3D printing a prosthetic foot for a duck

Digital fabrication helps Buttercup to walk and swim.

Buttercup the duck was born in a high school biology lab in November 2012 with one foot turned backwards. Since this birth defect rendered him unable to walk or swim, Buttercup’s foot was amputated in preparation for a prosthesis.

After the leg healed, engineers at NovaCopy produced a new foot 3D printed in ABS plastic that will be used to make a mold and then a permanent silicone rubber prosthesis for Buttercup. Follow the story as it continues to unfold on Buttercup’s facebook page.
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Inside 3D Printing early bird prices end this week!

Get 15% off with code PK15

We’ve partnered again with the Inside 3D Printing Conference as it continues its world tour in Chicago this July 10-11. Event prices increase this Friday, so enter our promo-code, PK15, and register today.

With Stratasys and 3D Systems slated to exhibit at the event’s summer edition, the event provides an ideal opportunity to meet with some of the industry’s biggest players and watch 3D printers and services in action.

The event will tackle 3D printing’s impact on food, fashion, art, architecture, design, engineering, weapons, and more. Sessions include: The XYZs of 3D Scanning: Making Reality Digital, Policy Considerations for Additive Manufacturing, Robots Will Make Your Food, 3D Concrete Printing: Full Scale Additive Manufacturing in Architecture and Construction, and 3D Printed Firearms: Additive Manufacturing Meets Hobbyist Gunsmithing. View the full program here.

Keynote presentations will be given by Congressman Bill Foster of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois, Scott Crump, Founder and Chairman of the Board at Stratasys, and Avi Reichental, President & CEO of 3D Systems.

Additional speakers include Mike Vasquez, Additive Manufacturing Technology & Material Specialist, Julie Friedman Steele of The 3D Printer Experience, and Michael Guslick of HaveBlue.org.

You’ll also hear from the designer and architect who created style icon Dita von Teese’s intricate 3D printed dress. Francis Bitonti and Michael Schmidt will discuss 3D printing’s impact on the fashion and art industries, as well as the creative opportunities which exist with innovative materials and techniques.

Save $250 off on-site prices and register before this Friday.

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Stratasys acquires MakerBot

$403m in stock takes MakerBot into the big, big league

There are some who say that MakerBot has done more for DIY 3D printing than almost any other company. Likewise, the venerable industry stalwart Stratasys has long held its own in professional circles. So it kind of makes sense that they should team up together.

The two companies have announced a proposed $403 million in stock to merge MakerBot into the Stratasys fold as a subsidiary entity. MakerBot would continue business as usual, with Bre Pettis remaining at the helm. The same goes for Thingiverse.com, MakerBot’s online portal for sharing user-generated 3D design content.

“…Partnering with Stratasys will allow us to supercharge our mission to empower individuals to make things using a MakerBot, and allow us to bring 3D technology to more people. I am excited about the opportunities this combination will bring to our current and future customers.”
- Bre Pettis

If you’re in New York, you can head down to MakerBot’s headquarters in Brooklyn on Thursday, June 20 at 10am for a joint news conference with Stratasys. The rest of us can access the event live at makerbot.com, and an archive will be made available at http://mbot.co/press062013.

Read the full press release from Stratasys here.

via Engadget

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The Neo-Artist: a high-tech guide to making

One man’s mission to solve the economic downturn for creative people.

Lincoln Kamm spent 12 years in the animation industry before breaking out and producing his own works. He has since met with notable success with six-figure sales and is now helping others learn how they too can do the same.

In an upcoming publication The Neo-Artist, Lincoln expands on his college lecture series and consulting experience. The book is a treasure-trove of knowledge that aims to teach creative people about the latest in high-tech hardware and software for turning ideas into real physical objects.

Topics covered include 3D printing and laser cutting, designing custom electronics, clothing and more. Most importantly, The Neo-Artist will also show how to make other aspects of the available technologies work for you to help market and sell your work. It’s perfect for makers who are just starting out and will still have plenty to offer those who have been in business for years, guiding them to the next level and beyond.

So if you are a creative person who’s into technology, be sure to take part in The Neo-Artist Kickstarter campaign and make a pledge to secure yourself a copy of the book. It’s time to leave the rat race behind.

