MiiCraft is the latest crowdfunding campaign for a 3d printer. This one looks to have all the necessary variables to be set them apart. Hi-resolution, low cost, opensource software & firmware, reasonable project funding goal. Their 3D Printer is based on SLA technology using Pico DLP projectors & boasts a resolution of 450ppi (56 micron) X/Y axis & 0.1mm (100 micron) single layer Z axis. Build speed is spec’d at 2cm per hour with ip to 3cm per hour possible for some models. Build envelope is 43mm x 27mm x 180mm. Check the campaign out at http://www.indiegogo.com/miicraft
While low cost 3D printers are entering the market (Makerbot, Printrbot, Portabee, eMaker, etc) they require extruded plastic filament that costs about $40-$54 per kg that is 5-10 times the cost of the raw resin pellets. The Desktop Factory Competition is seeking to fund an opensource filament maker for all you owners of these FDM type machines. The competition is a partnership between business competition aggregator iStart and online Fab supply storeInventables. The contest is offering $40,000 for the first filament making machine to meet their criteria. I an addition to the cash (from theKauffman Foundation) the winner will also receive a “Desktop Fabrication Lab” (3D printer, FS Laser Cutter, & Shapeoko CNC Mill). I’m hoping the winning design is made of all printed parts
As much as I love digital sculpture and 3D modeling, I do like to to step outside for some fresh air now and again. So in the interest of avoiding growing my hair & beard down to the ground & using a pickle jar for a bathroom, I started looking for some apps that allow me to squeeze in some creative productivity while on the go, particularly during the everyday occasions of waiting & wasted time (i.e. while stuck on the train, plane, bus, post office, DMV, spending the night in jail. etc.) I do love my sketchbook but now I can actually do some rough sculpting & modeling while not parked in front of a computer… glorious!
I’m using an Android phone so here’s my list of what I’m goofing with. What’s even better is these are all free (by the way, I am not affiliated or otherwise getting any sweet kickbacks for mentioning these products).
My new favorite is TrueSculpt Virtual Sculpture by Fabrice Boyer (like a lite version of Sculptris or Zbrush). Offers symmetrical sculpting, polypainting, & OBJ export. Everything I would have asked for (had I been asked).
Sketcher 3D LITE is more of a box modeling type of app. Still working on figuring this one out. All the export functions are disabled unless you get the pro version. Also available for Apple devices.
There are many, many 3D viewers but I like the usability of Glovious Lite, STL View, & 3D Model Viewer. As expected, file sizes are limited but these can come in handy nonetheless.
Unfortunately I can’t personally comment on the quality of these but here’s some for Apple devices (these are not free). Apple has quite a few apps in this arena so have a look around, you might find something new. I’d love to get some users feedback about which ones work well for you.
Comparative information through 2D infographics has become THE way to communicate numbers at a glance.
Check out “InfObjects”, three dimensional info-visualization by Johannes Tsopanides. Fun data driven designs with a communicative purpose. Using opensource software he uses data to generate designs then 3D prints them as tangible objects. Within the topic of food, he has created a model based on the amount of energy, CO2 and cost of particular dishes and their ingredients. The products are not intended to be objects of utility. They rather have the function to raise awareness for the topic & could be used within the context of an information campaign. His design studio SHAPES iN PLAY have developed other projects using using parametric design & data driven geometriesincluding a couple very cool sound based projects.
3D printed guitar composed of suspended polycarbonate “tendons” by Derek Manson. As a musician my first question would have been about the tone of the instrument using these new materials. Derek’s already thought of that…the main body is made from polycarbonate polymer & the central core is CNC machined wood which still allows for excellent tonal properties. The fully functional 3D printed flute was exceptionally cool but this is a wonderfully artistic application of the technology to one of the most beloved instruments of our time. Reminds me of a 3D version of Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein” guitar!
These amazing task based grippers & crawlers are relatively easy to build compared to their cyborg mechanical counterparts.
Using a 3-D printer to make a mold & selecting materials with the right mechanical properties, it should be possible to make devices in a wide range of sizes. The gripper, a small six-pointed star, is made of two types of rubber, one softer and more extensible than the other. Air or fluid is pumped into microchannels in the device through a small tube, the softer rubber extends more and introduces curvature. Properly choreographed, this is translated into a functionally working activity. Researchers in George Whitesideslab at Harvard University, showed off a soft rubber gripper picking up an uncooked egg and an anesthetized mouse without damaging them.