Transformational ideas using 3D printing technologies for the developing world
Seven exceptional finalists in this landmark competition have been announced by London-based technology charity, techfortrade. These proposals have been recognised for their innovative use of 3D printing technology to help combat poverty and increase self-sufficiency in the developing world.
Entries were put through a rigorous judging process, with each of the finalists given $1000 and access to expert mentors ahead of their final pitch on the 19th of October. With $100,000 up for grabs to implement the winning concept, the announcement at this year’s 3D Printshow in London is much anticipated.
According to William Hoyle, CEO of techfortrade:
“The standard of entries for the 3D4D Challenge has been exceptional, especially as this is the first time we’ve done this. The judging process was tough and we are certain the finalists will help to inspire future innovation.”
Click through to see what the seven finalists have to offer. (more…)
An opportunity for a look inside a little-known world.
Hackers have been a common topic on the news in the last couple years, but they are usually portrayed in a one-sided and, almost exclusively, negative way. Events surrounding Wikileaks, Anonymous, and Pirate Bay have all attracted intense scrutiny by governments and police. Film collective RåFILM wants to create a full-feature documentary film about the world of hackers and hackerspaces.
This film will crash land in the middle of the conflict currently taking place between those who want to keep technology and the Internet free and those who want to control it. We want to make this documentary and release it under a creative commons license so that everyone can see the film. But for this to happen we need your help.
Industry experts lay it all out in a series of infographics
It’s very possible that you already know 3D printing inside and out, and are just as excited as we are by the possibilities that this technology holds for our future.
But even for those in the know, it can be helpful sometimes to step back and take a snapshot of where things are at in this dynamic, exciting and rapidly changing environment.
Featured above is a graphic matrix from Objet Inc’s Tuan TranPham that sets out major players in the 3D printing world, including yours truly, Ponoko.
After the break, we have two more traditional infographics; one from Sculpteo that comprehensively tracks the evolution and growth of 3D printing; and a simpler intro from the folks at Hightable. They are both well worth a look. (more…)
See what happens when the tech-heads get their hands on some serious DIY hardware…
Over at Engadget, they are no strangers to the world of possibilities that 3D printing has been promising for some time now. Yet much of this knowledge has been academic; sourced from technical expertise and worldly know-how more than down ‘n dirty, roll your sleeves up, gritty personal experience.
That’s all changed thanks to the shiny (well, as shiny as lasercut ply can be) new delivery of a dual-extruder MakerBot Replicator.
Brian Heater has put together one of the most comprehensive first-look reviews of a 3D printer that we’ve ever seen. From the first unveiling through to numerous teething problems and then the triumphant successful print, we get a glimpse of where this technology is at. It is a refreshing take on things, with the understandably high expectations that an Engadget reviewer would have. But don’t let that deter you – there are some lighter moments.
“It makes a lot of really cool noises.”
Click through to read the full review, where there are also a number of images and a neat video overview for you to enjoy. Is it really “the most accessable 3D printer that you can currently buy”?
bringing the El Sajjadah to production
The El Sajjadah is an illuminating prayer mat by product design studio SOPDS. Using a built-in digital compass and user input of current location, the mat detects the direction of Mecca and lights up when properly oriented. The glowing pattern depicts the story of life and indicates a place for the feet and hands during prayer.
This innovative combination of technology and religion has received international attention ranging from a cover story in the UK’s T3 magazine to the International Inventor’s Fair in Kuwait to a recent exhibition and acquisition by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Rewards for project backers include both an A3 and full scale size prints, an actual El Sajjadah from the first production run, a customized version from our UK lasercutting partner RazorLAB, and the opportunity to work with designer Soner Ozenc on a completely custom electro-luminescent prayer mat.
Arduino has arguably done more to change the DIY electronic landscape than any other open source device. We’ve often encountered this modular hardware wonder, popping up as an integral component in many 3D printers as well as being at the core of some of our favourite DIY projects.
