Controlling Population with 3D Printed IUD

Protecting the future using 3D printed contraceptive implants

Israeli-born, Berlin-based designer Ronen Kadushin structures his work around a process called the Open Design Concept, where products can be downloaded, copied and modified much in the same manner as with Open Source software.

He has produced a diverse array of products and designs that follow this distributive method, with a notable concept that targets the much-lauded intrauterine device (IUD).

When one of the world’s most widely used methods of reversible birth control for women costs only a few cents to make, you’d think that it should be affordable to the women who need it. However, an IUD is priced out of reach for many, in particular the younger women who may not be able to afford the $400-$850 price tag.

Ronen’s Bearina IUD is a concept designed to demonstrate the disruptive potential of 3D printed Open Designs to give free and global access to essential products and challenge big players such as the medical juggernauts that aggressively defend their intellectual property.

Click through to discover how the Bearina IUD works, and where to download or purchase one.   (more…)

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One Line Fonts for laser engraving and CNC milling

A range of fonts ready for your next project.

One Line Fonts offers a good selection of single line fonts. This means that the fonts are defined by a single line without a defined thickness as opposed to conventional fonts that use two lines to define the shape and thickness of letters. This is important for applications like laser engraving and CNC milling, because using a single line font will give you much cleaner text that requires less cutting time (which means lower cost).

Fonts are $7.50 for a Basic package with the most common glyphs for English or $15.00 for a Full package with over 400 glyphs covering most Roman based languages.

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Make your own 3D printed cookie cutters with Cookie Caster

Custom cookie cutters!

C is for Cookie, or so a friendly blue monster once sang while tossing great big round cookies into his mouth. But we all know that a chocolate-chip cookie is no less delicious, whatever shape may it may be. With Cookie Caster, a 3D printing initiative from Dreamforge, the rounded cookie is a thing of the past.

Cookie Caster enables you to design, share and print custom cookie cutters. The site hosts a neat little web-based vector app that makes it really easy to create a 3D model of your own cutter that can then be printed and delivered to your door. Designs are gathered in a steadily growing gallery, where they can be shared with others and even purchased by fellow cookie enthusiasts.

For those who have a 3D printer at home, your Cookie Caster model can be downloaded for free as an .stl file to print at your leisure.

A lot of effort has gone in to making the creation of a custom cookie cutter a seamless, versatile and fun process. It only takes a few minutes to whip together your unique shape using the simple drawing tools… as can be seen in the P for Ponoko pictured above.

If you’re feeling a craving coming on, click through to the source and get creative with Cookie Caster!

Cookie Caster

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BotQueue: Open Distributed Manufacturing

I for one would like to welcome our open-source 3d-printing robot overlords

MakerBot co-founder Zach Hoeken announced BotQueue this week:

BotQueue is an online platform for distributing print jobs to multiple 3D printers for production. As the name suggests, it allows you to create a print queue which contains jobs. Your connected bots will grab jobs and produce them. As each job is competed, the operator is prompted to remove and verify the output. Upon successful completion, the bot will grab the next job and start producing it. This continues until the queue is empty. If a bot fails, it is taken offline for repairs.

You can play with it here.

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How to: design a laser-cut box for your DIY electronics project

Who doesn’t like putting things in boxes!?

This mixer rehousing project is the perfect example of what you can do with a laser cutter and an online box-making app. If you prefer to use a tool integrated into Inkscape to make your finger-jointed box template, check out this sweet plugin.

With tools like these it’s getting easier and easier to design your own project enclosures ready to be shipped from your Personal Factory.

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Free 3D files to make with 3D printed Glazed Ceramic

Courtesy of our own Dan Emery.

You might know that we have new colors of glazed ceramics for 3D printing. And you may know that all glazed ceramics are 10% off through July 29.

But did you know that we have some free design files ready to download and make with the glazed ceramic material? Feel free to use these files and pick the color(s) that you like best.

If you can handle 3D CAD but can’t think of what to make out of ceramic, here are some inspiration from the Ponoko team. James, our program manager, suggested an iPhone case. Our 3D guru, Rich, thought it would be cool to make a computer mouse with more weight, although I am not sure how practical a ceramic mouse would be.

