Most 3D printers use stepper motors to control the movement of the extruder head. If you could actually print those motors it would be one more big step toward self-replicating hardware. Now obviously [Chris Hawkins'] working 3d printed stepper motor wasn’t built 100% through 3D printing, but the majority of the parts were. All that he had to add was the electronic driver pieces, magnets, wire, and a few nails.
Matterform's Photon 3D Scanner is a $350-$400 IndieGoGo-funded gadget from Canada. It promises to be operable by novices with no particular knowledge of 3D modelling or printing. It folds up to a small package, making it portable as well, and it can complete a scan in three minutes, working at dimensions up to 7.5" diam/9.5" height. The project is fully funded, but you can still pre-order by adding to the campaign; they're estimating general fulfillment by August.
Launching with acclaim on Kickstarter, the 3Doodler literally puts the power of 3D printing in your hands. Consisting of an oversized pen device, it houses an extruder similar to that used in low-end 3D printers. At the press of a button, PLA or ABS filament emerges to be dynamically controlled into whatever shape you desire.
Architects Matt Compeau and Bi-Ying Miao — previously covered for their Hot Pop Factory launch — recently participated in some new parametric design work. The pair were invited to work with Levitt Goodman Architects onreDesign 2012, which saw 40 Eames chair designs reimagined in different ways.
The BotCave is home to MakerBot, a company that for nearly four years has been bringing affordable 3-D printers to the masses. But nothing MakerBot has ever built looks like the new printer these workers are currently constructing. The Replicator 2 isn’t a kit; it doesn’t require a weekend of wrestling with software that makes Linux look easy. Instead, it’s driven by a simple desktop application, and it will allow you to turn CAD files into physical things as easily as printing a photo. The entry-level Replicator 2, priced at $2,199, is for generating objects up to 11 by 6 inches in an ecofriendly material; the higher-end Replicator 2X, which costs $2,799, can produce only smaller items, up to 9 by 6 inches, but it has dual heads that let it print more sophisticated objects. With these two machines, MakerBot is putting down a multimillion-dollar wager that 3-D printing has hit its mainstream moment.
Unlike the jerry-built contraptions of the past, the Replicator 2s are sleek, metal, and stylish: MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis likens the design to “Darth Vader driving Knight Rider’s KITT car while being airlifted by a Nighthawk spy plane.” There is also the lighting. Oh, the lighting. “LEDs are part of our core values as a company,” Pettis jokes. The new machine will glow in any hue—”to match the color of your couch,” he says, “or like something in the movie Tron.”
With the exception of an adventurous few who made pieces by hand, miniatures games have long been the domain of large game companies. Widespread access to 3D printing can change that. Pocket-Tactics by Ill Gotten Games is a miniatures-based tabletop game, and all the rules, stat sheets, and even STL files for 3D printing are available online for free. The reason for the name should be obvious from the picture. All the pieces can easily fit in a small bag, and the game can be played in an area the size of an airplane tray.
The rules and stat sheets, 3 versions in fact, are available on the Ill Gotten Games website, and the STL files are available on Thingiverse. If you’re not inclined to print them yourself or through a printing service (like Ponoko Make), a complete set of printed and painted pieces is available for sale on Etsy.
Panda Robotics, a 3D printer company based in Toronto & Seattle, is preparing to launch their new PandaBot on Kickstarter. The PandaBot is a rugged, consumer-oriented 3D printer that aims to fit in on anyone’s desk.
I had a chance to see a PandaBot prototype in action at a Ladies Learning Code event back in July. It made quite an impression! The sturdy metal frame really sets it apart from hobbyist gear, which traditionally has either a laser-cut wood chassis, or tent poles of threaded rods.
Sioux has posted her Makie Doll paintjob to the site's forums, along with extensive notes. Makies are the ivory-white, custom 3D printed dolls, and Makie owners have been experimenting with ways to bring color to their creations. Sioux's work is just fab.
Every year Gartner, a leading technology analyst firm, publishes what they call the “Hype Cycle” graph of emerging technologies. It is based on a theory that new technology goes through five stages after introduction to the market as hype creates unrealistic expectations which eventually collapse. Only afterwards is the true value of the technology utilized.
Professor Neil Gershenfeld, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms and author of Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, is visiting Wellington, New Zealand.
He’s in town for the FAB8NZ conference next week at Massey University, and recently spoke with Kim Hill of Radio New Zealand, about personal fabrication and the Fablab movement.
n the realm of science fiction (Aliens, Halo, Iron Man, etc) exo-skeletal suits have long enabled humans to exert super human force and endure arduous conditions. But for Emma Lavelle, a young girl that was born with a condition called arthrogryposis – wearing a 3D printed external support structure is a reality to enable her to carry out everyday tasks that able bodied people would perhaps take for granted.
Emma’s condition means she has stiff joints and under developed muscles, so much so that without support, she is unable to hold her arms up. Patients with this condition can overcome it with a Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX), but at 2 years of age, when first considered for the WREX, Emma was too small for the existing models available.