In the trademark affable manner that he is famous for, Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi talks through the ever-widening scope of this versatile system.
“(Arduino is) …the equivalent of sketching on paper, done with electronics”
From the humble beginnings in an Italian cafe to an incredible diversity of projects being run by all kinds of hackers, makers, enthusiasts and professionals… whether it’s the pre-teen kids tinkering in their bedrooms, high-school students sending satellites into orbit or multi-million dollar global corporations pushing the boundaries of scientific discoveries; Arduino can be found at the heart of a new revolution.
Watch this neat 15 minute TED talk overview from Massimo Banzi, on Arduino’s role in the new paradigm of Open Source Imagination.
New developments from 3D printed porcelain pioneers
One year has gone by since we last checked in to see what Belgian design studio Unfold are up to, and it appears they have been busy indeed. Building on their expertise in 3d printed porcelain, the process continues to be refined, producing stunning results.
These intricate forms are printed on an open source RepRap that has been fitted out with a custom “Claystruder” printhead. This enables earthenware and porcelain ceramic objects to be printed instead of the usual ABS or PLA polymers.
“Instead of a mechanical plunger, you use timed pulses of air pressure to drive material out of the syringe.”
Going further than mere hardware modifications, Unfold have also been working on custom software called Gcode Stacker that converts their design files for printing. The end result? Finer control and results that would otherwise be difficult to achieve, even in the world of 3D printing. (more…)
The results are in from the first survey on 3D printing community
A little while ago, we mentioned that the P2P Foundation were putting out a call for participants in the first ever wide-scale survey on the 3D printing community. The results are now in, and they provide a number of interesting insights on where things are heading in the world of digital manufacturing.
“3D printing has been around for a few decades already. In that sense, the technology is nothing new. What is different now is the method in which 3D printers and related software are developed and in some cases even manufactured: the open source/peer production model.”
People are increasingly aware of the far-reaching changes that are rapidly becoming a part of their everyday lives. Networks of users, development processes and established systems all interact in a cyclical process that fuels enthusiasm and drives innovation. (more…)
Win $40k for designing an open source filament extruder
The cost of filament is a thorn in the side of many DIY 3D printing setups. But thanks to Inventables, the Kauffman Foundation and Maker Faire, prices of around $50/kg are soon to be a thing of the past.
The challenge has been set: Design an open source machine capable of making plastic resin pellets fit for use in a low cost 3D printer.
The first person or team who uploads a successful solution will be declared the winner, taking out more than just glory and DIY adoration. Prizes include a very handy $40,000 thanks to the Kauffman Foundation, as well as a Desktop Fabrication Lab consisting of a 3D printer, Laser Cutter and Shapeoko CNC mill.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, here are the criteria:
The first team/person to build an open source filament extruder for less than $250 in components can take ABS or PLA resin pellets, mix them with colorant, and extrude a 1.75mm +/- .01mm filament that can be used in a 3D printer is declared the winner.
Robots are often designed with very specific tasks in mind. But what happens when you want a robot to be adaptable? Taking on the daunting task of coming up with a robot that can rise to whatever challenges it encounters, a team over at the Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory (ETH Zurich) have been making progress that could have serious implications in the world of digital manufacturing.
Utilizing Hot Melt Adhesive (the same HMA that we’ve all burnt our fingers with when using a handyman glue gun), their robot is able to create tools from scratch. It then makes use of these new devices to successfully complete tasks that it was otherwise unable to perform.
The following video gives an indication of where things are currently at. Although the process is similar to 3D printing, the team are quick to point out why they have chosen HMA rather than the usual thermoplastic materials. It all comes down to adaptability. A traditional 3D printed tool needs to be grasped/held/attached in some way. With HMA, the printed tool can be glued to the robot itself, and actually becomes a part of the machine. No need for graspers or fixing mechanisms. (more…)