Panasonic has unveiled a new television manufactured with the help of 3D printing. It’s not clear exactly what portion of it was 3D printed; it’s likely the body was 3D printed while the screen and internal components were manufactured traditionally. Regardless, it’s a major step forward to see 3D printing being used in mainstream manufacturing.
First 3D printing was used by major companies to make prototypes, then makers and small companies started using it to produce niche products, and now it seems that the technology has advanced sufficiently for a major corporation to use it for direct manufacturing.
The new 56-inch OLED television measures in at a shockingly thin half-inch thick, weighing a small fraction of equivalent LED TVs. It also boasts a 4k resolution, which is roughly equivalent to putting four full HD screens together.
Going one step further than sticking those kiddie scribbles on the fridge, Crayon Creatures is now providing proud parents with a unique 3D printing service.
All that’s required is a 2D drawing fresh from the child’s imagination, which is scanned and inflated to form a volumetric model with 3D contours. This data is then printed on a ZCorp 3D printer and shipped back to the family home.
Knowing how quickly kids move from one playful fantasy to the next, it is possible that by the time you receive your print the ‘artist’ has forgotten drawing it altogether! Even still, just watch those smiles of delight as their imagination is brought to life.
Pictured above is the mysterious incarnation titled Hamster on a Speedboat. Click through to the source for more examples from Crayon Creatures.
Chopper was developed by Linjie Luo, Ilya Baran, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Wojciech Matusik of Princeton University as a way to readily make 3D prints larger than the a 3D printer’s build volume. The software divides the model into logical sections and automatically prepared joints for easy assembly and gluing. Watch the video to se how it works.
Hobbyist 3D printing today mostly means using one of two plastics: ABS or PLA. That won’t always be the case, though.
We’ve covered several alternate materials before, such as wood, chocolate, polycarbonate, and more. New materials are being experimented with often.
To help keep up, Jeremie Francois of the 3D Printer Improvements blog has put together a nice roundup of what can be used to print with at home, and what physical properties each material has.
One material that I’d never heard of using at home before is nylon. It turns out that some folks initially saw nylon weed trimmer line as a possible cheap filament, but it’s actually available these days as a spool specifically for hobbyist 3D printers.
New grassroots hardware from the Pacific Northwest.
The BrainWave board by Metrix Create:Space and Matthew Wilson is an all-in-one controller specifically designed for DIY 3D printers. It includes support for 4 stepper motors, a heated extruder, and a heated print bed. It’s also open source. And did I mention it was fabricated, assembled, and tested in the Pacific Northwest? The components are from overseas, but that’s nearly impossible to avoid these days.
Unfortunately, it’s not widely available quite yet; it is currently being beta tested to work out the bugs. Once launched, the BrainWave will sell for the very reasonable price of $100. (more…)
This Ferris wheel was 3D printed by Objet as a demonstration of the capabilities of their Connex500 multi-material 3D printers. The crank smoothly turns the entire assemble, and all the parts move as they should. In spite of the complexity and refinement of the mechanism, the entire Ferris wheel was 3D printed as a single unit.
The struggle to convert digital music into a tangible analog format.
It’s a little surprising how difficult it is to digitally fabricate a record, considering that records are about 50 years older than digital technology. There have been multiple attempts, included laser engraved experiment records and 3D printed Fisher Price records. The challenge is the combination of the relatively large size of records and the extremely fine detail required to produce recognizable music. (more…)
The UAV Identification Kit 001 was made by James Bridle while he was an Artist in Residence at the Visible Futures Lab at the School of Visual Arts in New York. It is intended both to help visualize drones for a public that is still largely unaware of their particulars and to aid in the identification of drones by observers on the ground. (more…)
The blurry line between professional and hobby 3D printing.
Ford intends to equip many of their engineers with new Replicator 3D printers from MakerBot, according to GigaOM. The video shows one of Ford’s engineers explaining how he uses an older MakerBot in his work, so Ford has apparently been using these printers for awhile now.
3D printers have been used by major companies for, quite literally, decades, but only recently have 3D printers become inexpensive enough for individuals to own. What is interesting here is that this shift towards low cost 3D printers is also changing the way that large companies use the technology. Instead of only having a few large, expensive 3D printers for an entire company, Ford has elected to provide their engineers with individual, less expensive printers.
Want to make some cookies with a more personal touch? Tutor Ralf Holleis and some students at Designlab Coburg have set up a 3D printer that makes cookies, ready to bake.
The unit uses (as far as I can tell) an air compressor-based system that extrudes cookie dough from a nozzle. Sort of similar to how the old MakerBot Frostruder works, but with what appears to be a wider sort of nozzle.
The process is same as most other 3D printers. Start with a design on the computer: (more…)