the feeling of enclosure are remarkably similar - it is hoped that visitors will take this opportunity to visit both the facsimile and the original and compare the experiences and reflect on the importance of the facsimile as it steps up to take the weight of tourism in order to protect the delicate original.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via Patheos]

emily | 9:33 PM | permalink

April 28, 2014

Cheap 3D Printed Lens Could Help Detect Skin Disease

ANU lens.jpg An Australian National University scientist has created an inexpensive 3D printed lens that can attach to a smartphone and detect some skin diseases.

quotemarksright.jpgIt costs less than a cent, and it's a very reliable fabrication process," Dr Lee says. "The polymer, is the same as that used for contact lenses, it won't break or scratch. It would be perfect for the third world, all you need is a cover slip, some polymer and an oven." Dr Lee has also designed a tiny microscope frame for the lens to fit into, which can be 3D printed.

The technology taps into the current citizen science revolution, which is rapidly transforming owners of smart phones into potential scientists. There are also exciting possibilities for remote medical diagnosis.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[via ANU and]

emily | 8:08 AM | permalink

April 3, 2014

General Electric on 3D printing: 'We are on the verge of the next industrial revolution'

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.36.51 PM.png

General Electric says 3D printing and "additive manufacturing" is one of the most important evolutions in modern history, and the best is yet to come. [via ZDNet]

quotemarksright.jpg... As the company continues to learn about the capabilities and advantages that 3D printing has to offer, it's invested in more than three-hundred 3D printers across the company, which helps it to learn how to develop the more difficult or traditionally expensive parts for aviation, oil and gas, healthcare, and other businesses the firm has investments in.

GE's general manager for technology Christine Furstoss said by 2020, the company aims to print more than 100,000 parts for aviation. In the meantime, the company continues to focus on transforming its repair processes for industrial components.

"3D printing is not just used to prototype," Furstoss said. "But it's really important for us to use this technology to innovate and create products that could not be made in any other way.quotesmarksleft.jpg

"This is the opportunity we can't waste," she said. "It's about ecosystems, and learning, and we need to figure out what our role is, and if we are investing as much as we should be."

Read full article.

emily | 9:34 PM | permalink

March 26, 2014

3D Printers for Special Needs Makers

Help make it happen by contributing on Indiegogo, to provide 3D printing tools for speical needs makers in wheelchairs.

The campaign has raised $2,263 so far out of their goal of $5,000 goal. 9 days left!

emily | 9:44 PM | permalink

March 21, 2014

3D printing being used to mass produce ATM skimmers and PoS terminals

An individual known only by the online handle “Gripper” has popped up on several underground cybercrime forums advertising a new service. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgUnlike the cheap readers that card thieves have been affixing to ATMs for years, Gripper claims his outfit can mass produce entire readers with a 3D printed casing and the necessary electronics to make everything look legit.

As proof, Gripper provided pictures of the facility in China where these devices are built. He includes a snapshot of a 3D printer making a piece of a VeriFone PoS terminal, completed parts for ATM machines, and several completed VeriFone readers allegedly built from scratch. The ads even mention several widely used systems by name, and buyers get free 24/7 support.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:22 PM | permalink

February 27, 2014

App snaps your feet to get 3D printed ski boot insoles

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.27.47 AM.png

Take a picture of your feet with your phone. Wait. Get cheap, bespoke 3D-printed ski boot insoles delivered to you. New Scientist reports.

quotemarksright.jpgSki boots are notorious for pinching your feet. But instead of shelling out for a new pair or being measured for expensive, specially moulded insoles, why not print your own?

British start-up ALPrint is set to launch an app that lets you create 3D printed insoles by taking cellphone photos of your feet.

These 3D printed custom insoles can be slotted into any existing ski boot to provide the appropriate support and comfort.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:24 AM | permalink

January 28, 2014

3D-Print replacement parts for your (broken) drone

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 5.23.28 PM.png An open-source community wants to fix your drone with 3D printed parts. Motherboard reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIt’s increasingly common for commercial drone companies to leave the sale of replacement parts up to third-party dealers. If you break a propeller on a DJI drone—a company which doesn’t sell replacement parts on its website—you have to go to a site like Helipal, where a set of two carbon propellers will cost you $21.90 plus shipping.

