Mataerial 3D printer prints into thin air

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.
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Botanicus Interacticus turns living plants into highly responsive interfaces

A new approach to digital interaction through . . . plants?

Using a single wire placed in the soil, Botanicus Interacticus transforms a living plant into a sophisticated interface. Unlike earlier methods that only identify contact, Botanicus Interacticus uses Touché sensing technology to allow for a range of precise and engaging interactions.

Botanicus Interacticus enables us to use gestures as sliding the fingers on the stem of the orchid, detecting touch and grasp locations of a bamboo, tracking proximity between a human and a plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact leading to a rich amount of interaction possibilities.

Botanicus Interacticus is being developed at Disney Research by Ivan Poupyrev in collaboration with Philipp Schoessler, Jonas Loh/Studio NAND, and Munehiko Sato. Be sure to watch the two videos after the jump to learn about the project.
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Laser cut wooden record

Digital music goes analog once again

We’ve encountered Amanda Ghassaei and her digitally fabricated records before, when she 3D printed some rockin’ tracks that were playable on a standard turntable. This time around, she has turned her talents towards exploring the potential of laser cutting to get her groove on.

The visual impact of this laser cut timber is stunning, but how does a record cut from Maple actually sound? As you’ll hear when you click through to the video after the break, we aren’t really talking hi-fidelity… however as an experimentation it is very interesting indeed. (more…)

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Reshaping NYC with 3D printing

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…)

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NASA launches three smartphone satellites into orbit

Consumer hardware and open source software help build a $3500 satellite.

NASA recently put three nanosatellites powered by Google HTC Nexus One smartphones into orbit. Dubbed PhoneSats, they are about the size of a coffee mug. The satellites are intended to demonstrate how the rapidly decreasing cost and increasing power of off the shelf hardware and open source software can be used for a new generation of accessible, low-cost space research.
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3D Tech and the Future of the Museum

3D printing and 3D scanning to play a major role

Museums across the globe are steadily shaking their dusty old stereotypes, but how far do they actually go in embracing cutting edge technologies?

An interesting publication from MW 2103 by Neely and Langer takes a serious look at the role digital manufacturing can play in paving the way for innovative museums to add value like never before.

Highlighting 3D technologies including 3D printing and 3D scanning in particular, the article paints a positive picture of the way that museums can engage patrons with stimulating, challenging exhibits. You can really see the influence of the rise of the Maker Movement, as shown in the image above where kids learn about 3D printing at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Things get a lot more exciting as you read further, with a “return to materiality” championing physical interaction in an environment that has traditionally been hands-off. (more…)

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3D Printed Augmented Reality Jigsaw Puzzle

Innovative concept brings emerging technologies together

No stranger to tinkering with Augmented Reality, Patrik Johansson has gone one step further by combining 3D printed puzzle tiles to create an AR jigsaw that is really turning heads.

The markers were produced in Photoshop, with 3D printing achieved via SketchUp. Making the most of SketchUp’s versatility, the Augmented Reality model uses AR-media’s Plugin to bring the jigsaw to life.

via NotCot

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Rapid 3D construction with LaserOrigami

Using a laser cutter to make 3D forms, fast

Pushing the boundaries of what is possible with laser cutting, researchers at the Hasso Plattner Institute have discovered how to make 3D objects using a standard 2D laser cutter.

The technique, dubbed LaserOrigami, takes advantage of carefully controlled changes in calibration that are usually the focus of maintaining a clean cut. Instead, a deliberately de-focused laser is used to heat the plastic enough for the material to bend. Gravity does the rest, as the sheet is alternately cut, heated, bent and turned to produce impressively complex forms.

One of the notable advantages of this technique is the speed at which the 3D form can be achieved.  Click through for a comparison between 3D printing, traditional laser cutting and LaserOrigami as well as a video of the laser in action. (more…)

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A functional mini plotter made with cardboard, glue, wire, and tape

Mechanical inventiveness at its best.

If you want to see if you truly understand how a mechanical system works, try making it out of cardboard. Artist Niklas Roy led the construction of a series of cardboard computers, including this plotter, as part of an electronic media class at the School of Art and Design, Offenbach. Watch the video above to see the remarkable sophistication of this mechanical computer.
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Making a bioprinter from an old inkjet

Welcome to the early days of DIY biofabbing.

Instructables user Patrik has put together a guide for making a simple bioprinter out of and old inkjet print and a couple old CD drives. He has successfully printed bioluminescent E. coli in the form of readable text (image after the jump). Bioprinting is still largely in the research stages for medical and industrial purposes, but DIY enthusiasts are close behind.
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