Category: Print Technology


Excited about the potential of 3D printing but not quite ready to invest in a printer for your home? Then you are just the market that Staples is looking to woo as it moves into the 3D printing space.

Read the complete article at Singularity Hub.

Robotic Autobot Transformer Shows Other 3D-Printed Gear Who’s Boss

Forget scale models of the Aston Martin DB5 or personalized action figures. This is what 3D printers were meant to do: create real, robotic Transformers.

Or at least a version of a Transformer that would actually fit in your living room.

Brave Robotics developed a 1/12 scale Autobot transformer using a custom 3D printer, and it will be on display at Maker Faire Tokyo next week.

Read the complete article at Wired.

Scientists prove 3D printers can build objects from Moon rocks


Scientists working on how to facilitate humans living on non-Earth-like planetary bodies have been focused on ways to use their local resources to sustain potential colonies. Now, a new study indicates that 3D printers could be the key to manufacturing tools and equipment on new planets.

In a paper published in the Rapid Prototyping Journal, scientists from Washington State University have indicated that it would be possible to use the Moon’s own rocks to create tools and spare parts.

Read the complete article at DVice.


Artist uses 3D printers to create a skeletal self-portrait

When technology meets art, the results can sometimes inadvertently produce something that not only entertains, but also offers a tool for real scientific study. Such is the case with a new project in which an artist figured out a way to create an accurate self-portrait of his own skeleton.

Dutch artist Caspar Berger wanted to virtually peel away the layers of his skin to reveal, in tangible form, a 100-percent accurate replica of his own skeleton.

Read the complete article at DVice.

NASA using 3D printing technology to build parts for Mars-bound rocket

NASA’s getting in on the 3D printing scene with new selective laser melting technology which is being used to build parts for future space rockets.

When it comes to 3D printing, it’s almost as if there’s a game of one-upmanship going on as to what can be created using this emerging technology. We’ve seen an acoustic guitar (novel) knocked together using 3D printing technology, a titanium jaw (impressive), an electric racing car (it’s getting interesting now), a plane (amazing) and even ‘magic’ arms (interesting and amazing).

Evidently not wanting to be outdone, and mindful of having access to some of the most advanced technology in the world, NASA recently piped up to say it’s currently using a kind of 3D printing technology to help build parts for future rockets that could one day carry humans to Mars. Top that, 3D printing fanatics.

Read more at Digital Trends.

Scenes from the London 3D Printshow

“The internet changed the world in the 1990s, the world is about to change again,” read much of the promotional literature for the recent 3D Printshow in London. The commercial exhibitors might have benefited from a far more modest tag line, but the art work exhibited, separate from the main trade section of the show, gave much new to think about regarding the the relationship between technology and craft.

I was immediately intrigued by the two sculptural objects on display by Frederik de Wilde. The cobalt chrome models had been printed from data gathered from Belgian coal mines. They presented themselves as futuristic objects with a link to Europe’s industrial heritage. The representations of the coal mines came to the 3D Printshow as seemingly abstract objects but, were actually formed by a much more political process.

Read the complete article at Rhizome.

Molecular 3D bioprinting could mean getting drugs through email

What happens when you combine advances in 3D printing with biosynthesis and molecular construction? Eventually, it might just lead to printers that can manufacture vaccines and other drugs from scratch: email your doc, download some medicine, print it out and you’re cured.

This concept (which is surely being worked on as we speak) comes from Craig Venter, whose idea of synthesizing DNA on Mars we posted about last week. You may remember a mention of the possibility of synthesizing Martian DNA back here on Earth, too: Venter says that we can do that simply by having the spacecraft email us genetic information on whatever it finds on Mars, and then recreate it in a lab by mixing together nucleotides in just the right way. This sort of thing has already essentially been done by Ventner, who created the world’s first synthetic life form back in 2010.

Read the complete article at DVice.

U.S. Army Embraces 3D Printers: “It’s Kind of a Magical Thing”

When you walk into this research lab you hear the overpoweringhum of massive machines with robotic parts swinging past viewing windows as technicians spray objects with lasers attached to limber metallic arms.

Fifty years ago what goes on in this lab would have been considered science fiction, but what these Army researchers do is scientific fact.

These artisan engineers create three-dimensional objects out of plastic and metal in printers that seem like Star Trek replicators.

“It’s allowed us to develop items for the warfighter quicker,” said Rapid Technologies Branch Chief Rick Moore, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. “We’re able to come up with concepts and designs using our [computer-aided design] software, print them out and have them in an engineer’s hand the next day.”

Read more at Singularity Hub.

Phantom Geometry

Just How Hard Is It To Get And Use A 3D Printer?

So just how hard is it for an average person get access to one and actually start making things?

Why would you want a 3D printer, anyway? Because you can make just about anything with one. From utensils to iPhone cases and apparently weaponry, 3D printers can create just about anything your imagination (and a quality computer-aided drafting and design – CADD – software) can create. It’s like an Easy Bake Oven for computer geeks.

How Do They Work?

The process these printers create models is fairly simple. Using a design from a CADD program, they turn 3D images into a series of thin, horizontal, virtual layers until a virtual version of what is to eventually be printed is modeled on screen. These CADD designs can be found online, or created by scanning a physical object. Designing complex objects from scratch requires a certain amount of skill and training.

Read the complete article at ReadWriteWeb.