Joshua Allen Johnson’s solution at is to get it 3D printed instead. CAD Drones is an open-source community that connects customers with CAD designers and 3D printing companies to make bespoke parts for whichever bit of their drone they smashed into a wall. He said the same propeller would cost roughly five dollars in materials. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 5:25 PM | permalink

January 23, 2014

Warwick helps students with disabilities 3D-print objects to ease their everyday lives

1-warwickhelps.jpg The University of Warwick is helping students with physical disabilities from a local college become their own product designers so they can 3D-print personalised objects that help them in their everyday lives. PhysOrg reports.

quotemarksright.jpgBy learning to use computer-assisted design technology through sessions with staff and students from the University of Warwick, a group of Hereward College students with restricted physical movement have come up with solutions to every-day challenges such as eating and drinking which they can print out with the click of a button.

These include a bespoke straw-holder designed by a student with Muscular Dystrophy to help keep a straw in place when he drinks from a bottle (image left).quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 2:37 PM | permalink

December 17, 2013

Shapeways and KeyMe are now in the custom 3D printed key business


VentureBeat reports that 3D printing marketplace Shapeways is teaming up with digital key storage startup KeyMe to let users print their own custom keys in materials like brass and plastic — which is surprisingly sturdy.

quotemarksright.jpgKeyMe’s mobile app lets users take photos of their keys, store them in the cloud, and retrieve them if emergencies pop up.

The company is positioning itself as alternative to emergency locksmith visits, whose services can — and often do– run for as high as $200. So instead of paying a locksmith to copy their keys, KeyMe customers can pay the company $60 to manufacture and deliver them within an hour.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 5:46 PM | permalink

December 3, 2013

GE Engineers Pick Winner of 2013 Santa Sleigh 3D Printing Design Contest

gI_87872_hyper sleigh 1.jpg 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.

Read full press release. Click here to see a short YouTube video with our judges as they walk through the top 4 designs and explain how they arrived at the winner.

emily | 8:07 AM | permalink

November 21, 2013

Surgeons Practice On Brains Made On 3D Printers


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]

quotemarksright.jpg 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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 2:06 PM | permalink

November 12, 2013

MakerBot Wants To Put A 3D Printer In Every School In America

Academy_BlogHeader2.png There are hundreds of thousands of schools in America. And MakerBot wants to put a 3D printer in every one of them. ReadWriteWeb reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn order to accomplish this sizeable task, MakerBot has partnered with 3D design software corporation AutoDesk, 3D printing institute America Makes and classroom crowdfunder

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.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 6:27 PM | permalink

November 8, 2013

GE experimenting with '3D painting' to repair metal parts

Everyone is already all over this whole 3D printing thing. But 3D painting? It's a much emptier field. Engadget reports.

quotemarksright.jpgGE is experimenting with such a technology called "cold spray" that slowly builds up layers of metal by spraying metal powder at extremely high velocities. Instead of recreating works of art, the process is used to repair worn metal components, adding years or potentially decades to their life span.

Unlike 3D printing which is severely limited in the size of the objects it can create, 3D painting is only limited by the spread of its spray. That means it could potentially be used to create or repair large structures, and not just prototype scale models of them. In particular, the process is being looked at as a way to repair parts used in oil and gas drilling. It could even be done on the scene and, unlike welding, there's no heat involved -- so there's very little chance for a fire or explosion.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:56 AM | permalink

November 7, 2013

The Next Revolution in 3-D Printing: Disposable Panties

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.15.23 PM.png A somewhat embarrassing feminine-hygiene issue has led Tamar Giloh to develop a new technology that could revolutionize the textile industry. Business Week reports.

quotemarksright.jpgLooking for a way to mitigate problems associated with heavy menstruation, she and a team that included her husband started working on an automated system that can produce fabrics using three-dimensional printing. More than a decade later, the Israeli couple now has functional hardware that can spray polymers and fibers in a controlled manner to produce disposable panties, sportswear, bandages and other products.

