Turn your 3D printer into a laser cutter

L-CHEAPO conversion kit brings laser cutting to the masses

Imagine turning a desktop 3D printer into a laser cutter without compromising its printing capabilities. That’s what Matteo Borri from Robots Everywhere has done, and the L-CHEAPO laser cutter attachment is now the focus of a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign.

Capable of cutting 3/16″ wood and 1/4″ acrylic on any hobby grade 3D printer or CNC mill, this clever little attachment runs off the existing machine’s power supply and software environment. Once the attachment is set up and configured, in a matter of minutes you can swap back and forth from laser cutter to 3D printer functionality.

“you can switch from laser to printer mode and vice versa in less than two minutes, with no tools”

Why would you want to do this? For one thing, laser cut parts tend to be much tougher than the thermoplastics used in 3D printers. This means the scope of making possibilities is significantly widened, all from the one machine.

Matteo is looking out for the little guys with this project, with the goal of making laser cutting accessible to those who might otherwise be hindered by the substantial initial investment that is traditionally associated with purchasing a laser cutter.

“I hope that this allows high school shop classes, small universities and local hackerspaces to be able to work with a wider variety of materials and techniques”

He also promises that there are larger, more powerful lasers in the works. It will be interesting to see what the big brother to L-CHEAPO is capable of.

The 3D printed component is available to download from Thingiverse and you can head to Indiegogo for further info and project updates.

Here’s a little extra, just for fun. Proving that he is serious about his DIY laser cutting prowess, Matteo uploaded this geekily amusing clip of the Tetris theme song, as played by an L-CHEAPO laser cutter in action.

via Hackaday

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Sketch It Make It

Draw what you imagine, and make your ideas real

Here at Ponoko, we are very serious about bringing laser cutting to the masses. So you can well imagine that our fingers are twitching with excitement at the potential of Sketch It Make It.

Developed by Blank Slate Systems, this clever little iPad app is all about quickly and easily generating files for digital manufacturing – particularly CNC, laser cutting and 3D printing. All it takes is an iPad, a finger to poke at the screen and an idea that is bursting to get out.

As is shown in the teaser clip above, your wobbly scribbles are magically transposed into neat geometric forms almost instantaneously. There are also a number of clever ways that the accuracy can be further refined down to a precision that will have a file ready for the laser cutter in no time.

Sketch It Make It hasn’t been made available to the public yet, but if you like what you see, sign up at the source to be notified when the app is released.

via Sketch It Make It

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Lab Instructors needed for groundbreaking for 3D Printing Summer Camp

Inventor Studios is hosting a pioneering new summer course for middle and high school students introducing them to 3D object design, digital scanning and 3D printing.

Held at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, 6 – 12 grade students will be getting first-hand experience with the printing process, as well as making 3D scans of real-life objects.

There are two openings available :

  • 3D Printing Lab Instructors – capable 3D modelers with some teaching and/or mentoring experience
  • 3D Printing Intern Instructors- capable 3D modelers with no previous teaching experience.

If this sounds like you, and you live in the SF Bay Area, download the job description for more information including course description, job responsibilities and how to apply.

Qualified applicants should contact Bob Krause, Chief Inventor at Inventor Studios. Interviews are being held between March 26th and April 9th, so don’t wait!

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Win a free copy of LEO the Maker Prince, the first 3D printing book for kids!

LEO the maker prince

This week, Ponoko has partnered with author and designer Carla Diana to give away five free copies of her new book for kids (and adults!), LEO the Maker Prince.

The first book about 3D printing for children, LEO follows the adventures of Carla and her friend LEO, a 3D printer. Chancing upon each other during a New York hurricane, Carla and LEO traverse the fascinating new world of 3D printing and all of the creativity and common sense solutions that it offers. LEO is a machine; Carla is an accountant who had always dreamed of being an artist. Together, they discover how personal fabrication can, has, and will continue to change the world. It certainly changes Carla.

Published by Maker Media, each creation featured in LEO can be downloaded for free and produced on your home 3D printer. 3D printing isn’t magic, but LEO the Maker Prince is. Written for anyone who wants to learn more about 3D printing, this book explores today’s emerging technologies in a way that makes it understandable to readers of all ages.

How to Enter:

Leave a comment telling us what character(s) from which favorite children’s story book you’d like to 3D print—and why.

Details:

You may enter as often as you like between Jan. 13-17, 2014, but each submission idea must be distinct from your last. Repeat or similar entries from the same applicant will be disqualified. Author Carla Diana and a representative from Maker Media will choose the top five suggestions from your comments. And yes, creativity and smarts do matter.

Prizes:

Five winners will each receive a free copy of LEO the Maker Prince either as a PDF or hard copy, depending (the vagaries of shipping constraints outside the U.S. may determine).

Deadline:

Sweepstakes closes at 10pmPST on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Winners will be notified by Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, and announced in an update to this post.

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CNCKing.com Volume 4: Rise of the CNC

Comprehensive CNC resource now available on Amazon

Here is some great news for the digital manufacturing community. As a CNC evangelist Jon Cantin is in a league all of his own, and he has put in a huge effort to share his knowledge and expertise in the latest CNCKing.com publication, volume 4: Rise of the CNC.

Imagine an encyclopaedic compendium of CNC know-how, covering topics from laser cutting and CNC routing all the way through to plasma cutting and 3D printing. It’s perfect for people looking to do their own laser cutting in wood, acrylic or metal and covers topics that even advanced makers will find insightful and valuable.

