Marblevator: a fully configurable marble run you can print yourself
This Thingiverse project from dedicated enthusiast gzumwalt has what it takes to give a 21st Century twist to an age-old favourite toy.
The Marblevator (marble elevator) is at the heart of it all, endlessly stepping little balls up until they meet with the whims of gravity. Additional track segments easily snap together and clever height-adjustable tressels combine to allow you to build with complete freedom, creating one of those mesmerising toys that you could happily lose yourself in for hours on end.
Click through to see more detail on the tressel mechanism, as well as a collection of video clips of those balls going round and round and round.
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…)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…)