... Next year, Tamicare's 3-D printed feminine-hygiene product — absorbent padded underwear that can be thrown away after a single use — is expected to hit shelves in a leading pharmacy chain in Israel. Tamicare said it’s also in talks with a large U.S. company that may sell the women’s undergarments in America. The startup’s compression bandages, which will be sold by a British company, are also set to hit the market soon.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 10:09 PM | permalink

3D-Printed Reefs Could Rehabilitate Persian Gulf Ecosystem

Zaffer-Reef-Bahrain1-300x200.jpg Artificial reefs created using 3D printing technology may be effective tools for restoring marine life in threatened ecosystems. Live Science reports via TreeHugger.

quotemarksright.jpgThe waters off Bahrain's coast have suffered from overfishing, but Reef Arabia is hoping its 3D-printed formations will help revive the region's marine diversity.

The group is designing artificial reefs printed using non-toxic sandstone material, which will give the formations a more realistic feel, said Reef Arabia team member David Lennon.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related: - World's first 3D printed reef to help restore damaged reefs

emily | 9:51 PM | permalink

November 6, 2013

McDonald's considers using in-store 3D printers to create Happy Meal toys

il_fullxfull.358074423_64hb.jpg McDonald's UK IT director, Mark Fabes, revealed that the American fast food giant would consider using 3D printers to make the pocket-sized toys as well as certain pieces of kitchen equipment. TechWorld reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe idea is that a 3D printer could be used to create a toy that is no longer being supplied in Happy Meals, possibly allowing a child to get the last toy in a series and complete their collection.

“We’ve all been in McDonald's when you’ve already got that one and you want to swap it and the only ones they’ve got are the ones you already have,” he told Techworld, adding that “it would be great” if McDonald's could reprint a toy that was no longer being distributed.quotesmarksleft.jpg

What a perfect fit!

emily | 5:57 PM | permalink

November 1, 2013

Cody Wilson raising $50,000 for an anarchist Bitcoin Wallet

According to The Verge, Cody Wilson, creator of the 3D-printed gun, is raising $50,000 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to develop a service aimed at returning the digital currency Bitcoin to its anarchist roots.

quotemarksright.jpgDark Wallet is an app for storing, sending, and receiving Bitcoin, with some extra security features built in. As law enforcement cracks down on services using Bitcoin to evade authorities — the recent bust of the underground drug market Silk Road being the most notable example — Wilson and his co-founder Amir Taaki decided it was important to add new protections.

To accomplish this, Taaki and developer Pablo Martin built a protocol called "trustless mixing." This tactic, which will be built into Dark Wallet, allows a group of Bitcoin users to mix their coins together into one big transaction before it is encoded into the "blockchain," the currency's public ledger.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more and watch Cody Wilson present The Dark Wallet, an "unsystem project".

More on Bitcoin: An Abridged History of Bitcoin published by the NYTimes and a video explaining What is Bitcoin?.

emily | 8:24 AM | permalink

October 28, 2013

Robots Created with 3-D Printers to Teach Kids How to Code

PlayiRobots_G_20131025175005.jpg Robots created with 3-D printers are coming and they’re going to teach kids how to code. The Wall STreet Journal reports.

quotemarksright.jpgPlay-i Inc., a seven-person team is on a mission to make computer programming fun and easy. The team has spent the past year or so refining its vision, printing out robot prototypes on its 3-D printer, and scooping up $1 million in venture backing from Google Ventures, Madrona Venture Group and others along the way.

... Kids download the Play-i app which prompts them to choose between a series of icons to create a command series. For example, if a child dragged and dropped a picture of an airplane, a front arrow and red lights, the robot would make the noise of airplane taking off, glide forward and then flash its red lights.