In this volume, infamous hardware hacker and DIY inventor extraordinaire Ben Heck kicks things off with a foreword that highlights how CNC technology influenced his own workflow and creative career.

So if the sound of 400+ pages of CNC knowledge has you on the edge of your seat, jump over to CNCKing.com to find out more about volume 4: Rise of the CNC. The publication is now available as a digital download or in printed format from Amazon as well.

via CNCKing.com

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Inside 3D Printing Conference Starts Today in San Jose

See 3D printed guitars, belts, and more.

15% OFF discount with code: PK15.

Keith Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Organovo, the global leader in 3D bioprinting, will deliver a keynote presentation, 3D Bioprinting: Changing the Shape of Medical Research and Practice. Murphy, who has 20 years of experience in biotechnology, will speak on how the company’s pioneering technology is impacting drug discovery research today and has the potential to produce transplant tissues in the future.

The impact of 3D printing on the medical field will also serve as a key theme in the Asia-Pacific version of Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo, as it continues its world tour in Singapore on October 1-2.

Joseph J. Salvo, Leader- Business Integration for GE Global Research Technologies, has also joined the San Jose event as a speaker. Dr. Salvo and his laboratory are responsible for the development of complex decision platforms, including GE RailwiseTM and the Global Vendor Managed Inventory. He will lead the session titled Changing the Manufacturing Paradigm: Crowdsourcing and 3D Printing.

S. Scott Crump, Founder of Stratasys, and Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems, will also serve as keynote speakers.

The expo hall in San Jose will be the largest yet! Attendees will network with professionals at leading 3D printing companies, including 3D Systems, Stratasys, Accenture, Mcor Technologies, Fathom, Afina, Made in Space, Leopoly, and more.

Enter our discount code: PK15 for 15% off your full conference pass. Prices increase onsite, so register now.

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Inside 3D Printing comes to San Jose in September – 15% discount

Attend Inside 3D Printing San Jose – 15% Discount

The Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo will continue its world tour in San Jose, California on September 17-18. With a new city, speakers, and exhibitors, this event is one that shouldn’t be missed by those interested in the business and applications of 3D printing.

Prices increase on September 5, so enter our 15% discount code: PK15 and register now.

Carl Bass, President & CEO of Autodesk, Avi Reichental, President & CEO of 3D Systems, and S. Scott Crump, Founder of Stratasys, will deliver the conference’s three keynote addresses.

Crump will also participate in the session, 3D Printing Pioneers, which will bring together Carl Deckard, Polymer Scientist, Structured Polymers, and Chuck Hull, Co-Founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, 3D Systems. The three creators of FDM, SLS, and SLA will discuss their early technical and commercial challenges, and what it took to become successful.

(more…)

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MakerBot Digitizer is almost here

Add a 3D scanner to your workflow

The easiest and fastest way to create your own unique 3D models is about to be released by MakerBot. Eagerly anticipated ever since an early prototype was unveiled in March, the MakerBot Digitizer is just about ready for action. This neat little device will turn almost any (smallish) object you can get your hands on into 3D designs you can share and print.

In an email alert from MakerBot this week, the following info was released that outlines some key features of the Digitizer.

- Simple, yet sophisticated software creates clean, watertight 3D models with just two clicks.
- Get a 3D digital design file in just minutes.
- No design skills, 3D modeling or CAD expertise required to get started.
- Outputs standard 3D design file formats that can be modified and improved in third-party 3D modeling programs, like Autodesk’s free software MeshMixer.
- Easily upload your unique scans directly to Thingiverse.com.

Could the MakerBot Digitizer fill a gap in your creative workflow? Hide the cat, and keep an eye on MakerBot for further updates including pricing and availability.

MakerBot Digitizer via The Next Web

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3D Manufacturing Community Survey

Annual survey returns with a new round of questions for 3D makers

A little over a year ago, the P2P Foundation supported the first ever wide-scale survey of the 3D printing community. Their results made for some interesting findings, a few of which are summarised in the above video.

In an industry where experimentation and innovation play a large role in the daily grind, you’d expect to see significant developments over time. So what has changed in the world of 3D manufacturing over the past year? Is 3D printing still a niche industry? Are we in the midst of the next Industrial Revolution?

The goal of the 2013 survey is to provide insights about 3D printing communities to the people who are actually doing the printing.

Click through to the Statistical Studies of Peer Production survey where you too can become a valuable 3D printing statistic. There are only 23 questions and it typically takes less than five minutes to complete.

The survey closes on August 15, with results and an in-depth analysis from P2P’s Jarkko Moilanen and Tere Vadén due out in the coming months.

3D printing survey via Statistical Studies of Peer Production

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Inside 3D Printing Conference comes to Silicon Valley

September 17-18, 2013 in San Jose

After successful events in Chicago and NYC, the Inside 3D Printing Conference continues it’s world tour with it’s first event in California.

The 2 day conference will be held in San Jose on September 17-18. Keynote speakers include 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental, Stratasys founder S. Scott Crump, and Autodesk CEO Carl Bass.

The agenda so far includes talks ranging from The Future of Retail and 3D Printed Electronics to implications for Intellectual Property and investing in the 3D printing boom.

Ponoko folks will be there and we’ve got a special registration rate for Ponoko fans. Get 15% off conference passes with code PK15. See ya there!

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