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Tag Archives: 3D printing

Smithsonian Launches Collection Of Historical Models You Can Print At Home

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Bought a shiny new 3D printer but you’re still looking for stuff to print? Maybe CAD modelling just isn’t for you and everything you’ve tried to create so far looks kind of wonky. Well, the Smithsonian has launched a collection of 3D files that let you explore the various models in detail, directly in your browser, as well as print them at home in that printer of yours. Items include a woolly mammoth skeleton, as well as Amelia Earheart’s flight suit and the 1903 Wright Flyer. The effort is called Smithsonian X 3D, and its launch coincides with a two-day conference of the same name that started yesterday.

[ Smithsonian's X 3D Website ] VIA [ Engadget ]

DIWire Is A New Kind Of 3D Printer

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It seems strange to consider innovation in the field of 3D printing when the field itself is so new you’d hardly be able to call it mature. Yet that’s exactly what Brooklyn-based Pensa has done with the DIWire. It’s a 3D printer that doesn’t print, but rather bends wire into shapes. Yeah… kind of like Bender from Futurama, but less entertaining. Anyway, according to a representative of the company, traditional 3D printers are “good at doing volume, while DIWire is good at doing lines.” In other words, if you ever find yourself wanting to make a wire mockup of a large scale product, going the regular 3D printing route might be overkill and could even sometimes be altogether inappropriate. Say you’re a furniture design firm, and you need some simple wireframe mockups of your work, DIWire would be the way to go; there would be no point in spending the time and effort into a traditional 3D printed model, when it’ll be discarded anyway. Simply feed the DIWire software a vector file of your project, and it’ll analyze it and prepare it for wire bending. Specify the type of wire to bend, press a button and watch as the device notches the wire left and right, at the exact angles and lengths needed. In a matter of minutes you’ll have your 3D wireframe model.

While this does appear to be a printer of more limited use, the company is hoping to explore commercialization with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign next week. Early adopters will be able to get their hands on a DIWire for a pledge of $2,750.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

One-Of-A-Kind Web Of Plastic Caps Turns Bottles Into Fancy Vase

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As the technology matures, we’re starting to see an increase in 3D printed products hitting the market. It’s usually stuff you wouldn’t normally find in a store, but since these things don’t exist until you order the, they don’t take up valuable shelf or storage space. That’s how the Screw You Vase came into existence. It’s a matrix of 12 PET plastic bottle caps that accommodate standard bottles. The caps have a hole at the top, so once you’ve inserted your bottles, filled them with water and popped a flower in each, you’ve got yourself a unique vase that none of your friends is likely to have. Granted, you’re going to have to spend a pretty penny to get this, $150 to be exact, but we suppose that’s what happens with a time-consuming process like 3D printing.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

You Never Knew You Wanted A Piece Of 3D Printed Norway, Did You?

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Apparently Norway has some pretty impressive landscape, so much so that Shapeways is letting you select a piece of Norwegian terrain and 3D print it. We suppose that the land of Fjords has the type of terrain that makes for prettier 3D models, so we don’t resent the fact that it’s there instead of, say, Siberia. The way it works is that you move a selector square around a map of the country, and then press a button to purchase. That section will be printed into a 10cm by 10cm (4in. by 4in.) square, so the larger an area you select, the less detail it’ll have. However, considering that it’ll cost you $100 to do this, we imagine you’re gonna need to have some serious respect for fancy landscapes, because as far as we’re concerned, we’d be satisfied with a (free) Google Earth fly-by.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

World’s Cheapest? Peachy is an Amazingly Affordable Laser 3D Printer

Peachy Printer

3D printers normally don’t come cheap. Aiming to change that and 3D printing as a whole is Rylan Grayston, who’s behind the Peachy laser 3D printer. The project was recently launched on Kickstarter, where it raised over $140,000 in a span of 48 hours.

Peachy boasts of open-source hardware and software, which is just one of the reasons why people seem to pledging like crazy. The printer combines photolithographic printing, which uses a powerful laser beam to mold resin, and a saltwater-based drip process that changes the printed object’s height gradually.

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The RepRap Project: 3D-Printed 3D Printers

3D Printed 3D Printer Photo credit: Raymond Wong/DVICE

The time has come. 3D printers can now be used to print 3D printers. At least, that’s the case with RepRap, which is short for “replicating rapid prototype.” The project was started by engineer Adrian Bowyer in 2005, and he was quickly joined by others who wanted to take the 3D printing movement to the next level.

One member of the RepRap team, Nicholas Seward, recently created a couple of 3D printers that are almost vitamin-free.

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The Future Will Be 3D Printed

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I’m getting tired of everything 3D, but mostly because I’m an old curmudgeon, aggravated by the sudden wave of 3D related tech. Most of it is actually quite good; it’s really only 3D movies and TV I don’t like. So I’m kind of intrigued by the Structure Sensor, a stereoscopic sensor that attaches to mobile devices and captures structures in 3D. It has two lenses (hence the ‘stereoscopic’) and allows you to model anything from objects to rooms, and import them into a CAD program for manipulation. In other words, a scenario where you scan your coffee table vase by walking around it with your iPad, then make a copy of it in your 3D printer is now possible. If you want your own, it’s going to cost you a $379 pledge on the fully funded Kickstarter campaign.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Scan and Print in 3D with Zeus

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You can’t do much with just a 3D printer. The same can be said for a 3D scanner. But the possibilities are endless if you put both together, and that’s what AIO Robotics has done with Zeus. It’s a 3D scanner and 3D printer in one, so you can scan whatever it is you want to print and then print it in a jiffy.

It offers convenience that other gadgets already available in the 3D printing sphere don’t offer. Zeus has been in development for the last five years, so you can be sure that a lot of thought and work went into it.

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Special 3D Printers Use Living Tissue to Print Human Ears

3D Printed Ears

No, those aren’t cooked pasta, although they definitely look like it. They’re actually human ears, albeit a whole lot smaller than the average. These ears were 3D printed with living tissue as the “ink” using a special printer developed by the Hangzhou Dianzi University in China.Continue Reading