The experience teaches a few things, like causality, sequencing interactions, code re-usability and loops, and sets the stage for them to begin building their own actions using actual code with visual programs including Scratch and Blockly.

To that end, Play-i has opened up its API. The idea is that over time, kids will begin building their own more complex actions and sequences for the robots to undertake and then share them with the larger Play-i community.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 3:59 PM | permalink

October 17, 2013

3D printed horseshoe to improve performance for Melbourne race horse

Chad-Henry.jpg According to Manufacturers Monthly, scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have custom made and 3D printed a set of titanium shoes for one Melbourne race horse in a first for the sport.

quotemarksright.jpgThe horse had its hooves scanned with a handheld 3D scanner this week.

Using 3D modelling software, the scan was used to design the perfect fitting, lightweight racing shoe and four customised shoes were printed within only a few hours.

Traditionally made from aluminium, a horseshoe can weigh up to one kilogram but the horse’s trainer, John Moloney, says that the ultimate race shoe should be as lightweight as possible.

“Any extra weight in the horseshoe will slow the horse down. These titanium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a traditional aluminium shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds.

CSIRO’s Titanium expert, John Barnes, said that 3D printing a race horseshoe from titanium is a first for scientists and demonstrates the range of applications the technology can be used for.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:18 AM | permalink

September 18, 2013

Radioshack to offer do-it-yourself 3D-printed digital camera

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 8.13.40 AM.png Instructables is partnering with RadioShack to lay out the instructions and parts to provide just about everything you need.

This is a 3D printed digital camera that you can build yourself. It allows you to fully customize the camera to your liking. You can expand the circuit to have new functionality, or design your own custom case by modifying the 123D Design build files.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 8.14.01 AM.png

[via C/net]

emily | 8:10 AM | permalink

September 12, 2013

3D-printed pump keeps damaged hearts beating in time

dn24185-1_300.jpg Your options are pretty limited if you have serious heart failure. Either you get a heart transplant, which are ex-tremely hard to come by, or you have to be hooked up to a bedside system to keep your heart pumping. Now, reports New Scientist, a new 3D-printed, battery-operated implant will let people go about their day-to-day lives while they wait for a transplant.

quotemarksright.jpgDeveloped by Philip Breedon and his colleagues at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, the "smart aortic graft" is designed for people whose hearts have problems pumping enough blood around their body.

Breedon says that his implant eliminates the need to be tethered to a power source. It would be grafted into a removed section of the aorta to improve the heart's effi-ciency. The implant is coated in a material that expands and relaxes when a voltage is applied to it, beats slightly out of sync with the heart to help it pump the blood.

One downside is that the batteries will have to be replaced from time to time, necessitating another operation. But the team is working on ways around this. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:46 AM | permalink

September 7, 2013

Crowdsourced, 3D-Printed Sculptures Are the Knitting Circles of the Future

663e5d3cf89717fd25d9cf19624176c6_vice_630x420.jpg The crowdsourced sculpture is the brainchild of artist Jeff de Boer, and he's working with PrintToPeer on the project, which just won $1,000 in funding from The Awesome Foundation. The sculpture's called "Linked," to represent the intersection of engineering and art, as well as the more literal interpretation, since the medallions being physically linked together. Motherboard reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThey're creating a living sculpture that will be made up of hundreds of 3D-printed medallions sent into the company from people around the world. Each piece has a a unique design printed on it, and they will all be linked together to form a hanging chainmail-like mosaic.

Many of the makers who've been mailing in their designs (the submission deadline is September 9) have tweeted a snapshot of the printed medallions to #3dcrowd. By browsing the submissions, you can start to image what the final product might look like.

The project may be at the cutting edge of technology, but collective creativity's not a new concept—"Linked" is basically the 3D-printed version of quilting, where each person sews a personal square and they're all patched together. The way De Boer sees it, 3D printers can provide a new medium for the artistic proletariat—like a three-dimensional canvas.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:44 PM | permalink

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