Is the future of 3D printing in a smarter use of materials?
Netfabb, a digital fabrication software company, made this video demonstrating the capillary effect of a 3D printed structure designed with their software. At first glance, it may not be too impressive to see liquid rise slightly, but it demonstrates enormous potential.
With traditional manufacturing, material is a solid mass, but 3D printing allows material to be produced with various densities and extremely complex structures. In this blogger’s opinion, this may be the true future of 3D printing.
The goal of this project is to provide a method for rapidly manufacturing complex pieces in metal by manufacturing a wax “positive” of the object, which is then used to make a mold for the lost wax casting process. Current metal rapid manufacturing techniques rely on high-power lasers, plasma jets, or electric arcs to sinter metal powder. This approach sidesteps the higher costs and dangers of these high-power systems in favor of a relatively low power laser-sintering technique.
Using a home-built laser sintering wax printer to cast complex metal pieces at home: the DIY-force is strong in this one! Now all he needs is a DIY microwave smelter.
We’ve added four new materials to the NZ making hub!
First up is a new 3mm thickness of Hoop Pine Plywood. It’s an interior grade level plywood and produces very crisp laser engraving results. Good for furnishing and accessory designs like boxes, small furniture, shelves, displays etc. A P1 size is just $4.30. Get a sample for $3NZ.
Next we have 1.5mm thick Upholstery Leather in Driftwood. It’s vegetable tanned and finished with oils and waxes. The underside has a soft suede finish, great for use with bags, wallets, shoes, or decorative pillows. Prices start at a little under $14 for a P1 size piece. Get a sample for $3NZ.
Digital manufacturing techniques like 3d printing, laser cutting, and CNC routing are pretty amazing, but they’re only as good as the materials they use. Thankfully we live in a time where research efforts are bringing out new materials all the time. Here’s a round up of some of the best news in materials in 2011, including some giveaways and special deals.
Cardboard is a *great* material for prototyping your design and making it in another material later. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use cardboard in a final product. Check out these 20 inspirational designs made from good old fashioned recyclable cardboard.
2. Kranium cardboard helmet outperforms traditional helmets
This student project Anirudha Surabhi demonstrates the impact resistance of corrugated cardboard. His Kranium cardboard helmet stood up to four times the amount of impact withstood by typical polystyrene shells. (Video of a DIY arduino powered test in the original post.)
Materials are the spice of life when it comes to making your own stuff. And this year we added THIRTY SEVEN new materials to the Ponoko making hubs (not including new material thicknesses)!
Before we jump into this, one of the best ways to see what materials you can use to make stuff is to check out the Ponoko sample store.
[ USA store here ] [ NZ store here ]
Not only do you get a survey of all the materials we offer, but you can purchase samples for pretty cheap. These samples will show you the quality of the materials as well as the performance of the making process (e.g. laser-cutting, cnc routing, 3D printing.)
So here’s a roundup of all the awesome materials we added in 2011. (more…)
It was developed over seven years by a group of product designers and material scientists lead by Jane who started the project while working on an MA in Product Design at RCA in London.
(You should really check out the Sugru story; there are photos of formulation experiments & application tests, the tales of funding struggles, and a new year’s resolution that ultimately lead to success.)
The end result is a simple, useful material chock full of great properties:
• electrically insulating so “it’s amazing for cable repairs”
• waterproof and flexible so it’s great to have along on outdoor excursions
• stable from -60°C/140°F to 180°C/360°F
• curable at air temperature so you don’t have to heat it
• is removable (with a little effort)
• sticks to almost anything & remains flexible when cured = perfect for prototypes
Update: This contest is closed. Thank you all for your comments.
And congratulations to Matthew C, Matthew P-F, Bob, Curtis W. and Stefania M.!! Enjoy your Sugru!
How to enter:
So now that you have an idea of what Sugru can do, we’d like to know…
How would you use Sugru in a Ponoko project? Tell us in the comments how you would use Sugru to enhance something you made with Ponoko’s laser cutting, cnc routing, or 3D printing service.