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.
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…)
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…)
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.
Ponoko-made project by Kevin Taylor
Kevin Taylor was the ‘T’ in T&C Lures, a small business started by two guys who loved to fish in the San Diego bay. His partner (the ‘C’ in T&C) was taking a CNC machining class and “just wanted the challenge” of creating his own lures. Their first product, the swimgrub shown below, made the rounds at fishing forums and quickly became very popular.
But after just a few months of starting the company, C moved on and Kevin was left to carry on design and production. He would either have to pay a lot of money to a product development agency or learn to do it himself. So he decided to dive in and learn.
After some initial research on CAD and rapid prototyping, he came across SketchUp 3D design software and Ponoko‘s 3D printing service.
Rather than make CNC machined masters for molding the lures and bait, Kevin decided to try 3D printed models. Below are images of his SketchUp designs as well as a model he produced with Rhino.
Two photographs combined to model the path of a lightning strike
A chance encounter made possible by the informational maelstrom otherwise know as Reddit has resulted in this dynamic reconstruction of a lightning strike.
The animated image above is a render produced in Blender, and you can see how it all came together in a brief but informative post over on Richard Wheeler’s Calculated Images blog. In short, two separate photographers happened to snap pictures of the same bolt of lightning from slightly different positions. Richard then took these pictures and applied them in a similar manner to the way a stereoscopic image is resolved. (more…)
Bring your work to life with digital tableware and animal bones!
Sourcing high resolution models for design work (and 3D printing) can be difficult and expensive. There are a fair number of free community 3D models on the web, but many are low quality or have restrictions against commercial use.
That’s where Forme It, a new service that sells high resolution 3D models, comes in.
Forme It’s library of 3D models is broken down into three main areas: Reference, Classic, and Modern. Reference contains models of the natural world, sorted into animal, plant, and mineral. Classic is for functional designs, currently holding a variety of tableware. And Modern at present has a few patterns to texture items with.
To help people actually use the content that they buy, Forme It has started a series of long-form YouTube tutorials. The idea is show one of the available designs used in a practical way, like this tree bark scan made into a container using Blender: (more…)
D-Shape Concrete printing awarded first place in Waterfront Construction Competition.
When Hurricane Sandy blasted some 565 miles of coastline across NYC, seawalls and other coastal features received quite a battering. Seeking out novel approaches to repairing and redeveloping these damaged areas, the NYCEDC competition “Change the Course” has awarded a $50,000 first prize to concrete 3D printer D-Shape.
The D-Shape proposal is to scan damaged infrastructure, design and fabricate encasements and extensions to the existing surfaces and then fabricate them off-site. (more…)
May 2-4 in San Francisco
With 3D printing gaining traction as the democratization of manufacturing, now is the time to discuss the environmental impact and envision a sustainable future for this rapidly growing industry.
To anser the question ‘Can 3D printing go green?’ Swissnex, an organization that fosters connections between Switzerland and San Francisco, is coordinating a multi-day forum on 3D printing and biomaterials.
All are welcome to attend The Ethics and Sustainability of 3D Printing conference this Thursday in San Francisco. The four hour event includes speaker presentations, panel discussions, demos, and a reception. Advanced tickets are just $10, and free for students under 25.
There will also be a hands-on workshop on Saturday for creating your own biomaterials.
On Friday, experts ranging from business leaders and venture capitalists to government funded researchers and academic scholars will convene to discuss their insights, debate future scenarios, and develop a roadmap for achieving sustainability across the 3D printing industry.
• Get tickets for the conference here.
• Get tickets for the workshop here.
The Blender 2.67 release includes a feature packed 3D printing toolbox
Blender has long supported the .STL file format used to export for 3D print and it is very welcome news that there will be additional support within the software to help modelers. As a popular, free and open source 3D modeling software package, these new features will greatly help save users’ time in finding issues with their models.
The new toolbox looks set to have features useful for printing models both with online services such as Ponoko, and also with RepRap or Makerbot kitset 3D printers. Models for 3D printing need to be perfectly watertight, so all their edges need to meet to enclose a volume. For most users this can cause issues from time to time, trying to find where a tiny hole might exist. (more…)