Formlabs announced today the release of the Form 1, their “prosumer” desktop printer that uses stereolithograpy to produce highly detailed models.
“The Form 1 marries high-end stereolithography (SL) technology and a seamless user experience at a price affordable to the professional designer, engineer and maker.”
A common complaint of current desktop printers like Makerbot, Ultimaker, and RepRap that use FDM extrusion technology, is that the print quality is too low. The Form 1 tackles this head on and the high quality results speak for themselves. Another printer in the “at home” printing market is great news for consumers too. The Form 1 promises to be “An end-to-end package. Printer, software, and post-processing kit that just works. Right out of the box.”
The price is affordable though the regular retail price has not been announced. At $2499 it is comparable to the price of the Replicator 2.
They have a kickstarter campaign to manage pre-sales and generate funds to ramp up production. The machines are selling fast! They have reached their goal of 100K in 2.5 hours.
Formlabs is a Boston-based start-up founded by a trio of MIT grads with impressive backers like Eric Schmidt and Mitch Kapor. They’ve also enlisted Dragon Innovation, a manufacturing consultancy, to assist with the production of the printers and hopefully avoid the kinds of hurdles we’ve seen other successful kickstarter campaigns face.
The much-lauded maker of 3D printers for amateurs goes pro.
As we mentioned in our recent coverage, MakerBot has just released a brand new 3D printer, the Replicator 2. It boasts a range of new features and upgrades that I won’t repeat here. It also boasts a new $2199 price tag. I doubt anyone will complain about improved print quality and larger build volumes, and, frankly, the new printer looks gorgeous. That being said, this blogger sees the Replicator 2 as a new direction for MakerBot. They have clearly and specifically labeled it “professional-grade,” a first for MakerBot. This is not necessarily a bad direction, but it is a marked change from how they began. (more…)
Unique CNC drawing machine: Is this the shape of things to come?
There is no shortage of DIY CNC and 3D printing devices, and although some do stand out from the crowd, they all tend to follow a geometry that is becoming quite familiar. Setting out to change this paradigm, Canadian techno-sculptor David Bynoe conceived of a CNC plotter that is focused around polar coordinates.
The Center Pivot Pen Plotter has only one arm that spins on a base, and moves in and out from a central point.
“It gives you a very large drawing surface with a minimum of moving parts compared to a standard x,y Cartesian plotter.”
Drawing inspiration from the notable dual polar Eggbot and Polargraph examples, David has gone one step further in simplifying the mechanism by using only a single polar coordinate system. This creates special challenges, but the code that drives the Arduino-equipped device has been written to compensate for geometric distortions. As the video after the break shows, he’s done remarkably well…
“The goal was to get it working and then worry about making it pretty, which I will get to eventually.”
Here’s a great opportunity for the thinkers out there. As a part of the GE Garages initiative in collaboration with New York’s Chelsea-based retailer STORY, the call is out for entries to the Making Things Competition.
The goal is to conceive of a spatially stunning window installation that makes use of rapid prototyping technology. This will then become a part of a new GE Garages pop-up store in New York City, where open workshops are to be held in an advanced lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and everyday makers.
It’s a quick-thinking event, with entries due by September 20 and the winner will be announced four short days after.
“The fabrication will start immediately thereafter and continue up until the installation deadline, October 4. Not only will the winner receive a highly-publicized commission, but will get $20,000 to make it happen.”
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.
Using a 3D printer for practical reuse in the kitchen
There is a fantastic series of posts from Alex over at the ProtoParadigm blog featuring practical things you can do with a 3D printer. This isn’t about wowing people with the latest high-tech advances. It’s all about getting down to the nitty gritty and using that 3D printing versatility to get things done.
So let’s get practical with our printers and extend the function of those ubiquitous glass jars. Documenting each solution with a brief but informative summary, Alex kicks things off himself with some easy-to-open, watertight lids. He then turns to Thingiverse for inspiration, and follows through with bank lids, a fly trap, a sprouting lid for growing seeds, straining and shaking lids, and even a fermentation lid that allows for exchange of gases.
Further exploration on Thingiverse will uncover an even greater diversity of canning jar accessories, from sippy cups to funnels and more. Check them out, and build some of your own!
Now your drawing robot is even quicker on the draw…
With a soft spot for drawing and a special place in my heart for all things robotic, it’s kind of understandable that the Drawbot gets me excited.
Rather than leaving Drawbot users to fiddle around changing pens, this 3D printed clamp will make switching over to a new Magnum felt-tip quicker and easier than ever. It’s a simple pen holder modification, but one that makes a noticeable difference to the Drawbot’s process.
The image above is a working prototype printed on a Makerbot by Michael Audette, and boasts the following features:
* Pinch to release
* Rubber band for spring tension
* Holds a 20mm marker, can be scaled to hold a Sharpie fine point marker
With the Drawbot featuring as a part of the Robots for Schools campaign on Indiegogo, this modification couldn’t have come at a better time.
Makeshift Magazine is a new publication “about people, the things they make, and the context they make them in.” It’s one of 3 titles available from Analogue Digital, a group dedicated to supporting grassroots innovation especially in resource-constrained areas around the world.
I’m holding the latest issue of Makeshift Magazine in my hands — an issue investigating the changing nature of resistance as a result of street-level technology and grassroots movements.
The articles — ranging from homemade weapons in Libya to technological disobedience in Cuba to repurposed explosives in Laos — are well written and thoroughly illustrated with infographics and photography. My favorite set of photos show a reviving neighborhood in Haiti’s Port-au-prince.
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…)
Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms speaking about digital making
Professor Neil Gershenfeld, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms and author of Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, is visiting Wellington, New Zealand.
He’s in town for the FAB8NZ conference next week at Massey University, and recently spoke with Kim Hill of Radio New Zealand, about personal fabrication and the Fablab movement.