David, our CEO, came up with my favorite idea, a mortar and pestle. Every well equipped kitchen should have one, and what would be cooler than to have it 3D printed from your design?

Whatever you make, please tweet us a photo!

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TED: Massimo Banzi talks Arduino

How Arduino is Open Source Imagination

Arduino has arguably done more to change the DIY electronic landscape than any other open source device. We’ve often encountered this modular hardware wonder, popping up as an integral component in many 3D printers as well as being at the core of some of our favourite DIY projects.

In the trademark affable manner that he is famous for, Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi talks through the ever-widening scope of this versatile system.

“(Arduino is) …the equivalent of sketching on paper, done with electronics”

From the humble beginnings in an Italian cafe to an incredible diversity of projects being run by all kinds of hackers, makers, enthusiasts and professionals… whether it’s the pre-teen kids tinkering in their bedrooms, high-school students sending satellites into orbit or multi-million dollar global corporations pushing the boundaries of scientific discoveries; Arduino can be found at the heart of a new revolution.

Watch this neat 15 minute TED talk overview from Massimo Banzi, on Arduino’s role in the new paradigm of Open Source Imagination.

via TED

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Force Effect for Android

Autodesk releases Android version of their conceptual simulation app

There are times when you don’t have a workstation handy; and even your laptop may be out of reach when a lightbulb-moment pops up and that tricky design idea needs your attention.

In late 2011, Autodesk released ForceEffect for IOS devices. After over 100,000 Apple flavoured downloads, the mobile simulation app is now available for use on Android devices as well.

This neat little program enables designers and engineers to quickly simulate design options at the early conceptual phases. There is an intuitive drawing environment in which constraints can be added to object elements, enabling the simulation of forces and structural behaviours under load.

Would this be useful for your digital manufacturing workflow?

A video run-through of the ForceEffect user interface follows after the break.   (more…)

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Sculpture Exhibition in 3D Printed “Replicas”

Copying for art’s sake to encourage debate over copyrightWhisper Down the Lane concluded with a wrap up lecture just before the weekend, two days before its source exhibition – The Obstinate Object: Contemporary New Zealand Sculpture was due to finish, and while the last 3D printed piece was with the courier, hurriedly making its way down the country from the contributing RepRap machine.

Whisper Down The Lane is a referential art project by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith. It explores the ideas of digital fabrication with regard to copyright and reproduction issues in the world of art – a discussion that is very very slowly starting to creep out of the small tech-meets-art niche into the mainstream awareness.

Bronwyn’s project infiltrated Wellington City Gallery’s exhibition The Obstinate Object and sneakily positioned itself in a space of its own within the gallery rooms. The work is a series of 3D printed miniatures of The Obstinate Object exhibits, created with the agreement from the artists. While the 3D prints are clearly copied from specific art works, they are not intended to be exact replicas, nor are they all printed to the same scale. The miniatures are as much about communicating the digital fabrication process as they are about mimicking the general forms of the originals. The RepRap prints are constrained by the practicalities of the production method: size, material, colour and level of detail – elements that would be thoroughly considered in the original, full size works.The open source nature of the project is integral to the questions it raises – questions that we’ll be coming across more and more as digital fabrication becomes more commonplace.

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Ohm Sweet Ohm cross-stitch

This resistor reference chart will keep your circuits cosy!

Keeping on top of those resistor values can be a bit tricky sometimes, when working on DIY electronics projects. It helps to have a handy diagram to refer to… and Becky Stern over at Adafruit Industries has a neat way to keep all that important data close by.

Harking back to the good old homely craft of cross-stitch wall hangings, she’s put together a detailed tutorial on how to make your own ye-olde resistor reference chart. Even better still, all the bits and pieces you need are available to purchase from Adafruit in a great little kit that includes the pattern, floss, needles, cloth and hoop etc. Who would have thought that DIY electronics could be this cosy?!?

Click through for a quick video of the Ohm Sweet Ohm cross-stitch reference chart.   (more…)

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