In the realm of science fiction (Aliens, Halo, Iron Man, etc) exo-skeletal suits have long enabled humans to exert super human force and endure arduous conditions. But for Emma Lavelle, a young girl that was born with a condition called arthrogryposis – wearing a 3D printed external support structure is a reality to enable her to carry out everyday tasks that able bodied people would perhaps take for granted. (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”?
Read on to find out!
Digital fabrication for the mobile maker.
MIT’s Ilan Moyer and Nadya Peek have made the PopFab, a multipurpose CNC machine in a suitcase. The computer controlled platform rests in the bottom of the case, and the arm for the toolhead pops up. Perhaps the best part is that the system is compatible with a wide range of toolhead for various functions including 3D printing, CNC milling, vinyl cutting, and plotting (drawing).
We recently blogged about a related project, the FoldaRap. The FoldaRap looks to be slightly more compact, but it is focused exclusively on 3D printing.
If there was an award for parametric design that made riding your single speed or fixie bike usable on gradients greater than 5 degrees for people other than Olympic athletes, then Jason DeRose would surely take it out with his variable ratio mechanical gear design.
DeRose, a software developer used Python and employed mathematics and geometry to work out the position of the sprocket teeth to craft his design. As part of DeRose’s design process, he then extruded the linework into 3D in Blender. He has also released the project files as open source on launchpad to allow others to build upon it. (more…)
Open Source makes it sound delicious
Mutable Instruments are back with a new DIY-friendly open source synth and it looks and sounds amazing.
We’ve seen Mutable Instruments before around here before: there were a wealth of laser-cut Shruti-1 enclosures rolling out the Personal Factory gates about 18 months ago. It will be great to see what cool designs people come up with to house this new machine!
Sounds after the break…
How Arduino is Open Source Imagination
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.
Finish off your electronic designs with some 3D printed flair
Building fully functional electronic devices yourself is a satisfying process. That magic moment when your experimentation combines software, hardware and mechanical know-how all together to become a finished product.
Add a 3D printer to the mix, and you are really in for a treat.
Rob Miles knows his way around Gadgeteer, the Microsoft .NET hardware enabler that turns a developer’s dreams into reality. Although he was already off to a great start, it all changed when Rob set himself up with an Ultimaker 3D printer. Designing and printing his own enclosures has given him a whole new perspective on DIY development and hardware hacking. (more…)
Salvaged industrial robot becomes an awesome large-scale 3D printer
There are probably a few things you could do with a rescued 1980’s SCARA Robot Arm, given the technical know-how. Dane Kouttron is one guy who certainly knows his way around these industrial machines, and he has proven this by re-purposing a salvaged robotic arm to become a fully functional 3D printer.
Because the device has such a huge reach, it is able to print some sizeable objects – up to 25″ x 12″ x 6.5″. This scale has introduced all kinds of quirks, such as how to manage temperatures across the heated build platform and also sorting out the control interface for the servo motors and precision feedback sensors.
That’s right – there are no stepper motors in this unit. Unlike the 3D printers we are used to seeing, the SCARA robot originally operated via servo motors in combination with precision controllers. As the salvaged state of the robot was incomplete, each axis had to be rebuilt and reconfigured one at a time.
Dane is still feeling his way, steadily refining the precision and print capabilities. The whole process has been thoroughly documented, but before you check out the project worklog be sure to watch the following short clip of the 3D printer in action.
Analog Shelter is part of New Zealand designer Daiman Otto’s Analog Structures project. The cladding system Feel Free was designed to respond to the Shed Light exhibition brief, currently on show in Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. His aim is to produce a series of small DIY, standardized and customisable buildings that anyone can put together without the need for a set of saws and building tools. Feel Free’s exterior cladding encourages interaction by allowing people to touch and manipulate the exterior polyproplyene panels. (more…)
Red Bull calls out to makers
Big ideas tend to emerge when the pressure is on, and the challenge has been set for designers from across the globe to battle it out in a 72 hour maker competition.
Celebrating the ingenuity of makers everywhere, Red Bull Creation will see twelve teams respond to an as-yet undisclosed theme in a high octane online competition. The winners will not only receive $10,000 cash for their efforts, they will also be invited to attend the 2012 Maker Faire in New York City.
Registration is now open, so if you think you’ve got what it takes… enter your details to receive the Bullduino customized Arduino board. The goal is to show your making skills by utilising this board and uploading a video of your outcome. Impress the judges for a chance to be chosen as one of the twelve finalists.
“The real action takes place while the dozen “chosen ones” work simultaneously in their own workshops, hackerspaces or homes to innovate around a common theme.”
The official competition site is a fun little journey down memory lane, with a retro OS interface that will leave you feeling like the 21st century is still decades away. Don’t let that fool you, though – there is likely to be some serious technology at hand when the contest kicks off between July 19-22.