The Neo Artist via Kickstarter

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Inside 3D Printing conference coming to Chicago

Get 15% off conference passes

After a successful event in NYC this spring, Inside 3D Printing is coming to Chicago next month, July 10-11.

Keynote speakers include Illinois Congressman Bill Foster, Stratasys founder Scott Crump, and 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental. Other speakers will discuss topics ranging from policy (3D printing and the future of Intellectual Property, the rapid manufacture of weapons) to mass adoption (desktop printers from start to finish, 3D printing adoption in retail and branding) to innovative new uses in food, fashion, architecture, and electronics.

There’s also a full day’s schedule of tutorials and an exhibition hall of the latest 3D printing products, projects, and services.

Register for the event and save 15% with code PK15!

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3D printed ukulele

Digital manufacturing never sounded so sweet * UPDATE * video added!

There is a saying amongst ukulele players. It goes something along the lines of “Music self played is happiness self made.” So imagine how happy Matthew must be, as he strums away on his 3D printed ukulele!

We’ve seen an impressive folding laser cut uke before, and it was only a matter of time before someone had a serious crack at 3D printing one. Matthew (aka Koa Soprano) is no stranger to making his own musical devices, having previously tried his hand at violins and other stringed instruments.

His ukulele is something different though. Printed on a Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D printer, it took about 37 hours for the body, neck and pegs to be produced. Allowance had to be made for the build area of the printer, which means that the headstock is a little shorter than usual. A neat dovetail was planned in to the Solidworks model so that the neck and body can be easily assembled after printing. Pegs were printed both horizontally and vertically to see which orientation produced a neater result.

Click through to see the finished instrument, as well as a few insights into pitfalls that were overcome during the printing process.

* UPDATE * video included after the break!
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MIT’s Silk Pavilion inspired by silkworm cocoons

Algorithmic design, digital fabrication, and silkworms work together to make a pavilion.

MIT MediaLab’s Mediated Matter group used inspiration from the cocoons of silkworms for the Silk Pavilion. Silkworm cocoons are made from one long, continuous silk thread. The pavilion uses the same approach, but with some high-tech help.
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The sweetest 3D printing of all

Sugar prints that are good enough to eat

Sculptural geometric forms take on a delicious twist with a sweet approach to 3D printing from The Sugar Lab.

It all started when husband and wife team Kyle and Liz von Hasseln wanted to make a sweet gift for a friend’s birthday. Without an oven and therefore unable to bake a cake, the duo applied their architectural skills and set out to 3D print one. What resulted was a simple cupcake with “Chelsea” (the friend’s name) printed in sugar across the top. Excited by the experimentation process, Kyle and Liz have refined the sugar printing technique to produce some stunning – and possibly quite delicious – sculptural forms.

The process uses alternating strands of sugar with layers of a water and alcohol solution that seals and solidifies the sugar.     (more…)

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Tinkercad finds a new home at Autodesk

The future is looking solid for rejuvenated browser-based modeler

Fans of the 3D modelling app Tinkercad are turning their frowns upside-down with the big announcement that the company is back in action, and we’re certainly getting excited… because Tinkercad has been acquired by Autodesk.

What exactly does this mean? Well, not only is it great to see Tinkercad back in action; but with the might of this industry juggernaut behind it, Tinkercad looks to be locked into a secure future as elements are slated to filter through into the innovative suite of 123D apps and more.

Tinkercad’s revolutionary Gen6 geometry kernel played a significant role in sealing the deal with Autodesk. The strength of this browser-based solid modelling utility has already proven to be a hit within the Ponoko community. One of the notable success stories of the Ponoko API, Tinkercad makes generating SVG outputs that are ready for laser cutting or 3D printing so easy, it is literally child’s play.

With Autocad at the helm, the Tinkercad free account now has unlimited designs and full import/export functionality, making it that much more appealing to new makers and educators.

“..we have supercharged the free plan. You can now create unlimited designs, all import and export functionality is enabled and ShapeScripts are turned on for free accounts.”

Click through to see the full press release from Tinkercad.   (more…)

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Mataerial 3D printer prints into thin air

A new way to 3D print without the need for support material.

The Mataerial 3D printer uses a 2-part thermosetting resin instead of the thermoplastics commonly used in extrusion-based 3D printers. This approach allows the machine to print a line directly into the air with only a single point of contact with a surface. The surface doesn’t need to be horizontal or even; the material will even adhere to a vertical surface.
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