2012 may be the year of 3D printing: Lisa Harouni on TED
We may be preaching to the converted, but for those who still aren’t convinced (or maybe even aren’t aware) of just how exciting 3D printing is, this recent TED talk gives a neat overview.
The speaker is Lisa Harouni, CEO of Digital Forming. Having specialised for a number of years pioneering software development for 3D printing applications, she is well placed to convince even the most sceptical of viewers that we are indeed on the cusp of a manufacturing revolution.
Physibles are described as “data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical.” And it’s The Pirate Bay’s belief that “the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form.”
They are talking here of course about digital files that can be sent to fabrication equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, Jacquard looms and so on. And with the continued improvement of such technology and it’s increasing adoption, The Pirate Bay believes that “You will download your sneakers within 20 years.”
Physibles is currently classified as Other in the line up of available torrents: Audio, Video, Applications, Games, and Other, but perhaps one day we’ll see the addition of Objects to the main categories.
We mentioned the possibility of The Product Bay two years ago, and today it’s officially happening. “We’re thinking of temporarily renaming ourselves to The Product Bay – but we had no graphical artist around to make a logo. In the future, we’ll download one,” concludes today’s announcement. (I’ve taken the liberty of throwing one together.)
Although there exist a handful of sites to find downloadable product files, including them in such a hugely popular file sharing site is a significant step in the personal fabrication movement. And just the beginning of what could make 2012 the year of the product design copyright fight.
Ultimately, our goal is to create a highly visible community hub that will imbue open concepts into the formulation stages of new hardware and software projects, and help existing projects transition to open modes of development and operation
OpenVSP is a parametric aircraft geometry tool. OpenVSP allows the user to create a 3D model of an aircraft defined by common engineering parameters. This model can be processed into formats suitable for engineering analysis.
How cool is that? Maybe you don’t have access to an aerospace facility, but with this tool you can invent your own far-out aircraft designs and print out the models in 3D from your Personal Factory.
They’re not quite as common as music and video files on the internet, but the mainstreaming of digital fabrication means that design files for physical objects are being passed around more than ever. Here are some of the coolest downloadable items covered on the blog in 2011:
This is my favourite of the bunch. There’s a project on Thingiverse for making QR code tags to stick on your creations, but this goes way beyond that by enabling downloads from the object itself! The QR code on the table in the picture is not a link to a website but instead the actual files necessary to make the table yourself! (more…)
For those who enjoy a novelty gift, the new iPhone app from Sculpteo might be just what you’ve been looking for.
A free download onto your favourite i-device is all that it takes. Use the app to snap a picture, and then with just a few simple manipulations the resulting data is prepared for printing as either a vase, a bowl or a coffee cup.
It’s not all about putting your pointy-nosed mug on a mug – the app can also be used to model your twitter statistics or customize an iPhone case.
With access to the Sculpteo community, this app is a great way to introduce people to the world of 3D printing and the possibilities that are enabled by the technology that we carry around with us in our daily lives.
DIY project to keep your footage smooth and steady
Professional looking handheld footage sometimes takes more than just a fancy camera. If you don’t want to make your viewers seasick, a camera crane is an essential tool to keep the picture gliding along.
Uploaded to Thingiverse by Frits Stam en Koen de Greef, this laser cut version can be whipped together using the supplied cutting pattern along with a few readily available off-the-shelf components.
Being able to achieve professional-level results by taking advantage of this open-source project will really cut costs for the film enthusiast. This kind of equipment is usually out of reach unless you have a huge amount of cash to burn, so it is great to see high-end tools becoming more accessible through the DIY movement.
Features of the Stead i Cam include:
+ removable / adjustable camera plate
+ weight swivels to compensate for an unbalanced camera
+ air bubble for leveling the camera
+ light weight design
Click through to see a short video of the Stead i Cam in action. (more…)
Plus make-your-own Christmas decorationsThe time for giving is almost nigh, and the best kind of giving involves designing something yourself and beautifully crafting it, or finding something unique that wasn’t made by pre-schoolers in a third world dungeon.
We’ve got gift ideas, design inspiration as well as free files for making your own Christmas happiness. There is the annual checklist: decorate the tree, decorate the house, decorate yourself. Of course, some people decorate their pets also, but there’s something not quite right about puppies in acrylic tiaras.
I’ve recently been checking out the clever 3D printed designs being uploaded at Thingiverse. Thingiverse is a community of makers who upload digital designs to share with other members. What impresses me about the community is that people are constantly pushing 3D printing in new directions by offering suggestions or improving other’s designs…
Thingiverse user eried has created some 3D printable velcro adhesive which works relatively well given that it is coarser than mass produced velcro. As a first prototype it shows a lot of promise and is an excellent proof of concept. (more…)
Another wildly successful Kickstarter campaign: 10 days still remaining
We first came across Marcin Jakubowski’s incredible Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) back in April, following his well-received TED presentation. The concept of GVCS is one of those super-simple, too-good-to-be-true proposals that has real potential to change so many lives.
What is it all about? Imagine a modular, DIY, low-cost, open source, high-performance platform. One that makes it easy to fabricate all of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization complete with modern comforts.
The aim of the GVCS is to lower the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing. Its a life-size lego set that can create entire economies…
What sets this latest publication apart is the format in which the 3d designs appear. Each project includes 3d rendered step-by-step assembly instructions, as well as a pattern on a grid layout. By utilising the grid, Jon incorporates the material thickness – thus giving users a reference point at which they can scale the designs to suit whatever material they wish to work with.
The catalogue of designs is quite broad, from architectural and historical landmarks, creatures and vehicles of all sorts, through to desktop organisers and even a light-table. As is the way with most wooden toys, actual historical or anatomical accuracy is sometimes tweaked in favour of outcomes that simply work better using the technologies and materials at hand. Jon is always careful to ensure that the completed designs look just right.
One thing that is really nice about this publication is that each design can exist as a project in its own right. Along with clearly defined levels of difficulty, this means WoodMarvels Volume 3 is equally suited as an educational tool or as a project book for a hobbyist to work through at home.
Click through for some Q and A with Jon as he reflects on this particular milestone. (more…)